What I Learned in Berlin

Oops. It’s been a week or two. What can I say? My elementary school diaries are consistent but somewhere along the way I forgot how to write down my life.

Last week was reading week, which means no classes (didn’t I just start??) so Jonathan and I went to Berlin. Berlin! I didn’t know a lot about Germany before visiting and while I was there I realized there was even more to learn than I thought. A few things:

1. During the Cold War, Berlin was divided into the East and West. Right, most people know that. The Wall, etc. What I didn’t know is that although West Berlin was separate from East Berlin, it was actually surrounded by East Germany. That made life a little trickier. East Germany would keep their mail, monitor their trips out of West Berlin, and generally attempt to convince them to become part of the East.

2. Berlin was reunited as one city in 1989, but the Wall didn’t start to come down until 1990. And even then it would take years for the Wall to be demolished. There are still sections standing 25 years later.

3. Berliners are some of the friendliest people I’ve met.

4. I anticipated eating lots of currywurst in Berlin (I know, I’m not a consistent vegetarian either), but the real highlight was spätzle. I’ll just need to find someone in Philly who can teach me how to make those egg noodles.

5. Again, I underestimated what a fascinating city Berlin would be. The tumultuous history is paired with an obvious desire to moving forward in understanding. I’d like to see what Berlin is like another 25 years from now.

If you get a chance, visit!

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