Saturday, July 4, 2015

I'm Melting Over Here | July 2nd and 3rd

Might as well cook me up and fry me. I was beginning to enjoy the nice cloudy, rainy, Seattle-esque weather that was becoming the norm here in Berlin during the beginning of the program. It's really one of those things where when it was rainy and cloudy you wished it was sunny but here we are nearing 100 degrees in this dry, scorching weather. Now we wish it was ice cold and snowing. Preferably while we're stilling wearing our t-shirts and shorts so we can bathe in the melting ice a bit.

On July 2nd, we had some class time but a lot of time to pursue our projects. Since my particular project involves me analyzing lots of data that I have collected on the laptop, I get to enjoy the nice weather in solace out here in the courtyard of the hostel. However, towards the evening I got ready to attend a pretty cool event that Humboldt University holds a few weeks before the ending of their second semester. It is the summer festival where you can enjoy bratwursts, delicious smoothies for pretty cheap, and some amazing Belgium waffles (I'm still drooling over them over here). Not only that, we got to see a pretty fantastic trapeze artist perform right in front of our eyes. Although it was a bit... hard to watch sometimes (as in I was so worried for her safety, but she performed everything perfectly and didn't fall).

One of the most amazing times I've had here in Berlin is what follows. After the sun went down and we had some time to relax in our hostel after a pretty long, dreary day (the sun really sucks out all your energy) we grabbed some drinks and headed to the river. We let our feet hang over the walls holding back the massive river, and enjoyed the fantastic view of the Berlin skyline. Although it still can't compete with the Seattle skyline, we sat and talked about our experiences till the early morning hours, enjoying every minute of it. What better way to close out a long day than to spend it with some amazing people all accompanied by an amazing view. We even had some Berliner friends sitting nearby on each side to enjoy the view along with us.

July 3rd made me realize how hot it really is outside. We really spent pretty much the whole day outdoors in the sun and I came back to the hostel pretty much drenched. This day I really wanted to explore Alexanderplatz (the shopping district) in its full entirety. Although the mission was relatively impossible and still was not accomplished, a lot of ground was covered. You really don't realize how huge shopping malls and department stores can be until you've visited this place. You really could spend the whole day in a single shopping mall and still have lots more to visit around the area. Although, sadly, I did not leave with any purchases, it was really intriguing to see the fashion that is available and popular in Europe. Items such as long, thin t-shirts, knee length pants, and really low-cut sneakers were pretty much in every store and worn by every person. Afterwards, we headed to the Zoologischer Garden Street stop for the U-Bahn and explored the area while some people in the group had to go to the Apple Store to get their computer fixed. One of the places visited served the most amazing Gelato in a cone with the shape of a flower. (Which reminds me, lemon mint flavored Gelato has to be one of the most amazing flavors ever)

By this time we were tired and exhausted. The sun was even hotter than the previous day and it didn't help that we were standing around and walking the whole time. (Most of the time getting lost in the area, trying to find our way around the confusing streets with the friendly help of locals) We went back to Kreuzberg and searched for a place to eat. We still have to take a look at every restaurant that is relatively close to the hostel and we decided to take a chance with a Thai place that was nearby. Thai seems to be a popular type of restaurant here in Berlin, you really can't go far without seeing a Thai restaurant or two. The best part is that they are really good and you can't really go wrong anywhere. What is interesting, however, is that these Thai restaurants have a wildly different style than we are used to seeing in Seattle. This isn't necessarily bad, but it was an interesting observation to take note of.

This was an amazing two days in the program and inspired me to get some lighter clothing for the upcoming scorching sunny weather.

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