The Last Day of ‘A Eins Zwei’

It has been a great experience for me since I joined this language class by the Deutsch Akademie. For those out there who are deciding where to learn German, and how to register yourself with, I am here to share a bit of my own experience. I did not read carefully before I register, but one will be tested with the knowledge of German, both on the speaking and writing tests. Of course, I can go back home first and do my review before I began the test, but the queue at the office makes you want to just get it over and done with. Prior to moving to Berlin, I have already purchased online apps that could jump-start me with a basic German. I am rather pleased with myself when I learned that I am placed at level A1.2 (A Eins Zwei) which means I skipped one level ahead.  But then not a minute later I began to have a panic attack, what if I got lost in this probably advance level. I felt some nervousness in me. But after went through 4 weeks of classes, from Monday to Thursday, 16 classes of 3 hours daily in total, I can vouch for the quality of the tests that the staff had given to me. I was indeed placed at the right level. I love the system of numbering and alphabets that they have at the office. The numbers are for those who just have general questions, and the alphabets are for those who are going to sit for their speaking test. If you don’t really understand this, well just come over to the academy and experience it yourself. Today is our last day for this course. Some will leave the country, some will just not be joining the next level, but the rest who will be continuing their journey to the next level will continue their next class as usual on next Monday.  It is a serious atmosphere for those who really want to gain knowledge in writing and speaking German. I am really satisfied (so, far) about my progress, although I have to say, the classes were pretty intense, (which is clearly the reason why it is so good) with a lot of homework given by the teacher daily, you are bound to have the kind of progress that I am experiencing. I have shared my anxiety with my teacher and the rest of my friends in the class, how intense and ‘schwierig’ (difficult) this class is, to which she responded, ‘Sei geduldig’, which means, be patience. I guess, I could take that one in, as she has been real patience with all of us. I can not wait to join the next level up. Till then, cheers. Habe ein schönes Wochenende!!! (Have a nice weekend!)16

 

 

The Gold Man

I first noticed this ‘Gold-Man’ in San Francisco. That was in 2006 when I further my Master’s study there for 3 years. I have never seen a man, painted in Gold before, or in San Francisco’s version, Silver, sometimes Green if he was not in his usual Gold. Apparently, they come in so many colors. Of course, after San Francisco, whenever I traveled to, especially in Europe, this man would be there. When did this began to travel and be thought as a form of entertainment by others? I never have understood and will not understand this phenomenon, this conundrum. But like all of us passers-by, we stopped at least once, felt intrigued at the ‘trick’. We asked ourselves, ‘How did he do this?’. But after seeing this man a hundredths time, one theory I could think of about us human and our level of intelligence- that we are easily duped. Including myself. Jeez, I hate that. I made a promise not to look at him again. As I wrote this down, a big grin appeared on my face- nope you will look the next time he appears! 😀13

They called it Karambola

One time when I was done with my German class and when there were nothing much for me to do, I decided to walk around Galleria Kaufhof, a mall that is in the vicinity of the Deutsch Akademie at Alexander Platz. The first half of the mall stores up clothing, perfume and beauty items but what attracts me more is the second half of the mall, where it caters the groceries that come from different part of the world. There are sections of foods from Brazil, Korea, Italy, India, China, Japan, Mexico and the USA to name a few, and a section of fruits from Africa, Cambodia, Thailand, Peru, Arab countries and lots more. My missing home syndrome was healed up a bit seeing one fruit type from my country. They called it Karambola here. What an interesting name. I left the mall feeling content knowing that I have a piece of what belongs to my country here in the heart of Berlin.  09

Digeridoo

As I was walking down Alexander Platz, I saw this man playing a huge and long musical instrument. The first time I saw this instrument being played at was at its original location, Perth, Australia. It is believed to be introduced by its aborigines for their traditional performances. The wood is best made by eucalyptus tree, especially the ones that have been hollowed by termites. That is a pretty unique idea. Who would have thought, a wood that has been eaten by termites could make a unique sound. But back to this man in this photo, how did he travel from one place to another carrying that instrument around? Thinking about that alone, I thought, what a sacrifice he must have had to be sitting under this bridge and waiting for people to donate some money.

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2. Stammtisch im November

Liebe Teilnehmer,

am 16. November findet wieder unser zweiter Stammtisch in der dritten Kurswoche statt.
Kommt gerne mit euren Freunden und Familie zum Café Berio, in der Nähe der DeutschAkademie
am Wittenbergplatz und erlebt einen lustigen Abend mit uns.
Wir freuen uns auf euch!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

 

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Biking is the new way of Walking

Back in my country, we don’t walk, or bike! Having lived here for over a month, I am embarrass to admit, the citizens of where I came from are not given enough facilities to walk and ride bikes. We only drive our way to everywhere we go. Even to the nearest grocery store, which takes about 5 minutes walk. I know because I did it once, and I received a lot of weird looks from my neighbors and a lot of questions from my parents like, ‘Why do you walk?’, ‘What is wrong with your car?’, ‘You know it is dangerous to walk, what if there are some dangerous men out there following you?’ and lots more of the same kind. But here in this city, I am given the option to walk or ride my bike or drive! When I explained this excitement to the locals, most of them did not get my enthusiasm, just because they have not experienced the lack of this freedom. Until my husband, a local German who have been living in my home country for solid 3 years explained to them the real situation, then they understood. You guys are so blessed living in this country with such somewhat close to being a precise system, trying its best to taking care of the welfare of people as well as the growth of the country. Yes, I know there are still works to be done here and there, but the full chunk of what makes this country runs are in its foundation. I shared this piece of reflection to my friend back in my home country, and the first thing she said, ‘You guys can walk and bike? That makes you all much healthier by nature!’. Yup, I would agree, you guys are forced to stay healthy. And that helps with the quality of the health-care and its governmental hospital. And this in a circle, creates a more happy people. My heart sank thinking back about the people with less of this fortunate blessings. I wish we all could walk and ride our bikes wherever we are.

