The Free State
"Man, in a word, has no nature. What he has is - history."

Monday, August 01, 2005

Part I: Across the Curtain and an East Berlin Day

Thanks to Wyatt’s mostly meticulous planning, we were speedily away from that hellhole to Germany. The days before had been rather short, when we arrived in Berlin, it didn’t quite sink in for either of us that we were gone and away. Wyatt was throughout our stay in Berlin confounded by the fact that despite his very good German, everyone would automatically respond in perfect English. We were both rather aloof as we ate schnitzels near the S-bahn (sp?). On our way to our hostel, the first thing we saw when we got of the S-bahn was what we had come here to see all along. Soviet architecture in all it’s glory (if one thing can be said about Nazis VS Commies, Nazis have style).

The hostel we stayed at was very sexy/furistic and CHEAP. A place called Generator, it was outstanding. We met some very friendly typical North Americans from Seattle. Our first real day in Berlin is when we found out what a tough city it is to visit (everything is sprawled out all over the place). It was fun though, we were quickly intercepted by a bearded blonde-haired man who began speaking to us tremendously quickly in German. Puzzled, he handed to us a booklet which had "Kommunistisches Manifest". Turns out they didn't quite root out all the Commies here. Wyatt then explained that he Canadian and I was English but we lived in France. At that point the fast-talking bearded man sort of blanked us and left. Though I would spot him again at some point.. bumping into people we wre somewhat acquainted with would be a recurring theme during the trip.

We visited a few museums like an interesting Stasi museum with gadgets and stuff and especially monuments. But this was clearly a grey and very grumpy East Berlin day. We saw a suitably grim Soviet Memorial which went on about the Independence of the Soviet Union and generally chastising the Germans. The brand-spanking new multi-million Euro Jewish memorial was pretty impressive and cool to walk around. The pigeons however, had made their views crystal clear. We also visited this fancy square where all the massive modern buildings and the Canadian Embassy were, which I did dignify with a photo. There was however, more confimation of our worst suspicions. Another odd thing is I showed my ignorance regarding Russia's aeroflot and their mostly harmless logo. We also discovered, however, that East Germans had some style. Specifically, they do they have the nifiest stop/go signs people signs or what?

After that day of visiting dreary monuments (and looking forward to a brighter day tomorow) we sat down to some beer and dinner. I believe I had this fancy thing called Gulash. We discussed our day, and how to get shampoo as we'd both forgotten it. Nonetheless is was a promising start to our Post-Commie Trip with many wacky people awaiting us...


Anonymous WYT said...

This article on the trip is by far the best done. All you need to do is correct the 2 typos in paragraph 2 and its perfect. Keep up the good work!

5:30 PM  

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