ach, so!

.....Germans have this expression "ach, so!" which sounds exactly like "hasso"...the sound Americans make to imitate Japanese businessmen..... Its completely hilarious because they often bow their heads when using this expression...I don't think they get the reference. Germans have no idea what to do with Asians, or as they call them "Asiatic people"...? Its funny, Berliners these days often pride themselves on being so tolerant....but, coming from Chicago...I look around and think..."well its not that are all white catholics..."or at least 80%..and they've pretty much disassociated from the Turks so...anyway, I digress.

I came down with a cold upon my return to Berlin. Finally crashed from the big energy rush that kept me out and about all night and up early to start all over. I started German classes which has me up way earlier than I have gotten accustom to...but I still take my midnight espresso so I can jam on the family piano with my hostess....and learn how to play pop songs I will never admit to listening to on my guitar.... I found a book of Sinatra songs so Ive been following the chord charts and improvising with jazz standards. Its funny, playing them in a country where most people don't recognize the tunes makes them fresh again. In a way, you hear them through new ears and realize how special they are and unique to American culture. I suppose jazz and modern musical theater is really all we have going for us. Musical Theater is evvverryyywhere here! really horrible, horrible, cheesy new musical theater....Really just not my cup of tea but I guess it can appeal to the masses and sell a lot of tickets? so... good for them???

I'm frustrated with speaking so much English with my hostess. I try to push for German over and over again. I decided to start translating famous German literature to English just as an exercise and a peek into the great German poets. My hostess gave me a book by Kafka, who a lot of well read Germans seem really excited about. He is always first on the top five list of people whom I quiz on German literature.

I spent the night in East Berlin at a few gallery openings then in some old cafes and dance halls. I wish I would have brought my camera.... Mitte, the neighborhood is so cool/bizarre looking. A bunch of poor artists squatted the whole area after the war and just started making art. Just doing it. all that pent up anger and sadness and death and survival. If there is one thing I have really learned from the Germans its to simply show up and do it. No one winces when I play wrong chords on the piano here. No one backs down from their opinions....for better or worse...obviously. But still, there is a beauty in standing up for the now and doing whatever you are capable of doing in the moment and not apologizing for not being perfect in every endeavor. I like this very much.

On another note, I found family in Ireland and planned a trip (thank you Ryanair!) for mid July. I think its important to see surrounding countries for dirt cheap while I can... its a good way to break up my stay here so I dont start getting too homesick...or peoplesick, really...and Im excited to discover my Irish family history. I have always wanted to see Tara for myself! I've been in touch with the family there and they are all very excited that I am coming! Which is really very heartwarming.

Wunderbar! or as my Deutsch Lerner sprachen......ZZZZZZZ(s)UPER!