Thursday, May 3, 2007

wanderen oder besser, padelln

We have just celebrated May Day in Workers of the World Unite. As I understand it, about 20 years ago with political tension all about, some punks broke into a grocery store...more and more people showed up and started stealing Bier (what else?).... the police came and then a big ol' spontaneous riot broke out. OK, I just checked on Wikipedia and that's not what it says, but that's what I was told by an actual Berlin resident and who really trusts Wikipedia anyway? So, now they have planned planned spontaneous riots, which strike me as rather absurb.....anyway I missed them b/c, outdoorsy girl that I am, went canoeing....a lovely 4-day trip in the lake district just north of here. We did have one day in which everything possible went wrong (proving yet again (as I am oft telling mein deusch Freund, much to his annoyance) that contrary to popular worldwide belief, the Germans are not really efficient, though they are thorough (pingelig!)) -- the bus didn't come and then the tram didn't come and then we had to change trains 3x in an hour, and I forgot the food (which I suppose I can't *really* blame on the inefficient Germans)...etc. But then the next 3 days were completely lovely and we didn't starve....lots of lilypads, cute diving waterbirds, some very good plum Kuchen, and an excellent smoked lake fish (sable? is this a lakefish?). I did get bitten on the eye by a spider causing my eyelid to swell to twice the size of my head and after the swelling went down a bit, causing me to look like a stroke victim, but that's all behind me now. The trip back was totally uneventful and we arrived just in time for a friend's May Day bbq (most of the apt buildings here have these amazing inner courtyards....perfect for bbqs and all sorts of fests).

Anyway, now that the "festivities" are behind us and I have written a pitiful paper on doner kebab (not requiring too much actual research, thankfully -- sorry Salley), my main focus is back to Deutschlernen (learning German).....which is a good project I suppose, but basically sucks as it is an absurd language in which there are a million rules, but never any clues and....... this is an actual, common word: Strassenbahnhaltestelleschild (I think that's right?) (neutral in case you were wondering -- German is also having a constant sexual identity crisis). How can anyone possibly learn a language with words like this (each w/ it's own gender or lack thereof as the case may be)???!!! This language make me seriously nostalgic for Catalan.

In any case, I am now taking a class at the adult ed center, which is a strange mix of kids like me (an au pair from Atlanta, an Australian who loves the clubbing scene here, a Latvian girl who moved for her (oddly) Spanish boyfriend) and kids not so much like me (a Serbian war refuge, a Ukrainian lured here by the promise of work and *almost* forced into prostitution, now taking part is some dangerous trial, a really smelly guy from Ghambia). So far my main accomplishment is scoring a seat far far away from the smelly Ghambian, but I am really closing in on memorizing the prepositions that indicate a need for the dative case.

Anyway, all is not so schlect, my German really is getting better and......spring is always fun and it is asparagus (big fat white ones!) season and Germany is full of rhubarb. There is much to be said against the food scene here (do not get me started on the "ethnic" restaurants), but anywhere with so much rhubarb can't be all bad. This week has also delivered the first local strawberries....which are tiny and amazingly flavorful. And, they have Turkish nisperos (loquats) of my favorites from Spain...tiny new potatoes (in my opinion, Germany is only behind Portugal in terms of potato delectableness) and a plethora of excellent kuchen. Not to mention the Turkish griddle-cooked things that taste *exactly* like the Sonoran tortillas w/ Monterey Jack cheese that my grandmother in Tucson always made for me.

Hope you are enjoying die Frulingsfreunden in your Bezirk too.......

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