Lucky for me, it's been fairly good weather.
Friday after class I went to a lecture on Nazi-era history, which was rather interesting. If I ever need to come up with propaganda for a story, I'm going to steal from Goebbels' playbook. Their propaganda machine was very effective. Terrifyingly.
After that, I went out to dinner with a couple people from my class who were also at the lecture. It was Indian food, and it was tasty. Then we went home.
Saturday I went to the Karneval der Kulturen, a huge street fair in Kreuzberg, which is basically a celebration of multi-kulti Berlin (which is concentrated in Kreuzberg.) They had several stages, and lots of food and tschotchke stands. And beer. Can't have a German street fair without beer. Anyway, I met up with a couple guys from my class, and we hung out a bit, wandered and such, then one had to go, and the other had to go check his email to see what his friend was up to. I hung out with him, his friend, his friend's friend, and his friend's friend's friend (ha), chatting and drinking beer until it turned cold and threatened rain around 8. Then I went home and checked mail and whatnot.
I think drinking a couple beers outside in the warm sun without any water made me dehydrated and icky, so I drank a bunch of water while I chatted with Ben a bit. Then I took a nap, because I was going to meet some folks around midnight to go to a dance club and I wasn't sure I'd be awake long enough. Then I woke up around 11 and said, yeah, I'm too tired.
Yesterday I went to the flea market at the Mauerpark again, where I bought a bike lock for 2,50, so I can lock my suitcase to the train. The weather was so changeable yesterday. I wore my cardigan and carried my hoody, because it was cool when I left. Then the sun came out, and I didn't need my sweater, then the sun went away and I wanted it again. Pain in the butt. Anyway. There was this dude
standing out on the sidewalk with some DJ equipment on an ironing board. His beats weren't too bad. I took a short video, but my camera battery was close to out, and I wanted to save my battery for the important picture.
After that I went into the Museumsinsel, where the Marx-Engels-Forum
is located. It's a big green park with a statue of Karl and Fred, in full socialist realism "glory", in the middle. (One of the pictures I took is from the same angle as the one on top of wikipedia there.) I was alone, so I couldn't get my picture on Karl's knee. According to the German version of that entry, the statue is going to be moved to the Karl-Liebknecht-Bridge while the U5 is built and archaeological surveys are performed.
(The current administration in Berlin is a red-red coalition, that is, the SPD (social democrats/socialists) and the Left Party (democratic socialists/communists). Out of the 149 seats in the local government, only 13 are FDP
, interesting for the fast facts box on the right: the party is 78% male and averages 51 years old (data not available in the English version.
) The Free Democrats, aka the free market party, took 15% in the national parliamentary election last year but are steadily losing popularity. Far less popular here in Red Berlin than in the rest of the country. Footnote: I am entirely unsurprised that a former Count (Graf) was party leader for a time.)
Away from that sidetrack... I went shopping at Fassbender & Rausch,
a fine chocolatier. (Click the US/UK flag for English.) They had various Berlin landmarks made of chocolate on display. Unfortunately my camera ran totally out of battery as I took a picture of the Brandenburg Gate. I got a decorative souvenir tin full of chocolate, which I haven't opened yet. They had some cute mini lunchboxes and pencil cases with teddy bear designs on them (full of chocolate) but I opted against those. Less useful later.
Then I came home, ate some dinner-like substance (couscous and a slice of cheese) and chatted with A a bit while trying to figure out what to do. My options included going to Matrix, a club which plays R&B, or finding some other people to come to Kaffee Burger with me. I eventually got one person to come with, and another (and her friends) joined us around midnight.
Kaffee Burger is the home of the Russendisko, founded by Wladimir Kaminer, a Russian migrant to East Berlin, in the 70s. Sadly, Russendisko was Saturday night, so we got a soul/funk night instead. The music was hard to dance to. But there was another room with ambient techno playing, and we went over there. Unfortunately, it was the smoking room, and there wasn't really a dance floor. So we sat around and drank some beer and talked and did the seat-dancing thing. Around 2, the others decided they wanted to go dancing over at Dante (where they went Saturday night), so we left. I kind of wanted to join them, but it was late, I was getting tired, and the admission was 10 Euro, and I didn't want to get there and pay my 10 Euro and leave in less than an hour because I was bored/too sober to dance/falling asleep. So I went home, which was probably the better decision, because I dozed off on the train.
Then I came home, hung up my stinky clothes on the laundry thing and went to sleep a little after 3. Not nearly long enough, of course. I woke up at 5, partly because I had to pee, partly because the sun was up. Then I spent the next 4 hours alternatively sleeping or wishing I were asleep. So I got up around 9:15, showered, and put my clothes out on the balcony to air out. I wish I had my sweater, because it's a bit cool, and my arms are cold.
Today, if the weather is nice, I might meet a girl from class in a park for a picnic and some studying, or if it isn't, I'll stay home and be lazy. Read, study some German... clean my room a bit? I need to figure out how to fit all my crap back into my suitcase. -_- (Today's a public holiday, see, so we don't have school.)
I just checked my sweater, and it still smells. Boo. I'll put on a long-sleeve shirt, instead. The sun comes out on occasion, but it's mostly being cloudy.
I'd love to be able to spend a month here every year (I think June or July, though!). You can rent furnished apartments for a month (or two or three...) via the internet, so that's one way to do it. Some can hold multiple people, so splitting a 3-room apartment with a couple people could save cash. Though I don't think I'll be able to afford taking a class again; it's really expensive.
Time to go wash my breakfast dishes, since I have a cup of coffee grounds here.