Lets talk Germany, friends.
I LOVED living with a part German family in Spain. I also LOVED having several friends from Germany. One girl in particular, Marie, quickly became my dearest friend in Spain and we were inseparable. Sadly she returned to Germany halfway through my year abroad, which gave me an excuse to visit her later on. This trip was in the making for awhile, with the understanding that she would one day visit me in the USA. So when the morning arrived, I could not wait to board that bus from Prague to Berlin to see that dear friend of mine!
To rewind a little, I had to board a bus for Berlin at 9am from a station that was about 30 minutes away from our hotel. My sister clearly told me to leave at the latest, 8am so as to not miss the bus. I nodded my head in agreement. The problem arose when this hotel of ours offered a continental breakfast that did not open until 8am… with a lot of really good food. SO, I convinced myself that I would be fine if I left the hotel at 8:15am, giving myself 15 minutes to sit down for a semi-enjoyable breakfast before hitting the road.
8:20am I left the hotel. 8:25am I arrived at the stop to pick up the tram. The tram was running late. 8:35am I picked up the tram. 8:45am I arrived at the metro station. 8:52am I switched metros. 8:57am I arrived at the bus stop. 8:58am I ran to 5 different buses… none of which were mine. 8:59am I almost gave up… wait… I see a bus in the distance. 9:00am I ran to the bus waving my ticket in hand…
Phew. I made it. By a whoppin’ 30 seconds. Actually, not true. Had the assistant driver not been embracing his girlfriend outside the bus, I would not have made it. Thank goodness for that man’s girlfriend, and their PDA at that moment.
I was a sweaty, nervous wreck by the time I had boarded that dang bus. I knew my sister and friend would’ve killed me had they found out that I missed my bus over a stupid breakfast. But at that moment, I was on the bus and headed for Germany- so I decided to put it all behind me.
Two hours later the bus arrived at the German border. It pulled over at a bus stop and suddenly, two large and intimidating police officers came onboard uttering “passport check.”
My heart skipped a beat.
Because, well, I did not exactly have a visa. But that is a story for another time.
When the scary-looking police officer came to me and we made eye contact, I knew I had “guilty” written all over my face. He proceeded to flip through every.single.page of my passport, which included examining all of my stamps.
No words needed to be spoken… my hands were practically waiting for him to arrest me. That must have been one of the longest 60 seconds of my life when finally, he returned my passport and moved onto the next victim.
Arriving in Berlin and seeing my dear Marie was wonderful. Our two days in that gorgeous city were a dream. From staying up late and talking over a warm cup of tea in her uncle’s flat, to exploring the ever-so-popular flea market, to meandering the streets and eating at some of the local cafes… I quickly fell in love with Germany, and in particular Berlin.
Berlin is a city with so much culture and charisma. For a foodie like myself, one would be astonished to see the plethora of restaurants and cafes lining the streets. Then you have the hipster part of the city. And the historical part of the city. And what astonished me the most was that everyone… and I mean, everyone… spoke English.
We are talking about an educated, hard-working, well-cultured, multi-lingual country with some of the best food around. And they are obsessed with the whole “organic” approach to living. My kind of people…
Back to talking about some of the yummy German food I tasted while there:
You have the Döner Kebab, which is incredibly popular all over Germany, dirt cheap, and delicious.
Or, my personal favorite… the Currywurst.
I had this maybe three times during my five day stay in Germany. I l-o-v-e-d it. First off, anything curry I am obsessed with… top it off with a bratwurst and I could eat that dish every day for the rest of my life.
And how do you respond when you think the food is delicious?
Es ist lecker.
I said that probably one hundred times while in Germany.
Besides the food, Marie and I were able to see a movie in theaters which was a fun experience (in English, with Germany subtitles). Neither of us were fully present during that movie though… pretty sure I took a long nap, and the elevated English was tough to understand at times for someone who’s native language is not English. BUT, the experience was worth it for the sweet popcorn that they serve in their theaters. Yes, there is no such thing as salty popcorn at the theaters in Germany. Interesting, huh?
We also did some sightseeing. I will need to return to Berlin one day though because there was so much we were unable to see during my time there, including the Holocaust Museum.
And then there was the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. It consists of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid-like pattern, all ranging in various heights. Supposedly the design of this memorial is meant to cause a confusing, uneasiness in people to show how this supposed “ordered system” lost touch with human reasoning during the Holocaust.