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20.12.12

German Christmas pt.5





Days have gone by quickly. I try to squeeze every last bit of enjoyment to every minute that I spend here but it has been kind of hard considering I'm sick. It started out as a cold which ended up in asthma. I haven't been able to do my exercises either because who wants to do Pilates with all this sinus pressure and feeling like you were run over by a truck? Besides the amount of walking and going up stairs, I figured I am doing something at least.
I've also met some new wonderful people, and this I have enjoyed a lot. After I went back to Puerto Rico from my exchange semester I felt I needed more time in Germany. I needed to meet more people. In med school you are stuck with the same people for four years so it ends up being exactly like high school. But coming from a college with 20+ thousand students, going to a class of 65 was hard to get used to. And after going on exchange, I got addicted to meeting people from all over the world. It feels great to have had this opportunity now. Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Spain, Cuba are some of the countries that I remember of the people I met. This opportunity I would certainly not get it in Puerto Rico and much less in med school.

International Students
Something I have been doing lately despite my state of health, is shopping. Shopping is after all therapeutic, right? And after getting myself in a mall during holiday time I see no difference between Germans and PRs when it comes to shopping. We all go a little bananas. I have dragged poor Mr.J who hates crowded places to small make up stores after falling in love with a brand last year in Florence. But in one of such shopping trips I heard someone behind me say "Entschuldigung!" which is German for "Excuse me!". Thinking that I was in someone's way (as I so often am) I move to the side, but the entschuldigungs persisted. I looked back. A Turkish girl smiled behind me and proceeded to ask me where I got my jacket. I smiled and said "Nicht hier." ("not here") but Mr.J, in a very right-to-the-point German manner said "Nicht in Deutschland!" as to make the conversation shorter. He was dying to get out of H&M. But this moment made my hunt for the perfect coat all worth it.
Oberbaum Bridge
Oberbaum Bridge

Another thing we did was walk to the nearby district of Kreuzberg. We crossed the famous Oberbaumbr├╝cke and made our way into what Mr.J calls Hipster-town. Little did I know that Kreuzberg was the place where I had stayed in my first visit to Berlin in 2009. Here the graffiti is art and hipsters were not a thing last time I was there. Kreuzberg is full of small shops selling hipster stuff. What is hipster stuff? You might be wondering. Well, ironic junk. Stuff you may find at thrift stores and a LOT of vegetarian/vegan places because here it's a thing. I drink soy milk because my intestines decided not to like lactose anymore but these people drink soy milk just because. This concept is beyond my understanding or strength so I'll leave it here. There's no understanding when it comes to why hipsters do the things they do.
Graffiti at Kreuzberg

After Kreuzberg we went by the East Side Gallery which is part of the Berlin Wall left and covered in murals. I enjoyed this quite a lot until I realized exactly how long it was, and how COLD it was and how far away the train station was. Well, I took pictures anyways. Maybe I'd enjoy the art later, in the warmth of my home.

East Side Gallery

Yesterday we spent it doing some Christmas shopping. Where Mr.J lives is also a bit of Hipster town but it is full of shops that sell you small stuff you didn't know you needed. And we went to like 20 of these little shops. I must have seen EVERY item on my Stuff I want Pinterest Board. Good thing that my loan hasn't arrived yet or I would wreak havoc.  Seriously.
Then we went to Christmas markets which I LOVE! Small little kiosks in the shape of the little houses they are selling + currywurst (Sausage smothered in curry-ketchup sauce) + shopping, count me IN! Jonas managed to get me to the expensive Christmas market in town where you have to pay 1€ to get in. Totally worth it, and I could see why they wanted to keep the bums out of this place because this market was simply magical. Some guy dressed as one of this toy soldiers was at the gate to take my ticket, some other guy selling cookies looked right into my soul and knew which cookie I wanted and offered me a hazelnut wonder cookie, and the christmas tree... oh, the tree. Everything was beautiful. And the places where you would get Gl├╝hwein (a hot wine with spices that tastes like...  hot cough syrup) are not outside like the rest of them are, they have windows and glass walls to keep the warmth in and the riffraff out. I wanted to buy all the cookies, all the nuts, all the ornaments, so everybody back home could get to see them and get a piece of Germany too. Too bad I'm a broke student.
Christmas Market Shop
I finally went to the movies to watch The Hobbit. There is a cinema here that offers the movie in English, thank GOD. Funny thing about the whole thing is not the movie but since it's so long they offer a small 15 min break in the middle of the movie. Why don't we have this back home? But these Germans are sneaky. Because the movie is extra-long, they charge you extra. AND on top of things, you have to buy your own 3D glasses?! I was outraged.
Where the Cinema is at Potsdamer Platz
Well, I better get going to wrap Mr.J's Christmas presents before he comes back. :) Until next time.









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