The apartment is, so far, the best part of Berlin. We watch travel videos about the city and marvel at the almost unrelieved ugliness. The "almost" are the stretches of green grass and the occasional building that was repaired or rebuilt after the Allies dropped bombs near or on it. That said, there is what promises to be a beautiful park right near us.
Last night we also watched an eating video about the city and gleaned from the Turkish Berliner that the food of Berlin is Turkish, Vietnamese and Korean-Arab fusion. We had just demolished halal chicken and chips from a corner shop packed with Turkish-Germans, so we were inclined to believe the Turkish-Berliner youtube host, whose video was sponsored by the German government.
I didn't completely believe him, however, as a large number of people on our plane-to-terminal shutter bus were speaking Polish, and so I suspect there must be a Polish-Turkish-Arab fusion pierogi joint somewhere.
"Pork knuckle?" says B.A. wistfully. "Pork knuckle?"
Anyway, the first thing we were warned by our youtube travel videos was that Berlin is short on things tourists think are "German", and for those one goes to Bavaria. Berlin is, however, the techno capital of the world, and if I were 10 years younger, I would be pondering how to convince B.A. to come with me for a 36 hour dance club binge.
Meanwhile, the number one reason we are here is Nulli Secondus, Ma Belle Soeur, Peanut and Popcorn, which is to say, my older brother (of the two, I am the oldest of all) and his family. They have swapped their sprawling bungalow in the Quebec countryside with this lovely apartment deluxe in Tempelhof for two weeks, and I can't wait to see them. (They broke their journey in Paris, as they do.)
In the meantime, it is just possible that there are graduates of German pastry schools in the neighbourhood, so we will be going out shortly to find them and taste their wares alongside some Milchkaffee.
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