Monday, July 21, 2008

Newsworthy for Us

The times, they are a changing and events are happening.

Working backwards, this Thursday brings forth a very exciting event in Berlin for American ex-pats- sounds like us! Future president Obama is coming to Berlin to talk about foreign policy and try to forge both symbolic and literal bridges to the east and the west. Where better then Berlin where seemingly innocuous words like "division", "wall", "east and west" still reverberate? It is sure to be an excellent speech and hopefully our first time laying eyes on a presidential candidate. We will be ready with telephoto lens, binoculars, and some American friends that will join us after a picnic in the Teirgarten. My American cynicism ebbs a little when I think about a new president in the White House- come on America!

Excitement for the The TRIP is also building. We bought the (expensive but very worth it) Eurail tickets that will do the majority of getting us around (big shout-out to cheryl & David for their help with the tickets!). It is now less than a month till we take off. Every day a step closer...

Last Wednesday we were able to participate in some volunteering at an English language theatre (Orpheus Descending, Tennessee Williams). We sold some drinks, handed out some surveys, and received free drinks and admission- niccceee! Unfortunately, the theatre was sold-out so two seats were put out for us on the stage! This was a small theatre and there was quite a bit of interaction between crowd and actors, but at times we scrunched back to avoid getting hit by flying body parts. At the end we were able to talk with the actors, two from Vancouver, B.C., and the stage manager. Really fun and a great change of pace for us.

On the way back, things went down hill. My bike tire blew out (little did we know the other would go two days later- schnikey!) and we had to walk home after midnight. Oh well, at least we don't have to get up early. When we arrived home we found an im from my mum, my grandma had died while we are at the play. She had been in extremely poor health and her husband had died about a year ago now, but it hurt all the same. This is just a quick note to say I bear the middle name my mum gave me proudly, I am a Florence not in character, but in heritage and I will remember that.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

the TRIP

Frankfurter Allee 2008

Our time in Berlin is dwindling, but on the other hand, that means our TRIP is looming. That's right, it is a TRIP and not a trip. Plans are sure to change, but the basic route is to be night train on the 18th of August to Vienna, to Budapest, to the Transylvania region of Romania, bus to Istanbul, Turkish coast, Greek Isles, sail to Brindisi Italy, check out Polignano a Mare, maybe get to Croatia, back to Rome, quick stop in Pisa, chill in Cinque Terre, stop in Nice, say hello to Evers in Marseille France, see the city of lights sweet Paris, trek the D-Day beaches of Normandy, back to Amsterdam and Netherlands, crash at Cooledge's in Bremen, then one more Oktoberfest, say good-bye to Berlin and the amazing friends we have made, then to Dusseldorf where we will fly direct to Vancouver on September 24th. I wasn't lieing- it's a TRIP. We are excited, anxious, sure to be broke, and can't wait to set off.


We survived! And it was wonderful. Like so many before us, and so many since, we took an absolutely whirlwind month-long trip around Europe.

The posts are not my best work, but they are a perfect time capsule into the madness of our brains during that 30+ day scramble. Internet was scarce, we had to hustle, and we were truly enchanted - spending copious amounts of time sunning ourselves, visiting museums, and snapping photos galore.

At Obama's speech in Berlin 2008 before the trip
We also got really sick. Best diet ever! Just kidding. (But we did return to the US tanned an skinny - not bad). 

Berlin Good-Bye Party 2008

Little did we know we would someday return to Berlin.....

Come here please...

So after more than six months of teaching English to German "Kinder" around Berlin, the time has finally come for me to put up my ruler and finish my apple. One of the many highlights I had teaching is the one that follows...

For some reason every Thursday morning I am blessed with exceptionally bad gas. Unfortunately for the school (daycare) I teach at Thursday mornings, is that it is quite small. Being the bastard that I am, I've experimented with the children and my gas before, but never before with such great success.

Upon releasing an exceptionally nasty fart one morning, I told the children (who are about 3 years old!) to "come here please." So all these little kids, whose heads are about equal to my ass, come over nice and close to me. After a second or two little Marius says, "Jemand hat gepupst!" (someone farted!) Marius then accuses me (rightly so) of being the offender. I'm not about to admit to farting and forcing these kids to smell my fart, so I tell Marius that he's crazy for thinking I would do that, and then say, "weisst du Marius, ich denke dass du gepupst hast!" (you know Marius, I think you are the one that farted!)

In the meantime all the other children have their t-shirts and sweatshirts around their mouths, as if trying to avoid a chemical attack from Saddam while vacationing in Kurdish Iraq. Oh boy, I'll never forget little Van Phi's eyes watering from such a beautiful picture... I mean stinky fart.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008