It was so much fun to have (almost) all my nearest in Berlin. I almost love Berlin with so many of my favorite people in a 5-block radius. Except for the crazy people that come to visit in November (snowstorm with thunder anyone?) or February (gale-force winds!), most visitors come in the warmer months, giving them the very silly allusion that Berlin is some kind of eternal Spring paradise. So this time, it was a bit gratifying to see Berlin act up: chilly rain in what is supposed to be the nicest month, surly copy shop workers refusing to print from (gasp!) a disk or emailed file on (the horror!) labels, average food (not that you don't get average meals in other towns, but with the exception of the restaurant at the Deutsche Oper and the old standby that is Schwarzwaldstuben, the other restaurants I took my guests to were intensely embarrassing flops (why can't they make a decent, interesting salad in this town that isn't drowning in bad vinaigrette (to put it politely)?) People commented on the oddness of the pillows, the strange fact of life that makes a Berlin-Brandenburg train ticket cost 26 Euros for one passenger or five, and why are the sidewalks as/more uneven than some developing nations?
Of course, I am/was the main whiner, and most people had only glowing things to say about Berlin, but in the spirit of celebrating the oddness that is here, I present you with some very odd (to me at least) snack foods I have recently discovered (but not (yet) sampled):
Horse milk products at the organic market! I ate horse meat in Italy (and admired the horses baby food) and would sample this if I could find it. Alas, thus far I've only seen the advertisement. I do love that their new line is: "a delicious cow milk alternative!" But why is there also a goat on the packaging?
We (for the next 6 weeks anyway) live near the worst video store on the planet. On the rare occasions they have anything we might want to watch, it's always checked out. They have about 20 DVDs in their collection, most of which seem to be porn or extreme-violence-for-the-sake-of-extreme-violence movies. They do, however, have very interesting snacks. I recently observed doner kebab- and El Gaucho-flavored chips. Flavoring cheap potato chips like a cheap greasy meaty sandwich is intriguing. Or something. And what does El Gaucho taste like, do you think? Sweaty Argentine cowboy?
Stay tuned for a much less cranky, perhaps even fluffy wedding post....