What I’ve Learned So Far

 “No, you can’t always get what you want

But if you try sometimes, you might find

You get what you need.”

– Rolling Stones

DSC07016 - Version 2The thing about moving away is that you don’t realize what you’re missing until it’s gone. The simplest things like a toaster, a dryer or an ironing board are all important but when you stop and consider it, are luxuries. In the last few weeks, I have learned to toast my bread in a pan, hang our clothes on a wire rack to dry (albeit the towels turn into crispy loofahs – but that’s a whole other monster) and iron clothes on the kitchen table.

Our kitchen runs like a laundromat by day and restaurant by night. Cooking, dining, dish cleaning, laundry washing, clothes drying and now, ironing all take place here. Not impressive until you see the gloriously, spacious room of 9 square meters. When the meals are done and the laundry is dry, I throw a blanket on the table and iron away. This came about because the thought of dragging another large item back from IKEA on the Bahn just didn’t appeal to me. So improvising has worked wonders!

Inanimate objects like language and WiFi, on the other hand, continues to be challenging. I must look like a deer in headlights when a cashier asks me a question. Be that as it may, I am now able to distinguish the word “tüte” which to me sounds like “tüten”, not to be mistaken with “tootin” – LOL. “Tüte” means “bag” so I have learned to bring three linen bags in my purse for safe measure. Note that plastic bags can be a “luxury” here. So are public bathrooms. With that said, I have learned to carry 50 cents at all times. Some restrooms have attendants to take your money and I haven’t quite figured out if they make change on the Euro.

After several weeks, we finally have internet in our apartment! It has taken a dozen trips to the Telekom shop since my German over the phone has proved to be very disappointing. A lost receiver for our TV on the DHL truck didn’t help either. In fact, the package was lost for two and a half weeks and they refused to issue a new one. Really, people? During that time, we had no choice but to scout some Starbucks around the city. If you’re ever in need of WiFi and a “Tall Blonde” in Berlin, you won’t find it. They don’t carry the Blonde Roast blend here. Mick Jagger got it right, “you get what you need…”

Just a few Starbucks you might find helpful in this city ~ DSC07095 - Version 2By Kochstrasse station, close to Checkpoint CharlieDSC07015 - Version 2View from Starbucks’ rear entrance to Scheunenviertel (Barn Quarter) – Berlin’s oldest, most charismatic and main Jewish Quarter

photo 1 - Version 2There are not one, but two locations in my neighborhood.

photo - Version 2

I guess you could say Odd and I had a lot of “dates” at Starbucks and we didn’t even have to say a single word to each other. Oh the sound of silence…

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