Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Day 2 - Taking Trains

My early intentions today included a trip to the other side of town - to get a handle on how far away things are. Six optimists joined along and we rode the S Bahn to Zoo Station (you probably all know this: one of the trains that goes to that station is U2). Sorry! I forgot my camera but we saw the Gedachtnis Kirche (Memorial Church), an 18th century structure that was mostly destroyed by the allied bombing during WWII. There's a new edifice adjacent that now serves the congregation, but the shored-up former remanant with its gilt mosaics inside serves as a reminder of what happens when an insane leader pushes his people into a senseless war.

In the afternoon everyone ELSE had to go to German class, so I thought I'd go find the Mügglesee, a big lake to the east and south of here. For a change of scenery. To get some nature.

Got off at the right stop, Köpenik, but instead of finding the water I walked in the opposite direction. I make jokes about men not asking directions, but I didn't either. Confident in my intuition, I spent about an hour touring nice neighborhoods with houses and gardens, dogs and cobblestones, no traffic but instead people riding bicycles. There was "Red Riding Hood Street:"

And a free-flowing garden with a giant sunflower:

But today's essay is about Taking Trains. Hey. When you take a train in the US, do you get to do your produce shopping while you wait?

And, how about if you think you need a beer and a pastry. I mean, right now.

Poor thing. You'd prefer hard liquor, and some cigs. Been a hard day, huh.

One of the refreshing things about being in Germany is it's so much less a nanny state than the US. For example, I'm on the fourth floor here. It's actually 5 flights up because Europeans don't count the ground floor as 1, rather as ground. Anyway, if I wanted to dive to the ground from one of my gigantic, beautiful, two-ways-to-open-for-fresh-air windows, I could. Really. No bars, no screens. No safety locks. No nanny. Not that I would, but it's just an example...

Tomorrow I'm trying Köpenick again, this time in the right direction, maybe with some students. Stay tuned. (Photo from tonight's dinner)

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