“Thursday December 27, 2007: We’re exhausted and in pain. Today we did our best to follow Andrew’s ambitious plan for his museum day. After a wild goose chase to obtain cash and batteries, we finally arrived at our first stop: the Museum of German History.”
“I so wished we could’ve taken a full day or at least half a day there… but we had a lot on our list to see, so off we rushed. But first lunch, at an American diner, no less! I didn’t like my pizza at all. They added the toppings last, without baking them! Disgusting! Who does that? Ugh! I just don’t understand how a simple pizza could go so wrong.”
I remember clearly wishing we had WAY more time for that museum. And then proceeding to be FURIOUS at the pizza situation. Why did we eat at a ridiculous American diner in Berlin, you ask? Excellent question. I think we were asking ourselves that very same question. Probably just one of those situations — you realize you need to eat NOW or else have a total freak-out, so you just take the first thing you see. This was undoubtedly all my fault. Hunger bothers me a lot more than it bothers Andrew. Food: he could take it or leave it. Me on the other hand… I get very crazy and yell things like, “I need food! There’s some food! Right there! Let’s go get that food! Don’t even try to stop me!” I’ve been trying to learn how to calm down about this so we can make better dining decisions. Still doesn’t always work out.
“Then we walked further into East Berlin and saw City Hall, Marx-Engels Platz, communist housing, and Karl Marx Allee. We had to go through a terrifying underpass to get there. It was completely vacant, and filled with graffiti. Very obvious we should not hang around any longer than we needed to, and certainly not after dusk… at 3:30 pm! I guess we saw a lot more important stuff outside, but I don’t remember what.”
“We then found a Christmas market, where we enjoyed more glühwein. Then, more museums. The Pergamon had very cool things in it like the Pergamon Alter and Market Gate of Miletus, but since we’d just visited Istanbul 6 months ago, it was pretty disconcerting to see these things so out of context.”
“Then we visited the art museum behind it, and Andrew said we shouldn’t check our coats — that was a mistake. It’s just easier, in absolutely every way, to not have to lug coats around. At the end I put everything in a locker and we enjoyed the bookshop with our temporary freedom. Then off to find the Jewish Museum, which was a real effort. We finally found it, and it was CLOSED.”
We’d hardly sat down all day, we were so busy trying to see everything, but we really wanted to see the Jewish Museum so we took the time to find it — it wasn’t easy, I remember asking some people for directions — and then, closed. Crestfallen. We were crestfallen. There was only one thing to do. Give up.
“By this time, Andrew’s feet were just dying in his boots, so we returned to our hotel as soon as possible, where he collapsed in bed and I rubbed his feet for about 40 minutes. I gave him my water and the rest of my giant donut from the Christmas market that I didn’t care to eat, and now he’s asleep. I’m a little hungry, but I’ll survive. It’s too late to go for supper now anyway. It’s amazing how quickly time slips away.”
So yeah… this had been a bonkers day for us. I wouldn’t change a thing, though. This was us, running around and learning about the world and learning about us, in the world. It was exhausting, frustrating, amazing, and so much fun.
Wait. I’d change one thing — those stupid boots. We thought there’d be snow, but there wasn’t so they were basically useless. I’d told Andrew to bring them, and no others! SO STUPID OF ME. This is how we learned to always bring alternative footwear.
The next day’s journal entry begins thusly: “This morning at breakfast we were joined by an older couple. This annoyed me, as the gentleman seemed to have difficulty breathing.”