Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tegel Sunsets

One of my all-time favourite places here in Berlin is the Tegeler Sea... it's about a 20-minute walk from my apartment, and I'll go there every chance I get!  To get to the sea, you first walk through a beautifully quaint pedestrian zone, which contains enough ice cream shops to make any girl with an out-of-control sweet-tooth more than happy.  This weekend, a friend and I spent the evening there taking a boat ride, watching the sunset, walking along the water, and of course indulging in Indian food and cocktails.  Here are a few favorite Tegel sunset pictures from the past couple of weeks!

And of course the "real reason" I love going to Tegel...

Friday, August 19, 2016

Ophthalmologist Appointment

Bizarre experiences with doctors are obviously not limited to NRW… they also run rampant in Berlin, and have been a topic of discussion here in the office this week.  A few days ago, my colleague’s boyfriend evidently had a headache.  As you can pretty much only get herbal teas, cough drops and children’s aspirin over the counter here, he decided to go to the doctor.  Instead of prescribing him some… say… *scratches her head*… *thinks about the options*… Ibuprofen or Tylenol or Aspirin, they rush him to the hospital and do all these head scans.  And require him to spend the night there.  For a HEADACHE!  German doctors obviously have difficulties dealing with headaches… last time I went to the doctor after having a headache and sore throat for 5 days, I was sent to the neurologist with a migraine diagnosis.  Though really all I needed were antibiotics because I had strep throat.  Good call, socialized medicine.

Anyway… this week, I had an appointment with an ophthalmologist.  Why?  Because my optometrist recommended it, a friend who works at an eye clinic recommended it, I hadn't been in 5+ years, and my vision basically changed over night.  Those should be good enough reasons, right?  Nope.  Not for this ophthalmologist in Berlin.  After waiting for 45 minutes (although I was the second person on the day's waiting list), the appointment lasted about 1 minute... because that's basically the amount of time the doctor needed to tell me not to show up again until I'm in my forties.  Evidently routine check-ups aren't necessary until then.  And evidently you're not supposed to go to the ophthalmologist unless you have an acute problem.  And it's evidently normal for your vision to change.  Over night.  

So I took one last look at the lovely Zeiss Visulas YAG III, thanked the doctor for her time, and told the receptionist I'd be back in about a decade.  Adios.

#ophthalmology #socializedmedicine #doctor #carlzeiss #berlin

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Translation Project 2016

So... it's time for another *drum roll*... Translation Project!  After probably not enough thought, and a little push from Dad, I started talking with a guy from back home.  I'd like to live in the States at some point when I grow up, so why not talk with an American Boy?  We hung out (he was in Berlin) and wrote for no more than a couple of months, and it was one of the most bizarre things I've ever experienced.  I've seen a lot... but I have never seen anyone so all over the map, and have never gotten so many mixed signals.  In retrospect, I feel like I finally understand what he was trying to tell me... so here goes...

"I really want to see you again - let's meet in London!"  =  "Sometimes I would somehow like to meet someone (preferably female) somewhere someday and do something."

"I'd really like to get together with your parents when I'm in Austin next month."  =  "I really want to get together with some chic's parents at some point."

"I'm not interested in playing games."  =  "Having you book an international non-refundable ticket, and then cancelling doesn't count as a game.  That's life."

"Come visit me in Boston - I'll use my frequent flyer miles to fly you out here!"  =  "I kinda want an In-N-Out Burger."

"It's important for the man to be the leader and take initiative."  =  "Why don't you jump on this out-of-control emotional roller-coaster with me... and we can crash and burn!"

"I'm looking for [insert various characteristics] in a wife."  =  "I've got a date with another chic next week."

"Let's agree to always communicate openly and honestly."  =  "Why don't you go ahead and pour your heart out and I'll just kinda tell you what you want to hear."

"Work is kind of stressing me out."  =  "YOU are kind of stressing me out."

"Yeah, I need some space to figure things out."  =  "Check out my drama on facebook."

"I'm a Calvinist."  =  "I'm part of a super secret group of Elect... kinda like my first-class status with Delta Airlines.  Who needs church and other people when you've been hand-picked for limited atonement?"

"I really like you."  =  "I really like the idea of a girlfriend.  It has nothing to do with you personally."

I really like you."  =  "I really like a good bbq."

"I really like you."  =  "I think I'd make a good beat-boxer."

Ok... that might have been kind of mean... but then again, reality can be cruel.  And I'd rather laugh about it than be upset about it.  :)

#sorrynotsorry #relationships #americanboys #indecisive #wtf #london #justkidding #mixedsignals

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sony Center

This weekend, we were at an art exhibit in the Sony Center!  There was everything from oils to collages to photography to sculpture... mostly from local artists.  We weren't allowed to take pictures of most of the work... so I can't really post anything here... but what I do have are a couple of pictures of the Sony Center!

Looking up at the "tent"... it was a bright and beautiful day!  (Until it started raining).

Here's a view of the DB (Deutscher Bahn) building taken from inside the Sony Center... being tucked in between the sky scrapers always makes me feel like a little kid visiting a big city for the first time.  It's still breath-taking!

And of course one of the best parts of the day... a spaghetti ice cream with cherries and white chocolate!  So good!

Lately I've been extremely thankful for my developing friendships here.  It's great being around people with shared interests, who are at a similar stage in life, and who have similar beliefs.  Don't know what I would do without this amazing group of girlies!

#berlin #sonycenter #summer #icecream

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Berlin and Blogging

It's certainly been a while... but for some reason I've recently had the urge to start writing again.  Maybe because there have been so many exciting things going on in life.  Maybe it's because I feel like I'm at least trying to get back on track spiritually and emotionally for the first time in years.  And maybe it's because I had chocolate ice cream for breakfast this morning.  But whatever the reason, for the first time in years I feel like I'm at least trying to get on the right path again, and actually have some interesting things to write about.

As most of you know, I moved to Berlin about 2.5 years ago.  It was a crazy step, and although there have been some rough times and quite a few ups and downs. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.  Several people have asked if I've regretted the move, as not everything has turned out as anticipated.  But I definitely haven't.

Here are a few observations of Berlin, to kick-start the Blog again...

People are generally proud to be here.  Whether they've been born and have grown up here, or have landed a job and moved here, people are proud to be living in this city.

It's very rough-around-the-edges... from the construction to the graffiti to the vending machines with disposable needles.

There's always something interesting going on!  Concerts, art exhibits, fireworks, demos, markets, fights, and the list goes on...

You can hear American English everywhere!  I used to have to go to the airport and eavesdrop to get my AE fix...

People run red lights here worse than in Texas (I didn't realize this was even possible).

In general, people on the streets and in the stores seem somewhat unhappy, rushed and preoccupied.  They also look at you weird if you say "hello."

There are still hard feelings between the East-Germans and West-Germans.

The city never sleeps!  People enjoy walking their dogs at 2am,..

It's super multi-culti!  The mix of people, cultures, languages, and food definitely keeps things interesting... sometimes a little too interesting... :)

#berlin #culture