A Travellerspoint blog

October 2010

Photos in Friedrichstraße

sunny 6 °C
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last night we saw the World Press Photo 2010 exhibition in the Friedrichstraße Bahnhof: some really stunning, often disturbing pictures. this is their chosen top photo of the year:


taken by Pietro Masturzo, it depicts women crying protests from a Tehran rooftop after a disputed election.

there are some awful things going on in the world, you know? i find it hard to think about how to even begin to contribute to a solution, because it seems to me such an obvious thing that, dude, you shouldn't kill people. not for religion, not for drugs, not for money, not for anything other than if they're trying really fucking hard to kill you. how do you argue for "it's not right to kill people" other than saying "it's not right to kill people"?

well, Daniel Kahn on Thursday was incredible, and his music made me feel like it could change you just by listening. i want to be that kind of artist.

Posted by ctamler 03:45 Archived in Germany Tagged photography Comments (0)

things i can do now that i definitely couldn't 2 months ago

  • call a theater and reserve tickets in German (thanks for helping me prove myself not 30 seconds ago, Hebbel am Ufer)
  • understand the basic content of a German movie/play without subtitles...even if it is super weird...though probably excluding highfalutin language
  • cook from a German recipe without much consultation of a Wörterbuch
  • have full conversations in German

weirdly, though, i often have trouble following the news...

Posted by ctamler 09:21 Archived in Germany Tagged language Comments (0)

Kürbiscremesuppe mit Ingwer

(pumpkin soup with ginger)

overcast 6 °C
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i just made this soup. and it is delicious. i used an extra onion and added some carrots and curry powder. i also used a fresh vegetable broth that i made today. hot. DAMN. and, now i can say i've cooked with one of the funny Kürbis (pumpkin) you find in the stores here (called, apparently, Hokkaido-Kürbis because it is "sehr beliebt" in Japan):


i love so many things about fall, and far from least is the food. pumpkin with its rich, velvety taste like a vegetable version of chocolate. things that are dark and rich with cinnamon in them, or ginger. appley treats. cookies. (cookies are so much better in the fall or winter than summer.) hot drinks: hot chocolate and coffee (oh god, coffee is to die for when leaves are falling) and peppermint tea and this year there'll be Glühwein.

the triumphant return of soup,
the special warmth spicy things bring,
the promise of latkes.

i am one of those lovers of seasons...i can't imagine living somewhere where i don't have sweaters and a blaze of colors waiting for me in October.

a favorite thing of mine about living someplace new is the new food rituals you develop: a mixture of local culture, your budget, whom you share meals with, and what the closest grocery store stocks. i have a Germany pattern, begun with Christina during our summers in Augsburg, modified by the last two months in Berlin:

Muesli, Nektarinen oder Pfirisch, Jogurt, und Milch
Kaffee (natürlich)

Sandwich mit Käse, Gemüse (Gürken und Tomaten), Butter, und manchmal Fleisch
was suß: Kekse, Schokolade...
oder essen in der Mensa

evenings are a bit more variable, depending on what the day's been like or what the night's going to be.

in a month i'm going to have fall's most exciting food adventure of all, in Augsburg, with Leonie: Thanksgiving. and, since we'll be celebrating a weekend early so that i can see Nora's play, maybe i'll get to have TWO Thanksgivings...i'm sure there will be one in Berlin.

going to see Daniel Kahn and the Painted Bird tonight:

i'm pretty excited.

Posted by ctamler 07:58 Archived in Germany Tagged food music Comments (0)

Ich wohne seit fast 2 Monate in Berlin

(i've lived for nearly 2 months in Berlin)

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things like blogging and journaling have fallen by the wayside over the past months. call it my settling-in period. it's not for lack of interesting things to write about. i could have written about the struggle to find a WG -- ten days in Friedrichshain, and then getting bloody lucky and finding this fantastic apartment in Neukölln. i could have written about Oktoberfest with Nora, Vinz, André -- but i could also let this photo speak for itself:


i could have (and should have) written about language, as i've been learning it; the Vorkurs at the FU that i took for six weeks, all the Erasmus students i got to know. i did write bits and pieces in my journal.

I speak more and more German. With my classmates, my new roommates [...] I had a dream that P & C spoke German to me. Sometimes it comes out quite nicely and I can follow conversations just lovely and other times, it's all a lot of work. But whereas a few weeks ago I couldn't comprehend fluency, now it seems like an attainable goal. (26. September)

it gets better and better, my German. i'm still shit at writing in German, but speaking's coming along well, and i can understand most all of the theatre i go to see...except the super experimental stuff. and i know i don't have that ganz schrecklich amerikanische Akzent. "i can tell you're foreign, but i can't tell you're American."

i could have written about the Fulbright Orientation in Göttingen. how there are 3 other Fulbrighters doing theatre projects in Berlin this year. how all of the Fulbrighters are so damn interesting: a total mischung of recent grads and doctoral students, journalists and grad students; artsy types, nerdy types, teacherly types, sciencey types.

i could have written about some of the fun things i've done. the weekend of not coming home three nights in a row til 6am. the Warschauer Straße Party and the pierogies i made.


last weekend's trip to Berghain, "Europe's best club." or perfect fall day hike with Matt, Amrit, and Paul in Grunewald. but hey. i was too busy enjoying all that stuff.

i have started to write about theatre, mostly to keep a record for myself of the things that i see. Christina, Patrick and i have started to put together a reading list. i Skype on Saturday with the OFAF artistic team for the first time since leaving Maine. i've put together a Lebenslauf and am starting to apply for Regieassistentin positions. this is the first week of school and i am very excited about my classes (Einführung in der Theaterwissenschaft, Avant-Garde American Drama, Deutsch B2.1, and Postmigrantisches Theater). slowly, i am emerging from this acclimation stage and starting to think about work.

i am no longer sure what my project's going to be about. i'll tell you one thing -- the "multiculturalism debate" is EVERYWHERE here. if you know me, you know how disconnected from politics i tend to be. now i am in fact making an effort here to stay a little more informed than usual, but honestly, i couldn't escape it if i tried. and it is very present in the theatre. Migrationshintergrund auf der Bühne...certainly there's plenty in that. well, i'm not in a huge rush. i'm trusting in the process of going to the theatre constantly/reading Theater Heute usw./taking classes/doing a Praktikum. what i want to write about will come up.

there it was, a piece apology, a piece catch-up, a piece speculation. hopefully more regular updates are now in order.

i have one last thing to say: Berlin is amazing, and i am having the time of my life. that is a phrase from which all meaning's been drained, a cliche to end all cliches, but it is really what i mean. this is something special, unique, a one-shot deal that so far has proved just incredible beyond all expectation.

Posted by ctamler 14:27 Archived in Germany Tagged educational living_abroad wg Comments (0)

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