15 June 2005



Well here we are! this is going to beveryshort as the spacebar is stuffed (can you tell?)... arrived safely in east berlin,to be greeted by charlie and some very cute traffic lights (the walk and dont walk symbols have hats, the stop man looks like he wants a hug, and the green man looks like he has - in the words of the famous band Asparagus and the Despotic Lychee - a giant enormous erection... Michelle and Charlies flat is very lovely - lots of light,white walls, wood floors, sparse but cool furnishings, and BEST OF ALL,michelle and charlie, whohave beenwonderful... arranging free tours, giving us directions and showing us how to use the very efficient, but rather complicatedand annoying train systems.

On our first day we did a walking tour... it was great to get an overview of the museum locations, a bit of background on the buildings (and to see the bulletholes in the walls, and have the patchwork walls pointed out to us - repaired after WWII bombings, and after soviet neglect - in hundredyear old stone, 50 year old blocks, and 10 year old bricks), a bit of interesting political history (we walked through the new jewish memorial, stood on thesite of hitlers bunker - now a residential carpark with no signage whatsoever - saw some remaining sections of the berlin wall), and see the place that marlene dietrich was discovered... but more on her later! ... That evening,we met michelle and charlie at potsdammer platz to watch hitchikers guide on its first day of release in germany... and we were given FREE TOWELS!... with KEINE PANIK printed on them in large friendly letters!

On our second day,dan and i met michelle for an early lunch in her break fromwork, and had a very nice thai meal... mmm... then we went to the jewish museum, which is HUGE,and packed with a fantastic array and variety of exhibits - from historical reconstructions of early jewish settlements in germany (middle ages), to a ´learn to write your name in hebrew´section (i am getting better at the alphabet!!!), to the holocaust tower (a tall cold grey dark concrete space, lit only by a sliver of light at the top... it is a fantastic space to be in) and garden of exile, to home videos of a jewish family in the 30s, to a roomdedicated to german jews who served in WWI, to exhibits of items taken by families when they fled gemany in the 30s... our fave bit,where we spent too much time, was the interactive learning centre, full ofcomputers, where a randomchoice of story starts you on a tour of öa small part of german,jewish history and culture. i read all about betha pappenhaim, a jewish woman who set up homes for single mothers homeless girs etc in the early 20th century,and gave lectures on why jewish women should be allowed to study hebrew and judaism just as their male counterparts...

NOW, i just typed up another 4 paragraphs, which the computer has randomly deleted, so im sorry, but i cant be arsed rewriting it at the moment. a quick overview - HITCHIKERS GUIDE on 1st day od german release, where we were given towels with KEINE PANIK printed on them; teh FILM MUSEUM, where i drooledover marlene deitrich exhibits for and exceptionally long time; PICNICSin the rain in the pretty tiergarten, which was once the royal hunting ground; the flea market with heaps of stuff in it, including heaps of cool retro telephones!; we have SHAVED OUR HEADS again!; having a lovely time with michelle and chaarlie; off to AMSTERDAM soon, then to visit mum#s cousin peter, then paris, then back to the uk; WRITE to us!; see some of you soon!!! xxx rachel and dan.

p.s. michelle and charlie say helloooooo to everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Julia, formerly, "Lapping up a loose poached"11:51 am, June 17, 2005

    Heya guys! Way to go making us so jealous to go travelling again! We have been planning are upcoming trip and kind of frothing at the mouth.

    We received your lovely postcard of the swiss goats fellating the swiss man...that's what they were doing yes?

    Glad you've been finding our little book handy...but i must admit it makes me a bit achy when we hear about the familiar places you are going to and we are back here with our adolescents and reports. Ugh. Reports.

    I've got to reapply for my job again soon which is nice. Joy of being a public servant. And a nice way of the school to jib me out of giving me my holiday pay. Sweet. But maybe they won't reemploy me...and i'll never have to see those wretched year 9s again....sweet!

    Say hello to michelle and charlie! We have been reading their emails and again.... but sometimes i am just way to jealous of the glorious berlin life their leading to fathom a reply. But say hello!

    Keep having fun and enjoy the upcoming hashish. Toodles!