Archive for the ‘Germany’ Category

The Train to Poland

August 15, 2011 - 12:42 am No Comments

Alex and I visited Tacheles, a recommendation from my friend Chris. The historical and partially demolished building is now a haven for artists. It’s filled with paintings and graffiti and sculptures. It smells like paint and mold and piss.

Stairs of Tacheles (more…)

Meeting the Group

August 14, 2011 - 9:01 am No Comments

Kirtan and I started off by visiting the East Side Gallery, the longest continuous segment of Berlin Wall left standing and now decorated by local artists.

Me at the East Side Gallery (more…)

Berlin in a Day

August 13, 2011 - 1:21 pm No Comments

Just as day started to break on the left side of the plane, the orangey glows of small Normandy towns became visible in the blackness on the right.

What followed was an unbelievably long, borderline criminal walk from the farthest gate in Terminal 2C to the farthest gate in Terminal 2D. Sweating profusely, I got to the gate just in time.

Flying into Berlin, the first things I saw through the hazy gray clouds were the famous TV tower and white apartment buildings of identical design all over the place.

On the bus from the plane to the terminal, I studied the mostly German passengers I had just flown with. They have a look, but it’s hard to pin down. Their most common features are skinny frames and thin lips, but there is a lot of variation. None of the women wear make-up, and many have short hair, making them look a bit masculine. In a juvenile and probably offensive way, I wondered how many of them had fathers or grandfathers who were Nazis. Does that make me an asshole? Or is that a valid stigma German people will battle for generations to come?

Strangely, there was no customs or passport stamp upon entering Germany. Is that because I had just come from Paris, where they did briefly glance at my passport? Once you’re in the EU, you’re in the EU?

The helpful girl at the information desk gave me a map and precise instructions to use the bus and train to get to my hotel.

I was introduced to Berlin through the bus window. Every street sign had a platz or a straße on it (that ß is kind of cool-looking). As instructed, I got off at the Alexanderplatz train station.

Fernsehturm at Alexanderplatz (more…)