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Where have you been, my darling young one?

June 25, 2009

2pm on a Wednesday afternoon and if feels like the best-deserved weekend I’ve had in a long time.  Yes I am still in my pajamas and yes I climbed back into bed with my laptop to write this.  My fabulous roommate James knocked on my bedroom door at noon and said, “there’s coffee!” and, though I could have fallen asleep again with ease, I decided that coffee seemed like a good excuse not to.  I stumbled into the kitchen to find not just coffee, but croissants and jam, strawberries and yoghurt, and eggs, ready to be scrambled with mushrooms tomatoes and cheese.  Fabulous.

All of this may sound very decadent, but trust me, the last few weeks have been hell, and I think that it was nothing short of well deserved

So I’m happy, but have been feeling guilty of late for deserting you, dear reader (to take a page from Craig’s book). Remember when I predicted a busy next few months?  It turns out I wasn’t exaggerating.  But it wasn’t fair to leave you with a useful, but unexciting post about boring things.  We certainly have some catching up to do.

The last two months have been a whirlwind.  I have struggle to balance between 4 hours of German class a day with the crazy schedule of a magazine and have tried to fit this history project in the cracks between.  I also have to have fun, because I’m in Berlin, where clubs open on Friday and don’t close until Sunday, and there is some music worth hearing or a party worth dancing at or a bar worth going to every night of the week.  Not to mention what one might call “civilized” cultural events, which I have been trying to attend, such as performances that occur on stages or arty one-night-only films.  Oh, and I’m still trying to find my place in the city, because I won’t be able to hang out in the EXBERLINER office forever, so I am searching out ‘extra-curriculars,’ if you will, full of patient people that will let me slog through their language in an effort to get my point across.  Yes I know we could just speak English, but I prefer to suffer, thank you very much.

But seriously, I’m almost competent in this impossible language.  I still confuse my prepositions (because they are different depending on whether the noun is a subject, object, or indirect object.  Oh and it depends on the preposition too.  And the gender of the noun, which is pretty much impossible to determine – you just have to memorize it).  I can understand a lot of things pretty well.  I can even get the general ideas of news stories and such (I’ve been listening to a lot of radio podcasts to help with this).  The only problem is that details still evade me.  Here’s an example: the Green Party in Berlin has a series of bike rides – one every Saturday – on the route of the Berlin wall.  So if you went every weekend, you would end up covering all 160 km of the former wall.  The guy who leads these trips stops on occasion and tells everyone interesting things about the area.  This is where my level of German is frustrating: I can get the gist, but I already know the ‘gist history’ of the wall already.  What interests me are the details, which I am not yet adept enough to understand.  So 50% of the time I am excited at the amount I understand and the other 50% of the time I am frustrated at what I still can’t grasp.  It is a strange element of existence. (See the accompanying post on London for a bit more on this topic).

Then there is the part of my life that doesn’t help my German at all: working for an English magazine.  We put out a double issue for the summer (I didn’t sleep for two days, didn’t have all of the information I needed from one of my superiors which caused her to get almost fired, ran out of space on my hard drive, and finished just in time to join my German classmates and teacher at a restaurant for a last hurrah after the last class).  I am now home free until the end of July.  My family is coming to visit, which is very exciting.  Besides spending time with them, I’m hoping to soak up some sun over the next month and organize my future.  The magazine internship is over at the end of August, so I have to figure out what to do then.  Thankfully, there are a lot of magazines based in Berlin, and a new magazine launches almost every week (I am not exaggerating on that, by the way.  Every time there is a magazine launch party, berlin.unlike announces it in sort of a baffled tone, like: “this party will be fun and this magazine looks cool and everything, but really?  Print media in a crisis?”).  So there seem to be plenty of opportunities worth exploring, despite the tenuousness of the industry.  We’ll see where it goes.

It is summer in Berlin and though the sun has yet to take up permanent and reliable residence, it is nice to see the numerous green spaces in this city in all of their glory.  Every district park shows movies at night (they are called Freiluftkinos: open air cinemas), groups of bicyclists 5 or 10 strong wait at every intersection for every light, and the sun doesn’t go down until after 10pm, which I celebrate with my roommates by hanging out on our roof with a bottle of wine and watching the sun set over the city.  I am content, and now that I have caught up on sleep and eaten a breakfast no less than decadent, I am ready to face this season head on and get out and see and do all that it has to offer.

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One comment

  1. Awesome! These posts are great, but I’m especially stoked that you get to enjoy yourself. I want to see pictures from your roof, chump.



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