Today marks the official one-week anniversary of my reconnection with the Internet (well, sort of. I've been thrown back into the 20th century since the apartment where I'm living has no internet service. Additionally, the speed of the connection in my host institution leaves something to be desired, so I've been reduced to walking around random neighborhoods, Pocket PC held aloft, in the hopes of finding a free-floating wi-fi connection), so what better time to give a little taste of the delights that have distracted me here in Deutschland?
The weather took a turn for the better a couple of days after my arrival, so on Saturday I set off zum Fuß to explore the city. My first stop was this park, where the Germans were busily sunning themselves, and scampering about, playing sports:
Since I am not very sporty, I didn't partake, but instead headed here:
where I enjoyed the first of many "Flohmärkte." (Oh yeah, and that building is famous because John F. Kennedy gave his famous--but grammatically incorrect--"Ich bin ein Berliner" speech here.) I wasn't thinking of JFK and his miraculous transformation into a pastry though; instead I was purusing heaps and heaps of German books, old cameras, clothes, kitchenware and other random items culled from multiple German closets. No purchases were made, but several invasive photographs were taken:
These brief moments alone were immensely enjoyable; afterwards I met up with a group of like-minded German-study-iers who dragged me all over the city and forced me to engage in unsavory activities such as looking at art, eating ice cream, befuddling local Germans with my bad grammar, and...of course, drinking beer:
Beer-drinking is serious business here, as one would imagine. I have been shocked at the legions of people drinking beer on the train, as well as nicely-dressed ladies drinking beer at 10 in the morning. I haven't acclimated to that degree yet; instead I wander about, taking random photos of stylish driving schools:
tiny little cars:
and random bits of the now-defunct Berlin Wall:
I've been doing lots of other stuff too--but you will have to wait, because this slow internet connection is driving me crazy, and I have yet more beer to drink.