Update on Life in Berlin in Winter

A week ago I wrote on my running site that I was going to post to my “other” (this) blog soon. A week is still “soon,” right? So much for posting about life in general. I guess  I’m too busy living it to write about it much. But let it be said, things are mostly good and Berlin is cold and gray, but still a lot of fun.

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Things I did recently worth writing about:

  • I visited a national Turnkunst exhibition. Turnen is a sport similar to gymnastics, but while we associate gymnastics in the US with girls, it used to be a “bro” sport in Europe and involved the typical bro culture. In Germany especially, Turnen fraternities were largely responsible for the mobilization that lead the to the (failed) 1848 revolution to get Germany to unite from all its little kingdoms and townships. Going there introduced me to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • I also visited the International Grune Woche: basically a convention for world produce, agriculture, bee culture, farm culture, rock gardens, nutrition…, I think you get the idea. I was impressed by a device exhibited that’s supposed to determine the sex of the chicken in an egg while it’s still an eg. This device would help prevent waiting for the egg to hatch before killing the chicken if it’s a male. I was also excited about all kinds of free samples and thought it was neat to be in Berlin’s convention center for the first time. It was pretty cool!
  • Finally, I most recently  (as mentioned in my running log) traveled with my brother to Lower-Saxony and had a skiing vacation in mountains of the Harz national park. It’s so beautiful there… and has a reputation for its deli specialties and witch motif. Apparently, witches celebrate Walpurgis Night (featured in Goethe’s Faust as well as re-imagined in Joyce’s Ulysses) on the Brocken, the highest mountain in the Harz, and the theme is carried out in all the shops, restaurants and hotels- partially for the sake of tourists, but also an homage to this history and it’s suitable for the region. Wandering around the quaint German town (I had forgotten about the German architectural stereotypes living in Berlin now) after dark was a bit exhilarating.

Looking forward, the Berlinale, Berlin’s International Film Fest is currently in its 67th rendtion, and I am actually willingly leaving my flat on weekends to participate. I’ve opted for only one day of the weekends, not both, and I’ve limited myself to watching 5 of the many, many options. I’ve never participated in a media event of this magnitude before. I guess living in Berlin does have it’s perks!

And it’s not all gray.

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p.s. I continue to follow the news in the US with great interest.

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22 comments

    1. Ah! Thank you. I guess I do get a lot out of life. But so do you! And I’m glad you like the photos. They were fun to pick out this time, though often my choices are made for me based on whether the photo is even presentable πŸ™‚

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      1. Hahaha, I totally understand the photo thing! I took 3 pictures today, or so I thought, that apparently didn’t even make it to the gallery! Where’d they go?! I swore I pressed the little circle, lol!

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  1. Love the “life blog” update, great pictures and sounds like you are getting to explore Europe. We would love to visit Berlin someday, maybe we should enter the lottery one year for a little race they host πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This little race you’re talking about is definitely one worth running. Put Berlin in the books before 2020 and I’ll still be here, for sure!
      Yes, I’m glad I finally got around to updating and the photos are of course selections from a bunch that are mostly rubbish. Still stuck mostly in Germany, but within the next few months, I’m heading somewhere; London’s calling.

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      1. that would be awesome if we could make it out to Berlin, especially during the time that you are still there!! hope you make it to London…awesome city to explore, I worked there for 3 years (many) years ago!

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      2. more years than i care to admit πŸ™‚ but yes, will look forward to reading all about your visit and sharing some tips when you get a chance to make it over.

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  2. It was interesting to read about the Turnen fraternities. I am going to have to follow up on that. I guess there are things about that 1848 revolution that Engels didn’t tell us about.

    Have you been to Museum Island yet? (I know you listed it as a “plus” for Berlin vs. Hamburg, but i don’t think I’ve seen anything by you on it yet. I’d be interested in your impression of the Pergamon Museum.

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    1. Ha ha. Engels certainly failed to mention a few details.
      As for the Pergamon, sounds like I’ve been commissioned to write something! I love the Museums Insel and the Pergamon is great (though not my favorite). May go again in the next two weeks.

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  3. Your caption on the llama photo made me laugh out loud. πŸ˜€ You’ve been very busy! I’ve heard about the chicken sexing in the egg thing too. Did you see it in action? How accurate is it?

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    1. I’m glad the caption made you laugh. I couldn’t help laughing at the way the she posed for me, so I wanted to pass that impression on.
      As for the sexing, I can’t say how accurate it is. They presented a model of how it could work… but I don’t think it’s quite ready yet. It requires creating a small circular incision at the top for the scan to go through, and then the hole is patched up. The scan and the patch may affect the integrity of the egg, so it’s not clear yet whether it’s a successful method. But I’m glad the effort is there! I wish I had taken a photo of it! I was too engrossed with figuring out how it worked.

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  4. I had no idea that they kill male chickens, but that makes sense. Very interesting. As for gymnastics, I actually really enjoy watching the men. While the girls are so tiny and little, I love that the men are so strong and must be such great all around athletes.

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    1. True. Also, their muscles…
      As for male chicks… unfortunately they can’t produce more eggs, so they just die… in nature, they are born in less number anyway, but in chicken farms…

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