Sweet German Christmas specialties are the only area that seems to be untouched and untainted by the stereotype surrounding German cuisine.
Every Christmas season, German producers ship their goods all over the world, in wooden boxes and colorful metal tins embossed with winter village scenes. During GDR times, Salzwedeler Baumkuchen, the famous tree cake consisting of a mass of layers, was nationalized and the cake was produced solely for export. This not only brought in Western currency but it eventually ensured the survival of that unique tradition.
This is a preview of German Cuisine: Holiday Bread.
It’s amazing how busy I’ve become in only three weeks here. Although classes at the Freie Universität don’t officially begin until mid-October, the BCGS (Berlin Consortium for German Studies) program is in full swing. During our first six weeks in Berlin, myself and five other students are enrolled in an intensive language course that meets four times per week for about four hours. The class has proven to be more strenuous than I originally expected, but I’m nevertheless thrilled at the opportunity to sharpen my German skills before the semester starts up.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: The First Few Weeks.
What a great idea for a counter protest. Almost as good as the same group’s previous “trojan tshirt”, a shirt that has a neo-Nazi slogan on it that washed out to show an anti-neo-Nazi slogan. Ba-da-bing!
I’m not a perfect guardian and I was a bad au pair. My temper ran short and my cooking skills didn’t exist and all I wanted to do was go out in Berlin, dance, ride my bike, and talk to boys. But I was an au pair. So I had to work.
I went out in the mornings and late at night and made it, somehow, in time every day to pick Jason up from the Kita, but sometimes we were tired and rode the trains. Sometimes we were rushed and ate french fries. We watched movies. Sometimes I was so frustrated and tired of the six year old who couldn’t take care of himself and followed me around all day and needed to be read bedtime stories, so sometimes at night I just closed his curtains and closed his door and then closed my door, too.
This is a preview of An Au Pair’s Story: The Ups and the Downs.
There’s an old German Coca-Cola sign hanging in my parents’ kitchen. It’s little more than a knickknack from a dusty antique store, but as I prepare for my flight to Berlin tomorrow I can’t help but draw some greater meaning.
The advertisement is nothing if not an American symbol. Yet with the German words “trink” and “eiskalt” we see a fusion of two cultures. The Coca-Cola logo, in its all-too-familiar trademarked cursive, suddenly seems foreign. And isn’t that exactly what my upcoming year in Berlin is all about?
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: So Long, America.