Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ich bin ein Berliner.

In his 1963 speech, President John F. Kennedy made the remark, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” Although he meant for this to mean, “I am a citizen of Berlin,” it actually translates to “I am a jelly donut.” Oops. To this day, you can still buy postcards and t-shirts with JFK’s little slip-up.

Marianna and I had the opportunity to eat some Berliners (the donuts, not citizens of Berlin) during Carnival in March. Irmgart brought us some home after school one day. She always was getting us little treats because she felt sorry for us having to live in such terrible weather conditions. Sweet Irmgart.

After four months of being a Berliner (a citizen of Berlin, not a donut), I truly feel that “Ich bin ein Berliner.” I came to love that city! I loved getting to know my favorite restaurants, cafes, weekend markets and shops. I loved getting to know the workers at the fruit and vegetable stand and the bakers at the local bakery. I loved being able to walk on a frozen lake in February and then witness it as a haven for canoers in April. I loved working in an international school and teaching in such a unique environment. I just loved it!

So if anyone is planning on a visit to Berlin anytime soon, I will gladly tell you all there is to know about my German hometown. After all, I was a Berliner for four months of my life (a citizen of Berlin, not a jelly donut...well maybe that too...I'm okay with that).

As Irmgart would say, "So much to do!!"

With two weeks in Berlin left, Marianna and I had tons of places to go and people to see on our To-Do List! Since our teaching units were all wrapped up, we took the liberty to devote our afternoons and evenings after school seeing as much of Berlin as humanly possible.

Here are some highlights:

Berlin Philharmonie with Irmgart and Barbara (Irmgart's Best Friend)

Turkish Market and Crepes with Karla and Joe in Kruezberg

Neighborhood Thrift Markets

Riding Bikes along the Eastside Gallery (Berlin Wall)

Riding Bikes through Tiergarten


Homemade German Meal made by Irmgart

Sunday night, when we got back from Amsterdam, Irmgart had a traditional German meal all prepared for us! We had spargel (a white asparagus grown underground), with butter sauce, ham, and salad.

Bradenburg Gate and Reichstag

Bike Ride around Lake Schlaktensee

Dinner on our last night with Irmgart on Lake Wannsee