Spring cleaning and some new (to me) Berlin

Happy Monday!

Hope you had a good Mother’s Day weekend. I couldn’t be with my mother on Mother’s Day for the first time in a long time (ever, maybe?), and it was harder than I thought it would be. Still modern technology like FaceTime makes these kinds of situations much better.

However, I did use the weekend to prepare for my mother’s imminent arrival in Berlin (yay!), and this resulted in a bit of spring cleaning, both on- and off-line. Yesterday, I randomly got sucked into my email inboxes and deleted all old mails that had been resolved. I forwarded myself the ones I needed to do something with this week, and went from over 400 mails between all my inboxes to “just” 80-ish.

Of course, real-life space is less forgiving and I had a bit of mass to get rid of. Saturday consisted of going throughout the entire apartment (which, as I think I’ve mentioned before, is actually my parent’s apartment?) and cleaning/removing most traces that I’ve been living here like a bachelor for 10 months. It doesn’t help that my brother (the actual bachelor) joined me for four of those, so the task was arduous. But we got it done! And we get to benefit from the cleaner/neater space as well.

I haven’t just been spending my time indoors, though.


Tiergarten Town Hall

 Most recently, I’ve discovered Berlin-Moabit, the grungy sister to Prenzlauer Berg (where all the starter-ups and hipsters hang out). It’s part of the greater district Tiergarten (home to the famous huge park of the same name in the middle of Berlin) and a little more low-key compared to the rest of Berlin, but still very cool.

In Moabit, my brother and I discovered a hole in the wall there that’s been turned into a burger-joint and plays mix-tapes (from actual boom-boxes hung on the walls). I also discovered one of Berlin’s old 10 in-door markets right across from, I kid you not(!), a training ground for bicycle riders. I couldn’t get a good photo yet, but one day I will post the tickle-me-pink neatness of the road and bike lane replicas, the traffic lights and street signs that are to aid the youth of Berlin in navigating the city on their bikes safely.

Moabit is also home to a lot of great old Berlin architecture and generally not visited by many tourists, so I think I’ll visit there more often, if just to get away from the steadily increasing masses on Ku’damm, in Potsdamer Platz, and all Berlin’s main attractions.


Pickles in a jar, pringles and bagels that weren’t half bad when I toasted them

In other news, Aldi (which extended its long arm to the US a while ago in Trader Joe’s, and now under its own name) had “America Week” this past week, where all it’s special items were America-inspired. Asides from the items I bought, they had a whole assortment of peanut-caramel-chocolate concoctions that they think represented US sweets. Good job, you guys.

Finally, in spring news, this being my first spring with actual planting space, I’ve discovered my thumb is more green than I previously believed.  Growing up in south Florida, there was gardening to be done year round and I always associated it with trimming hedges and trees, pulling weeds that never froze and died, or digging in a sandy soil that was as unforgiving on my hands as for the plants. I never thought of the fun part of gardening where things you plant in fall pop out in spring. Turns out, I like gardening!


Oh, and finally for real this time, I got that scholarship I was hoping for last time I wrote. You are now reading the work of a fully-funded PhD student. My parents are so relieved proud. 

Hope you have a good week! -Dorothea


  1. Happy Monday and massive congratulations on the scholarship. Just for a moment you made me think I’d forgotten about Mother’s Day, then I remembered it was earlier in the year in the UK.I’m sorry you didn’t get to spend Mother’s Day with your mother but you’ll see her soon. I did quite a bit of decluttering and spring cleaning over the weekend. As I seem to find it impossible to delete old emails from my hotmail account (I have emails from when I was an undergrad in 1999…) your email deleting is particularly impressive. Finally, I hope you have a good week and the weather is better in Berlin than it is here (wet and windy) x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s sunny and warm here! But we’re about to get a heap of storms.
      And I get confused that the US and the U.K. often celebrate the same holiday on different days.
      Thanks for the congrats! And as for emails, I found just deleting anything that wasn’t recent was fine. A few important emails I’ve filed in folders (some called things like “beautiful people”) and I figure that those emails I’ve deleted and really need, I can hunt down in cyberspace anyway.


      1. Socialist commentary is an odd thing…. One way or another, unless socialism is tempered with something that actually works, like “capitalism”, the end result is always Venezuela. This is all the “socialist commentary” we need to know.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your scholarship! That is awesome! When I can celebrate again, 😉, we’ll give you a nice cheers! I also think is wonderful that your mom is coming to visit! You seem to have a very close family and I love that! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, yes. Thank you. And yes, I agree! It’s nice my mom is coming! Though, since it’s her place too, it’s more like she’s coming to set our adventures in Berlin on a new track, again. My family is very close, and while I do not always find it so great, it’s pretty great.
      Also, yay cheers! I made it through two days, but I don’t think I was well prepared enough. I have to resuit, gear up, and try again at some point (though not necessarily now that my mom is coming). Are there any fancy drink type things one could celebrate with while on the Whole30?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, if you have the 30-day guide of The Whole 30, starting on page 390, they have an entire section of fruity zippy drinks (zippy… good word, eh). I can’t be bothered to make any as it’s just a drink, lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic news about your scholarship Dorothea, I am so pleased for you, and your parents! Sounds like you’ve been busy with spring cleaning and gardening. I like gardening too but get very little time to do it. I did some planting recently but was disturbed to see that something has been eating my plants that I just bought. Ugh, right in my front garden too, I wonder who the culprit is…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! Maybe deer are in your area? I’m sorry something is at the plants. It’s no fun to have the hard work taken before you can enjoy the benefits.
      And thank you for the congrats! I’m busy, but not as busy as things are about to get with my mom here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on the scholarship!!😃 And even more reason to celebrate with your mother when she comes over to visit. I enjoyed your virtual tour the lesser known parts of Berlin and the training cycle track is great!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m doing Comparative Literature, German and Anglophone migration literature. Specifically looking at intermedia references in this literature.
      You have a lot of cleaning! But I guess in Florida we also have post-hurricane cleaning 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That sounds like the most interesting and complex PhD in the world! I probably don’t need to clean so often. I clean when I’m anxious and it calms me, so I do it quite frequently. I can’t imagine what post-hurricane cleaning must be like!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Congratulations on the scholarship! So wonderful! And hooray for discovering you like gardening! That hand sculpture is a bit creepy and makes me think of Thing from the Addams Family. Sounds like a great area of town you discovered. And the place that plays the mixed tapes sounds like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That IS a weird coincidence. My brother owns an equip rental business on Boynton Beach Blvd. that used to be mine. I handed it over to him when I moved to Berlin in 2011, but I still work there 3-4 months/year. In fact, I’m going back Nov 8th for 2 months. If anyone in your family needs to rent a forklift or scissor lift, let me know! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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