dah dah dah

Today was the longest, most drawn out-bizarre day I have had in a long time. I woke up early in Berlin ready to shred all of my errands and discover the city. Turns out shredding errands and getting semi-purposefully lost in a big city is not all fairy tale romance with a cherry on top. Jane, the daughter of my hostess rode with me around the city to fulfill basic errands (get a cellphone, copy my passport, tune up the bike etc) and invited me to coffee with one of her girlfriends (Becky) who lives close by in Berlin's version of Boystown. I was happy to spend time with city girls so I could find out what they did for fun (clubbing and outdoor music festivals), where they worked (cafes, bakeries and theaters), where girls really shop in the city (Sunday flea markets and their mother's closets) and to hear them speak German... It was Becky's one day off all week and I understood that she probably did not want to spend it with me searching for Deutsch/English translations so we could understand each others mundane comments. I left Jane and Becky and started walking around my neighborhood to look for a bike map of the city and get lost in various ways to see if I could find my way back to the apartment again. I was lost for approximately nine hours today. My legs are still throbbing. Those of you who know me very well are probably laughing and slapping their foreheads. But! I know a few basics! and I now have some tricks to let me on track again if and when I get lost again..which will surely be soon. I have actually HAD to learn how to read a map...because I have no strapping, handsome boyfriend to take over the task while I putter around/take a nap. This is good for me/not at all in my nature. Most of my time "studying" this map of Berlin has been blank staring and short naps resulting in drool stains on my fold out map.... We all start somewhere I suppose.

my visual aid for finding home

Awesome punked, padlocked door. Something about the feel of Germany brings out the anarchist in me. i cant describe it. But I understand the leather studded boots, aggressive graffiti warning city walkers that the yuppies are coming for your blood....

stairway to my apartment

corridor to the stairs

meine fahrräder!!! Public transit is too expensive. I will be discovering the city purely by bike this summer.

drug store

very odd restaurant....

that is cotton from the cotton trees. those globs were flying in the air and up my nose during the bike ride....

The cotton trees were in full diaspora today. I hadn't realized how badly the pollen had gotten to me until I tried warming up with some vocal exercises (first time in three weeks....shameful) and began wheezing....I went in search of an apotheke (drug store)..got lost again...found a few that were all closed in various areas around the city...gave up and asked my hostess if she would like to go out for ice cream with me. This was a brilliant idea. I feel bad for speaking so much English with her but we are just getting to know each other and I want to form a bond and get to know her as a person so I don't feel alienated from the lady whose home I am living in the next few months. Birgit assures me that tomorrow we start speaking German.

Anyhow, we sat at a cafe until 12:30 drinking wine and coffee and eating Eis (I had walnut ice cream- delicious). Birgit told me the history of the "ghosts of students past", a little bit about her art (shes a painter) and her family. we had a wonderful time. I am glad I gorged on English tonight so I could get to know my hostess as a human; bones, blood, heart, brains and all.

I had to run to the cashier so she wouldn't pay. we both had a laugh about it and agreed that this was going to be a very special summer.

Additionally, Birgit is putting me in touch with several famous opera singers in town whom she met as when she was still in school. I have no idea where this will take me but I am always glad to get to know successful artists....even if I no where near measure up to the abilities necessary for them to help me with career related things. this house is so open/bohemian that I find I am releasing a lot of inhibitions I have held onto for a long time in regards to creating. One of my harrowing life questions that has been shrouding me the last few years is  "why do i create?" i have a feeling i will come closer to answering that question this summer. 

This post deserves to end with pictures of German pastries from my personal episode of "lost"....

note: my friends are teaching me vocabulary and who is who in the city. word of the day:  Arschloch (asshole)