Christmas spirit in Berlin

Don’t tell my sister in law but I love Christmas. She’s an American Jew and she always hates it when she hears me singing Christmas Carols or hears that I have a tree in my house. Yes I know, I’m a Jew, I’m not suppose to celebrate Christmas, but I’ve never cared for what people thought I can or cannot do, so why should I start, when it comes to Christmas?

There’s something about the Christmas spirit that warms my heart. With the energy that changes and tunes everyone on the same positive vibe.

I especially love Christmas decorations and Christmas lights. Don’t kill me for that, but i’m a sucker for kitsch. It’s funny because «Kitsch» is a German word that was used in Idish, which was the language Jews from Eastern Europe where using. Today you can find it used in English and as well as in Hebrew. It defines a design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality. Excessive or not, I think that everyone loves it and the ones who don’t, hate to admit that, because it’s not manly enough or they are just too damn bitter to allow the sweetness of Christmas crawl into their hearts.

Lucky me, I have friends who loves it and when we came back from thanksgiving dinner, we drove by kudam Christmas market, saw the decorations and made a Uturn to appreciate the lights a little bit more.

On Sunday night I couldn’t help it and had to go there and see it up close, not from behind the window of a car.

I was strolling down the street taking pictures of every tree, a star and of the beautiful rain deer, who I thought was Rudolph but it was missing the red nose.

I also treated myself with a Schokokuss that is very familiar treat in Israel too. There are cream people and biscuit people, but although I usually hate cream and prefer the Israeli biscuit, surprisingly, I loved the German cream version and didn’t really cared for the biscuit.

Going out from the market I thought it would be nice that instead of a small green plastic tree, I will get this year a real Christmas one.

I was so excited about that for a second, just before I realised, I don’t have a flat of my own and I’m still looking for an apartment in Berlin.


I was so excited about it, I was so excited about it.A Rain DeerA real tree

My First Date

Oday was my first day of German school in DeutchAkademie. I have a weird relationship with first times in everything I do. We usually have a lot of fun with you.

Allow me to introduce myself first. My name is Chezy Menna and I’ve been to Berlin almost 4 months ago from Spain but I’m from Israel.

I’m what you call a «Citizen of the world». I hate to be a tourist.

As a kid I would like to know seven languages and by now, as I would like to learn English, Spanish and German. Which I do not.

I would like to learn German with a private teacher. It has been a long time since I was born.

So, today was my first time in German school and for three hours I was struggling to stay up and not to bang my head against my notebook.

Do not get me wrong. It’s not the teacher. She’s super cool and has a lot of patience for us. It’s me, that’s how I deal with «difficult», I just want to go to sleep.

I’ve been in high school. I’m so happy to be here. I’ll be there for you.

The thing is, I’m sorry. Without that you can go back to where you came from. In both cases, you will always be able to live with the local bureaucracy.

I had a lot of patience, but it was not a good thing. I’m going to have a good time.

I heard an interview with the Israeli actress Ayelet Zorer, who played the latest Hollywood movie «Daredevil». She said, «You’ll never be able to climb on a cliff if you look up and say wow, how high.» .

So I heard her, kept my eyes open and got myself «sugar high».

See you tomorrow. We have a second date!



Learning German

When I was 13, I wanted to go to a language school and be a man who knows How to speak 7 languages. I couldn’t go because of stupid regulations and instead I went to a different high school with physics and math and many other things that weren’t right for me and that made me forget many things about myself, including wanting to «be a man of many languages». For many years I knew only two language, Hebrew and English, until three years ago. I had tattoo in Arabic done, that I felt deep inside that I needed to do. This tattoo reminded me something I had forgotten, that I wanted to know 7 languages. Few months later I met my former Spanish love, with whom I didn’t have a common language. So I started learning Spanish that became my third language, in which I know how to speak, read and write. Almost two years had passed and I had to leave and live somewhere else. That’s how a while ago I came to Berlin that in four weeks became my new loving home. However, it’s impossible to feel at home when you don’t know the local language. So today I start my first German class, which became my fourth language.I don’t know yet what will be my fifth, sixth or seventh language but I trust that I will get there, like I got here, half way through. I just listened and followed what I heard. To get started I bought a notebook to be reminded that I can do everything and got an amazing German teacher to get me there. Good luck to us and thank you DeutschAkademie for being a part of my journey.

