Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 years

Today's not a day for political statuses, commentary, debate about what should or should not have been done - it's a day for respecting those who risk(ed) their lives for others, remembering those lost, and honoring all of the above. Political persuasions aside, appreciate the people and freedoms we have now, and #neverforget.

(I'm looking at you, Paul Krugman.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

8 days in Germany: an off-the-cuff review

Truth: things have been rather crazy since my last post, the "farvel" to Denmark. The last hoorah in Copenhagen, retrieving Lindsey from the airport before a celebratory dinner in Nyhavn, flying to Berlin the next day for 8 nights split between Berlin and Munich, flying back to the US, 6 days at home to meet my new baby nephew and sort through various affairs, then whirlwind unpacking, laundry-doing, and repacking for my last semester at Dickinson- which is where you find me now. 
Given this bit of insanity, we (to temporarily borrow the "royal we," that is) have a lack of posts for the past few weeks. ...Rather than attempt the impossible (and needless) task of catching up, then, I'm opting for a selection of photos from our week of hostelling it up in Germany; the first 3 rows are in/around Berlin, the latter half in/around Munich. 

What you have here, then, is the gorgeous Berlin Cathedral, the impressive view from the terrace bar in our hostel (Wombat - I'd recommend it if you're stopping in Berlin, Munich, or Vienna, which is where they currently have branches), one of Potsdam's several palaces, one of the sketchiest clubs you'll ever come across in East Berlin, a piece of the Berlin Wall (now the site of the Topography of Terror), and a snack at the Turkish Market in Berlin, where I was ridiculously excited to aimlessly wander and stumble upon a.two excellent Ghanaian fellows selling jollof, and b."Ramadan bread" to last us quite some time at the prime cost of 1 euro.... and c.a gypsie with a smartphone, sitting behind me there.

Hop a train to Munich, which was promising from the start with its numerous kebab and falafel stands (delicious, filling, cheap, and for some unknown reason I seem to score points with Middle Easterners, so it works out well). First full day featured a fantastic walking tour, as Munich is a very walkable little city with a fascinating history. Then, of course, we have the necessary stop at the Hofbrauhaus and dinner at the Augustiner (including a quarter duck, a pork knuckle, and a slab of beef under beer gravy, alongside a rather sticky potato dumpling, red cabbage, and, of course, Augustiner beer). Spent a somber afternoon at Dachau, more wanderings in Munich and a return to Augustiner, and the final afternoon spent feeding the swans our lunch at Nymphenburg Palace.

Things not pictured but highly memorable: a large East Asian woman sneaking up to me near the Brandenburg Gate to take a picture with me (no idea why- this was unsurprising in Ghana, when I was the only foreigner in sight. In Germany, I pretty much blend in... or so I thought). Being asked about by a Ghanaian dj in Berlin. A solemn walk through the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The sketchiest club I've ever seen or stepped foot in, reeking of less-than-legal substances and making me feel as though the USSR was still in power. A semi-drunk, very sociable fellow from Belfast, singing "Galloway Girl" and carrying his pint of Berliner Pilsner as we set off in search of midnight falafel. Hauling our bags up and down the stairs of the inaccessible Alexanderplatz train station. Overhearing lederhosen-clad Germans shouting about a "football" match in Augustiner. Dachau. A nude beach beside the English Gardens in Munich (all of which is just too absurd a combination). Jugglers from Oxford, reportedly in Munich for a "juggling convention." What happens at a juggling convention? Silly question: juggling. ...The world is all kinds of crazy.