Sunday, December 16, 2007

1st Postcard from Berlin: Greetings from Deutschland

wie geht´s,

i don't know how long I have been here in berlin, only that I have been
either sleeping, smoking, or drinking. mostly in that ascending
order. I came to hang out with my old friend claire, who decided to stay
on after this past year abroad, and i realized on the flight over here
that it was mostly with claire and her former roommate kyla that my
dialogue in art began. we also played hell of a
lot of yahtze. it really could have gone either way.

it's only been few a days, maybe a week, I can't seem to keep track of
time here, but
I completely forgot just how much ms. claire can
drink. as requested, i brought a six pack of bad canadian beer for the
housemates, a case of Wildcat, but claire being claire, drank them all
the first night.
I have also forgotten how I
cannot actuallz keep up with her and
how ridiculous I can get. so the
first night out
already resulted in one bar in which i cannot return. it was mostly due
to unforeseen circumstances, but the beer didn't help. but it's not all
debauchery; I am learning important life skills while in deutschland,
like how to
open beer bottles with a lighter. I also learned that smiling for
reason is taken as a sign of simple mindedness. hilarious.
I am
staying on warschauer straßer (east berlin) and it is über deutsch. but
i am picking things up and speaking in a garbled english, fake deutsch
and french (it just comes out)
accent and not smiling. but I think I would like to learn detusch, as
the language is verz beautiful, all staccato and tumbling, and not at
harsh or gutteral as I had once thought. the housedudes all talk away
and I hang
drinking and smoking and listening and it's good. I was warned to bring
slippers, and that warning was much needed, but I had stayed in a
full of dudes once before and this is far better. not much
cleaner, but much more civilized--they have ashtrays everywhere.

as expected, berlin is chalk full of art and dance and all that
goodness, but I am taking a break even from that. I also have no idea
what day or time it usually is so I am missing quite a bit. but claire
took me to this winter festival thing which was ridiculous, but they had
some serious meat on sticks. seriously, it was like a small broom. a
weapon. but a weapon of deliciousness. then after, we went to this squat
house that she likes to hang in. it is exactly what it sounds like, an
abandoned building where a lot of people squat. only her friends, some
swedish punks, live in the wagons outside of the squat, which is
essentially like the slums, no running water, or hygiene, pitch black
and with large dogs running wild. I can't say it was my scene, and at
one point, there were five people and two large dogs in this wee wagon,
and all we were missing was a large bird and maybe some heroin. there is
to be a large swedish christmas dinner there this week, with all the
trimmings that can be stolen, but I don't know if I can do it. not much
else, just came back from this punk bar and I have met my quota of beer
today. life here is much slower, simpler, with a very high unemployment
rate (16 - 20%), but it means everybody is also more relaxed and happy.
also because the poor can survive here--everything is still very cheap,
so no body is left in the dust which is a nice change of scenery.

okay, I hope everyone has a nice holiday and if there's anything worth
mentioning, I will write again,