Volleyball at Beach Mitte

I use to hate group ball games, football, basketball and volleyball. The fact that there’s a ball I had to throw in some way and there’s a group of man dependent on how good or bad I’ll do it, scared me off the court. In school, every time the gymnastics teacher divided the class into boys and girls, I knew that in a minute, he will throw a ball to the hands of one of the boys and we will be asked to split into two groups that played against each other. I was always one of the last to be picked, mostly because I didn’t want to be picked at all. Actually, I wanted god to pick me and make me go away, but he never did. I always felt I was too clumsy to hit, throw or kick the ball. That if I would, I will miss and that you’d be better off without me, Cause you’d probably lose the game if I was on your team. I lost so many games that way and ever since, I almost didn’t touch a ball, and the anxiety of disappointing the guys only grew. That’s till I met this wonderful group of people that plays volleyball together every week ay Beach Mitte. “Chezy, it doesn’t matter how well you play. We’re all gays, everyone plays in different levels”, one told me when he saw the question mark on my face when he offered me to join. For the first time it made me feel safe, it made me feel that whoever I am, good, bad, boy or a girl, everything goes and everything is ok. It’s the second time, already that I come to play with them. Suddenly, I don’t want the ball or me to disappear. Actually, I was waiting for this night all week. They make me forget if I’m playing good or bad, if I’m throwing like a boy or a girl or if I’m part of the winning team or the losing one, they are all here to have fun I guess they know that having fun is more important than anything else, because whenever people are having fun, it’s helps them do better. And even if we didn’t do better, at least we all had fun. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

Stammtisch im Dezember

Liebe Teilnehmer,
das Jahr neigt sich dem Ende und der letzte Stammtisch im Dezember steht bereits an. Am 1. Dezember treffen wir uns im Cancún Restaurant und lassen das Jahr zusammen mit euch gemütlich ausklingen. Wir freuen uns auf euch!
Euer DeutschAkademie Team

Fotos vom 2. Stammtisch im November

Liebe Teilnehmer,

wir hatten eine Menge Spaß beim gestrigen Stammtisch im Café Berio und möchten uns für euer zahlreiches Erscheinen herzlich bedanken. Wir hoffen euch alle wieder beim nächsten Mal zu sehen und freuen uns jetzt schon auf den Stammtisch im Dezember!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team
#DeutschAkademie #Deutschlernen #LearnGerman #Stammtisch #CafeBerio




Kulturprogramm im November

Liebe Teilnehmer,

unser Kulturprogramm im Naturkundemuseum letzten Freitag war mitreißend und unglaublich spannend. Vielen Dank an das nette Personal vom Naturkundemuseum für die lehrreiche und humorvolle Führung. Zum Gruseln oder Staunen haben wir für euch noch viele Bilder im Anschluss zum Anschauen.

Euer DeutschAkademie Team
#DeutschAkademie #Deutschlernen #LearnGerman #naturkundemuseumberlin #Kulturprogramm

Prague Castle: Only 4 hours from Berlin

Behind me stood the famous castle in Prague, in its old town city. The city is romantic. The city is beautiful. The city is packed with tourists. But from where I was standing, it seems like I got the best location for some breathing and ‘un-rushed’ moments. And if you are similar like me, who prefers quiet time and quality in discovery the city, the old town is not your place. Or more like, I needed to find spaces within that part of town to be able to enjoy the beauty of the city. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot that you can enjoy here. But you need to know what you want to really consume the best of Prague. And it is only 4 hours away by train from Berlin. And we got a cheap train ticket too. It cost us only €60 per person for a return ticket. We decided to stay for 4 nights for a few reasons. Mainly because it is in Autumn season, so time is pretty limited and secondly, so that we could enjoy not just the areas that are filled up with tourists, but we want to also have time to go out from the old town and meet the locals. And I can recommend Karlin, an area in Prague 8, next to where the usual tourist spots are, in Prague 1.


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

A Water Excursion- Around the Müggelsee, Berlin’s largest Lake

Berlin is blessed with a great city vibrant, lovely art scene and offers many different activities through its strategic location, surrounded by ample nature and landscapes including water excursions. This time I am fortunate to be given yet another exciting adventure, to take the 5 hours boat ride around Berlin’s largest lake, Müggelsee. It is about four and a half km in length with a two and a half kilometer wide, and at its depth is eight meters at its deepest. Our adventure began from the water arm by the town called Grünau, taking the boat out through Dahme and Müggelseedamm, before entering into the lake. It took us about 2 hours to get to the lake from where we started. And the view was nice, from having the scenery of rows of privately owned houses with privately owned boats to a regatta strips for some boat racing competition to smaller boathouses and we passed some of a worth mentioning buildings like the Museum of Decorative Arts in Köpenick district. Once we reached the lake, it was such a stillness atmosphere that we were just sitting quietly watching absorbing the view. Since it was already in Fall, not that many people were around the lake, so having the lake just to ourselves was surreal. We realized that our fuel was not enough to lead us back, so we made a stop near a town called  Erkner. We docked our boat and some of us walked to a petrol station while some left in the boat to keep an eye on it. It didn’t take us long before we continue our journey into SeddinSee and back to Dahme. I look forward to more of the boat adventure.  15