Where I Am

This week I am in Berlin. I love Berlin. I have to admit that I did not want to come on this trip. I wanted to stay snug in my home in Denver. I truly become a hermit between the months of November and March. It is unfortunate, seeing how these months comprise nearly half of the year. Living life when it is cold and the sun sinks quickly and comes up slowly makes me tired. I feel weak and less courageous. As a therapist, I know there is a diagnosis for this. But regardless of where I fit into the diagnostic manual, I know this about myself. I try to shove 12 months of life into the seven months I enjoy. But this month, I found myself taking chances and a long overseas flight . . . new food, new language, new people.
Today, I visited the Old National Museum in Berlin. This is a weird city. Did you know that the Berlin wall did not divide East and West Germany during the Cold War? It divided East and West Berlin . . . . which sits in what once was the heart of East (communist) Germany. West (democratic) Germany took such pride in their beloved Berlin that they insisted the city be saved. They were given half. Hence the wall. What a bizarre history. We visited a man's personal art collection yesterday, consisting mostly of Picasso, Klee, and Matisse. Today I took a subway to see one room in the Old National Gallery. The beautiful part? I felt so free to march up to the second floor, breeze past hundrads of years of paintings until I found the French Impressionists. No guilt. No turning back. I made a decision that I didn't care about the rest and I didn't feel the pressure to care.

Now I am sitting in a place called Coffee Connection. I love being in another country because everything is so new and interesting. The first time I left the United States, I went to Tiajuana Mexico - about three feet south of San Diego. And yet everything was so fascinating. Orange Fanta in a glass bottle on the dirt streets tasted like nector. Yesterday, I pointed out a "huge paper store" to Herb as we wizzed around Berlin in a cab. "What was it called?" he asked. "I don't want to tell you. McPaper." I heard a giggle from our German counterparts in the cab. "Those are everywhere!" Best I can figure, they are the German equivelant to Hallmark. Oh well. As I sit in Coffee Connection, I found myself hoping that I was not in Europe's version of Starbucks. "Please oh please let me be cooler than being the girl who saves her Burger King wrapper because it is in Spanish. PLLLLLEAAASE!" So, I did what any traveling American would do. I googled the coffee shop that I sat in.
Good news. It is original. Just one. Found only here. What luck!


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