It’s another dismal day in Berlin.
But that’s fine with me! The fog doesn’t really bother me for some reason. (It’s actually a lot foggier than it looks in the picture; I’m not sure why the picture is so clear.) I haven’t had to use my umbrella once since I got here, which is very abnormal for Berlin. Normally it rains a lot in the fall, but it hasn’t rained here for at least a month! I wasn’t expecting to see blue skies because normally there aren’t any this time of year. As far as the temperature goes, it’s cold, but it’s not yet freezing. Most everybody here knows how to dress for the cold, though, so the cold doesn’t really stop anybody from doing anything.
When I went to see the Brandenburg Gate the other day, I also saw the Reichstag, which is pretty impressive. This guy asked me (in English) if I could take his picture, and of course I said yes, if he could take mine. So I actually got a pretty good picture!
“The German People”
Back of the Reichstag
A plaque where the Berlin Wall used to stand.
The former path of the Berlin wall. Can you see where that car is turning? If he went back in time to the 1970s, he would find himself balancing on top of the wall. Can you see the Brandenburg gate in the distance?
A double decker bus just for sightseeing. Am I the only one who finds this silly?
I also took a picture of something very ordinary that I find fascinating for some reason. That is the way the Germans make sidewalks. First, they dump a bunch of sand on the ground, and then they carefully place hundreds of square stones next to each other.
The end result is this!
I’m not positive as to why they do this, because I’m pretty sure it does take more time to complete than simply laying concrete, but I do have some theories.
1) It lasts longer because it doesn’t crack like regular concrete.
2) It just looks really cool.
3) It’s cost effective?
4) You’re less likely to slip in the snow because of all the cracks.
If any of my readers have any different ideas, let me know! I’m really curious as to why they do this. And it’s not just in Berlin; it’s all over Germany. Of course, there are some places where they use regular concrete, and all the streets are asphalt (except for the really old ones that are cobblestone), but most everywhere you see these little stones. That’s one thing I’m going to miss when I get back home. 😛 They’re just so fascinating!
Yesterday in class we talked about Kuscheltiere, or stuffed animals that are cuddly and very special. One of my classmates shared a story about a roommate who came up to him one day and demanded, “Where is it?!” He was completely baffled as to what he meant. “Where is what?” he asked. “Where is it?!” his roommate repeated. “I know you took it! Where is my teddy bear?!” My classmate was completely surprised, since they were both college students. His roommate later found it somewhere amongst his laundry. We all laughed for a good minute or two. Today in class we somehow got on the topic of women’s role in society, and this one Italian student who tends to view things in either black or white tried to tell us all that women have to choose between career or family, and that they can’t have both. (He’s only 18, fresh out of school.) Needless to say, this prompted a huge discussion about women’s rights, and all the girls in the class had their say. This guy really cracks me up because he just won’t stop talking. Plus he talks in German with a really strong Italian accent, which is really funny. (Phoebe, you would love it!!)
Well, right now I have to go to my home meeting (yay!) so that’s it for now. I hope you all enjoyed this post! ;D