Ich habe Genug
Today went in a completely different direction than I had imagined. I planned on prepping for my trip to Vienna (Kim Kozel, a good friend in Chicago has a friend who has offered to house me and give me tours of Vienna!) When I arrived at the breakfast table I found my hosts and some of their family, visiting from Westphalia. I decided to tag along with their day trip so I could discover a new part of town and soak up more language. I'm a little frustrated at all the English I am speaking, but communication is necessary and I don't have enough basics to really stand on my own in German yet, so little by little I am piecing things together. I have the language skills of, approximately a 3 year old...so I can give commands and greet people and express my feelings like....a cave woman would.
So! We visited the "Reconciliation church", rebuilt from the rubble of the original church which was demolished during the building of the Berlin wall. The church was imploded because it was "in the way"...Ugh, Humans. I hate them all. Anyway, the new church is astounding. I forgot to take pictures of the interior because it was such a holy atmosphere that I was immediately thrown into a very still, reverent trance, but you can find more info here:
An installation/memorial for people who were murdered trying to cross this section of the wall
close up of the memorial
The church's outer layer doubles as a gallery which my hostess, Birgit, will be showing her work in next year. we decided that I will return to sing at her gallery opening :) We are already planning the set list to match the pieces she is installing.
the Reconciliation Chapel
the old church and its demolition story
one of the photos in the exhibit. children playing by the wall.
An American Bomb in the Church's cellar
We walked around the neighborhood, in and out of smaller galleries and had an "ice cafe" nothing close to an ice coffee...more of a rootbeer float with whipped cream and coffee....pleasant 4274594872 calorie surprise... I have been having people order for me (my favorite tactic) so I can get a real German culinary experience. The results have been excellent so far.
we walked home through a carnival. I might have enjoyed it if I didn't innately despise large groups of people who bang on shit and amateurishly swing unattractive flags in your face. This carnival is a big deal to Berliners because it showcases how international the city is. Almost every country is represented in the parade.... I mean, I don't like carnivals anywhere...The more people in one place, the more like brain dead/psychotic monkeys they become.
My hosts' visiting relatives took us out to a restaurant close by for dinner, where I again (after having the entire menu translated, which involves a lot of heads in hands and dictionary referencing) had my hosts order for me. I had a salad of ancient herbs and flowers (that the chefs apparently grow themselves because many are not cultivated anymore) and a "french pizza" (as the Germans described it) with bacon, cheese and onion. So delicious. The pacing of meals is soooo much slower here. I really enjoy it.
Tomorrow I plan for my Vienna trip and continue to try and organize my life here. I am glad I came here with the intention of hollowing myself out so I could be filled with brand new experience. But old habits die hard and I constantly have to fight structuring my time the way I use to (overdosing on planned activities) , and leave time open for the unknown to happen....and most importantly, for relationships to cultivate naturally.
some kind of flower, couldn't figure it out. I also ate a daisy....somewhere in here
I find my time here has been most effective when I have invested it in getting to know people. Everything is relationship. There is nothing else.