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ForstHaus, Strelitz: Walk in the Woods

I am from a country that only has one season all year round. But here in Berlin, I got to experience somewhat the ‘real’ autumn, with leaves turning from green to striking yellow, or striking red, before falling off. There are a lot of parks and woods around in the vicinity where you can enjoy a weekend getaway or just a short half day trip. For myself, I had the liberty to stay for a short weekend trip up in Neustrelitz near Wesenberg, about 2 hours drive North from Berlin. We convoyed with 2 cars, driving up there from 230pm and we reached there roughly by 430pm on a fine Saturday afternoon. The driveway was magnificent. I could see different colors of plants and trees, a chromatic spectrum of purple, ruby, golden and seaweed green in between light beige, yellow and light green. The air is fresher out in the open land. You get to see windmills too. Once we entered the area of Strelitz, we were welcomed with their cute small town arrangement- a lot of small roads leading to rows of small shops, cute roundabouts, and finally leads us up to a harbor and a lake too. After a few minutes, we made it to our destination. It is called, ForstHaus-  our friend’s small family owned property that offers a 3-star restaurant and about 8 rooms to stay for a night or two. The owner is a family that runs everything around that property, from maintaining the rooms to cooking for their guests. What makes this place so special is that they do everything from scratch. Everything on the menu is taken freshly from their farm around this property. They have free roaming sheep, chickens, pigeons, pigs alongside their kraeutergarten that  covers herbs like rosemary, basil, dill, leech, turnip cabbage, lemon mint, mint, lavender and a lot more! We were all impressed with Annette, Wenzel, and their family. Not just they know how to cook and serve their guests, they also designed each room with all having differently unique characters- in its theme of the room as well as in its layout. Impressive! and I have tipped my imaginary Chapeau hat to Annette during our last bid of farewell as my token of highest appreciation to what they are doing. If you my dearest reader would like to take a short weekend trip here and would like to know more about this place, you can visit this link http://www.forsthaus-strelitz.de/.06

Die Kristallnacht: Synagoge Kleine Auguststra

Today I decided to cook some spicy pumpkin soup. It is the month where pumpkins are harvested, so I figured that is a good enough reason for me to take a walk to the nearest REWE supermarket here in my neighborhood area and get some of the ingredients for the soup. I know the soup can last me for my entire weekend. And the thought of bundling up in a warm blanket for the entire weekend while having a hot home-made soup in a cold autumn season is enough to warm up my feeling at the moment. As I was walking home after getting all the ingredients from the supermarket- with the warmth feeling still lingers down my belly while thinking of that delicious soup I will be making, my vision caught a few rather sad looking stuccoes laying on the side of a small dingy road. When I found out what these stuccoes were commemorating about, the warmth inside of me had just been stolen away. It was a representation of a long lost synagogue that was built with a donation money from one person’s savings in 1905 and it had served about 550 worshipers. The synagogue was, like many other synagogues on the 2 nights in November 1938, was broken down to pieces, on what the Nazi Germans would call ‘Pogromnacht’ (The Pogrom Night) or simply referred to as the massacre nights. The 2 nights of the 9th and the 10th of November 1938 marked the organized massacre of the Jews as well as the smashed down of all of their houses, synagogues, and businesses. The massacre left a lot of littered streets with shattered shards of broken glasses from the smashed windows that the event is simply referred to as the Crystal Night (die Kristallnacht). Looking at these stuccoes today remind me of how blessed my life is , as I realized that I can still afford to have an imagination of a hot delicious soup inside a warm heated house and fully knowing that my imagination is not a far fetched for me to acquire, unlike those
whose life were threatened and taken away.
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Fotos vom 1. Stammtisch im November

Liebe Teilnehmer,

gestern war wieder unser berühmter Stammtisch und es war ein sehr lustiger Abend mit euch.
Wie immer gab es ein kniffliges Quiz zu lösen und dafür tolle Preise zu gewinnen.
Vielen Dank, dass ihr so zahlreich erschienen seid.
Der nächste Stammtisch findet bereits am 16. November im Café Berio statt.

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

 

 

Hope in the Humanity: The Reunification Day

This week another interesting thing is happening in downtown Berlin. It is the Reunification Day between The East and the West Berlin or the local would call it ‘Tag der Deutschen Einheit’. Every time I am reminded of this day it gives me hope. Hope for the better day in the future- A hope of getting Unity back into Human, a hope for the Humanity. But on this very day when the road of  Straße Des 17 Juni is being blocked to celebrate this very event, I had being brought into the insights of the reunification’s politics. Although in a larger perspective this event is celebrated by having funfairs, food booths, music performances and many more family activities that tie people together harmoniously, but the microcosmic of its nature is still unsettling. There are a lot of boundaries that are still set in front of us. How do we look beyond these boundaries? Can we really practice unity or is this idea is just beyond our capability as human?02