General Impressions

Berlin Travel Blog

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One thing I have not wrapped my brain around, is why are Berliners not running around with a constant bladder infection.  There are no public restrooms, and if you do spy a toilet, you are paying between 30 and 50 cents.  Now my experiences have been that this system produces a very clean public toilet, but I have had to get very good at holding in my urine.  The other kicker to this inconvenience is that open containers are allowed everywhere.  So imagine just having polished off a half liter of pilsner or two in the park and because it’s a Sunday trains are running slow, you wait an hour with a full bladder until you are home (then you have to waddle up three flights of 20 stairs each.  You can understand why some subway stations have a smell akin to urine.



A few words about the splendid food known as a Donner.  It is sort of like a dirty water hot dog in New York City.  You don’t really want to think about what’s in it, and you don’t want to think where it came from or who cooked it and how it got to the cart sitting before, but once slathered in spicy mustard, ketchup, relish, and sour karout you don’t care.  And at that very moment it is the best food you have ever had.

            The donner is comprised of a mystery meet.  Its best not to ask what it is. The person behind the counter slices thin pieces of a gray meet off a conical shaped meet that stands upright on a silver skewer, which rotates around heat coils.  The wider end is at the top, while the skinny end is at the bottom.  My only explanation for such a look is to make you believe you are eating a lamb leg or some such four-legged animal.  Once the attendant has sliced the adequate amount of meet it is put into a crispy, triangular shaped flat bread, imagine a triangular pita without sides.  He/she will then stuff lettuce, onion, red cabbage, shredded carrots into the bread following, kind’a like a fresh cole slaw.  Followed up by generous slathering of a choice of sauce (chili, yogurt, or garlic).  It should be said that they are all yogurt based just with different flavorings.  Like the dirty water dog, they are the best food you have ever had at that very moment, and for 3.80 they pack a cheap punch capping a wonderful end to an evening at the bars, or a lunch in between train rides.  I will supply a picture at some point, but we do not have one at this time.  Katie has said that she could probably only eat on once a month or once every other month. I am inclined to disagree. They do not leave you with the same gross, “I want to vomit,” feeling that a NYC dog will inevitably leave behind.  It must be all the crisp foliage.



Katie and I scooted on down to the south of Berlin this past Sunday to visit Potsdam, which some of you may remember was the site of a treaty at the end of World War II. We hoped to rent bicycles and sip around town visiting various sites.  The day was gorgeous and subsequently, all the bikes were sold out.  So we hoofed to the San Souci palace.  King Frederick the Great built this palace and the surrounding gardens some 800 hectares as a retreat where he could stroll the grounds with his friend Voltaire and pat himself on the back for being a patron of the arts and get away from the rigors of the court.


When you are walking these manicured grounds gazing at all the palatial buildings, you are immediately reminded that the distribution of wealth has always been skewed. Maybe its just me, but when today we talk about the states that 1 % of the population holds blank % of the world’s wealth.  This seems like a relatively new problem, created by capitalism, big business, and conglomerates.  But when visiting palaces, it seems like once we moved from hunters and gathers, the balance was thrown.


Most of you were probably aware of this, but it struck me at the moment I was walking through the immense grounds.



Those of you wondering about job stuff.  I have been hired by a language school, and am now considered a freelance English trainer.  I will not be deported.  I will get a work permit.

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517 km (321 miles) traveled
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photo by: CFD