So, my job was the Hammer (as they say here when something is really cool), but it did keep me from telling you all kinds of funny things (most of which I've most likely forgotten by now) both because I was crazy busy and because I signed a contract promising not to ... but there were lots of funny, non confidential happenings. The dog cages outside KaDeWe (big fancy department store), for example. Of course I learned about this because I didn't walk in the main entrance with the hoi polloi, but from one of the parking garage entrances (don't be too jealous, I'm now back to using public transportation like the rest/most of you (it's actually my preference; driving someone else's car is way too stressful for me). Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of these amusing dog cages and there were never any dogs in them when I was there, but I love the idea of rich ladies stashing their dachshunds and miniature schnauzers while they shop. I also really liked shopping at KaDeWe on someone else's Euro, though I still maintain that the place is almost 100% overpriced things you can buy at better quality for less price elsewhere.
In other news, watching Obama get elected from afar had it's pros and cons. It is pretty thrilling to watch the Germans gush over him. They are seriously jealous that our president is cooler than then theirs (and pretty much everyone's, no?). On the other hand, effectively missing the election and the inauguration made me feel like I am really far away from home, from my generation, from all the excitement. Cheap international calls, skype, email, etc.... sometimes only being there is being there (although I'm sure some of you would argue that if I was on Facebook, I would have felt closer).
And then there is the thrill of wedding planning in a language you have yet to really master. I do now have the distinguished honor of having successfully (I think) negotiated a wild boar roast auf Deutsch. I guess not every bride-to-be can say that. It's nice to be removed from the wedding hysteria that exists in the US, but doing everything in Germany means.....I had to take my own measurements and email them to my dressmaker/designer (actually I had to do this twice because the first time I (and my trusty assistant/Mann measured my neck as being larger than my waist, invitations that are standard-size in the US turn out to be 1 cm bigger than standard in Germany and are all returned with big ugly stickers on them (ok, I could have figured this out in advance, but instead I chose to throw a tiny fit, blaming it all on the absurdness of the Fatherland's overpriced postal system and my complete inability to lead even a mildly productive expat life before calming down, peeling off the ugly stickers and sending mein Mann off to buy extra postage) ... oh, and all the caterers are just lame. There has got to be someone in this country who wants to do something other than insist that I need tsatsiki to go with my roast meat (what?! I like tsatsiki just fine, but why on earth do German's think it is a mandatory grill condiment?) and throw mozzarella and tomato salad/kebabs/etc. at me (sure I like the combination, but there are hardly any good tomatoes in Germany, even in summer. I don't know why, but it's true so serving this in May (even if it is considered the height of luxury here) is not going to happen at my party. Don't even get me started on the caterer that wants to give me a bed of sauerkraut for my roast wild boar. I like sauerkraut as much as the next girl (maybe more), but does anything not scream wedding or May garden party as much as sauerkraut? Anyway, you/the guests will just have to believe that in my head, the food at my wedding is perfect.....
And now I am off into the wintery mix that is Berlin this week to run all the errands I haven't been able to get to for the last five or so months. I will try really hard to have exciting encounters and maybe even document them with my new camera and then tell/show you about them. I promise!