Greetings from Berlin! The last 24 hours have been completely bizarre… almost no one speaks English (which is very refreshing, if a little disorienting), our body clocks are all out of whack, and we’ve spent most of the time lugging around heavy stuff. We haven’t done too much exploring or sightseeing yet; instead, we’ve gotten settled, done a little grocery shopping, and unpacked. I don’t have too many pictures of the actual city, but never fear! There will be plenty over the next week. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera charger yet again, but we all have cameras so I’m sure it’ll be just fine. Anyway, here’s a backtrack from yesterday:
Ari and I started the day by going to the diner. I haven’t been there for breakfast in a few months, and it was a nice way to say goodbye to Amerika (and this boy). Coffee abounded.
I ordered an egg white omelet with feta, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach. I’m not a huge homefries fan, but they’re pretty good here.
I ate about 3/4 of the omelet (loaded with ketchup, of course), a few potatoes, and all of this toast (buttah and all).
We stopped at a salad bar for lunch. Salad bars kind of gross me out… I don’t like the idea of all the food being so out in the open (except at Whole Foods!), but hopefully I won’t get sick just this once. I filled my container with lettuce, canteloupe, honeydew, pineapple, watermelon, kiwi, kidney beans and chickpeas.
I also had some Fage 0% with honey… I had to eat it with a fork because I couldn’t find a spoon.
I had a Maple Nut Clif Bar at the airport and did some important reading. Yes, I will still be reading teenie magazines when I’m collecting social security.
We forgot to order a proper vegetarian meal for me, but they did have a pasta option.
I took a couple bites of the “canneloni,” but it was pretty gross. Luckily, my dad had stopped at Chili’s Express and bought me a huge garden salad:
And a cheese/apple plate. I cut up the apples and a few cubes of cheese and added it to the salad.
I woke up a few hours later to blinding light and breakfast: egg/cheese on a biscuit, a banana, and OJ. I put thoughts of cholesterol and fat aside and gobbled it all up… I was exhausted, and wanted to get my internal clock adjusted as quickly as possible.
We landed an hour early, so our apartment wasn’t quite ready when we got into the city. Luckily, there’s a nice café right across the street, so we plopped down, sipped cappuccinos, and zoned out for a couple hours. (Note: full-fat coffee drinks taste so much better! If only…)
We were pleasantly surprised when we finally got into the apartment. It’s sleek, modern, and very simple. I know you’re dying to know, so here’s where I’ll be sleeping:
Big wooden dining table (which I’ve unfortunately commandeered for my personal use):
Full-kitchen for maximum cooking potential:
The courtyard view from my bedroom:
I had a giant fig (and some other dried fruit) before taking a 4-hour nap.
When we woke up, we were all tired and starving. We found a nice Middle Eastern restaurant around the corner from the apartment. As soon as we sat down, I ordered a glass of Pinot Grigio, which just about put me to sleep.
We ordered a huge appetizer sampler to share, which came with hummus, tabouli, cheeses, grape leaves, fruit (pineapple, apples, honeydew), phylo pastry with spinach, and harissa. (There was also some meat, but my parents promptly removed that.)
I ate it all with a slice of soft, doughy bread. (Get ready to see a lot of that!)
For my entrée, I ordered a filet of cod in a lemon/wine sauce with salad and potatoes. I wasn’t expecting it to be fried or covered in a creamy sauce; I scraped most of the sauce off and just ate it anyway. It was pretty good; I gave 1/4 of the fish to away, ate the rest, ate a few potatoes and all of the salad.
For dessert, we split a platter of bakhlava and honey cake. The honey cake was divine… it was freshly made, not too sweet, and filled with hunks of nuts.
Since I’m a person with a pretty sleepy disposition to begin with, I didn’t want to mess around with jet lag so I popped a sleep aide and went to sleep at 10. I still woke up at 4AM, wide awake and starving. I had a Quaker Chocolate Chip Chewy granola bar and read a little:
I fell back asleep until 10, got my game face on, and we all went out for breakfast. We found a little bakery just around the corner, and got bowls of coffee:
And a platter with a hard-boiled egg, fruit, veggies, sunflower bread, butter, honey, and strawberry jam.
The US Dollar : Euro is still about 1.50 : 1, but, with the coffee, this was only about 4.50 Euros/per person. Not bad!
Since we have an apartment here, we went to the grocery store to stock up on some essentials like yogurt, fruit, cheese, bread, and chocolate.
I found another bar of “pour messieurs” chocolate… what’s up on the women-hating, chocolatiers?!
They’re having a sort of festival celebrating asparagus season. They have cute little displays like this all over!
We stopped at a cheese counter, stocked up, and ate some samples.
The strawberries are to die for here. They’re sweet, tender and have a completely different texture than the variety we get back home.
Well, I’m off to go make something for lunch and plan out the day. Hope you’re having a fantastic day!
German phrase of the day: Jet lag = Zeitunterschied.