01 January 2012

Frohes Neues Jahre!

It's 2012 and we are all still here.  Maybe they just ran out of space on that Mayan calendar, or maybe we have managed, as a species, to shift our own destiny.  Whatever the reason for the delay of armageddon, Hallo and happy new year!  We made it!
Last night there were many hundreds (if not thousands) of parties in Berlin.  The streets sounded like a war zone, full of gunshots and explosions that shook the windows of my room and later Robert's apartment.  Of course, there is no war going on here, but boy do these Berliner's love their fireworks! 
It was a quiet day yesterday despite the racquet outside.  The morning found a simple Früstück around 1 pm (late for breakfast, I know) and then me teaching Robert basic swing dancing in the kitchen.  Daniel came over at 3 and we had a brief meeting about the workshop we are teaching next Saturday.  I am a little nervous that we will have to cancel due to low enrollment.  Still, we have almost a week.  We need to have 7 more people sign up in order not to cancel.
I tried to go buy coffee beans for my house only to find that Nadia und Kosta, the cafe near Nöldnerplatz, was closed for the holiday.  If you live in Berlin or are just visiting and want a nice, quiet out of the way cafe with free WLAN, Nadia und Kosta is wonderful,  They have a comfortable and relaxed setting and the coffee is excellent.  So I tried the Netto Supermarkt, which was closed at 5 pm due to it being Silvestr (New Year's Eve.)  Hmph!
Daniel took off to go work the coat check at a party and I ambled around this place that has been my home for the past two months.  I'm moving to Kruezberg tomorrow, into an arrangement I am really hoping works out.  In exchange for my own room and bathroom with shared living room I will give 15 hours of childcare services a week.  The family lives upstairs in a separate flat.  I have my own buzzer and entrance .  In fact, the two flats are physically connected to each other.  My flat comes with a portable 2-burner electric stove and a small fridge as well, so I can make small meals and coffee.  I am hoping to find a WG  (a community living space, like a flat with roommates) without too many rules or roommates by April.  Three months of work exchange instead of rent will be very nice, and maybe I will want to stay even longer!  Who knows?
I got to Robert's around 7:30 that evening and brought a few bottles of wine.  It was unclear as to whether there would be several people there or only Robert and I.  Sam (my friend form the States who is leaving on the 3rd) came over around 8:30, at which point he and I practiced our German.  Note, it is only around 9:30 and we are all quite sober.  It's just more fun to play drunk. 

Thankfully, Robert is as much of a partypooper as I am.  Excuse me for being a grown up, but I just see no reason to go out and get ridiculously wasted and dance until 5 am just because it's New Year's Eve.  Sometimes, I enjoy staying up until dawn, but I don't see why I should be obligated to just because of some stupid Holiday.
Sam went to watch the fireworks at the Reichstag, which was supposedly the largest gathering of people in the world.  Robert and I sat on the couch and watched "Bitter Moon," a 1992 film by Roman Polanski.  A good movie, but not exactly of the feel good variety. It reminded me of Last Tango in Paris, but even more macabre.
At midnight, we have to stop the movie because outside it sounds like world war III and we can't hear a thing.  Ollie, Robert's roommate, barges into the room and we all clink glasses and say "Proust!"  And that was that.  2012.  Woo.
It rained last night, or at least in between the time I went to bed around 2 and when I woke up around 12:30.  On my way to the U-7, I passed a small bit of nature on Reuterstraße.  Even in a big city such as this, Mother Earth prevails, and I love that.
As for resolutions, mine are simple:
1) Sprechen Duetsch mehr.
2) Have at least one official freelance job in Germany so I can open a bank account
3) Get to a level of German where I can read an adolescent book, such as "Pippi Langstrumfen."
4) Write more, and with more care.
5) Make one good, new, polished performance, even if it is short.

It seems that I can finally focus on German!  And if I can become more fluent, this will surely lead to money!
Happy New Year!

Mushrooms for the New Year.  Is it just me, or are they wickedly suggestive?

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