ich bin ein berliner

after leaving amsterdam, my friend regan and i headed to berlin.  we stayed in a really cool apartment just north of the city center.  with only a couple of days there, we weren’t able to really grasp all that berlin has to offer.  which is kind of a shame, cause berlin is a pretty happenin’ city.  it’s THE big city in germany that has all the things characteristic of big cities.  and a little more.  for the sightseeing stuff, we saw everything from the place where hitler was inaugurated into power to the place where the berlin wall used to stand. unfortunately there was a small war a few years back that pretty much destroyed all things historical in this city, so it’s a lot of “this is where such-and-such” used to be.  but there are some wonderful parks and monuments throughout the metroplex.  one of the most interesting points-of-interest is the holocaust memorial.  check it out if you ever make it to berlin.

aside from the sightseeing, the nightlife was quite interesting.  not being the clubbing types, regan and i elected to see more of the eclectic underbelly of berlin’s social scene.  we made it to a dive bar called ‘white trash,’ a seedy, smoke-tank called ’8mm’ where they were playing “a clockwork orange” with english subtitles, and the most ridiculous of places being ‘mr.pong.’  ‘mr.pong’ didn’t have a sign out front. ‘mr.pong’ had clear-ish trash bags covering all of the windows. ‘mr.pong’ had a dj and a bar inside that i’m pretty sure is run by the residents that live in or above ‘mr.pong.’  ‘mr.pong’ most importantly had a ping pong table.  it’s THE reason anybody was there and everyone was playing.  about fifteen people, ranging from maybe 18 yrs old to maybe 50.  that one dude was def at least 50.  the dude who was sort of standing, leaning against the wall, swaying back and forth, in all black.  the german dude in the corner.  black stocking cap, black jacket, black shirt, black das boots.  only thing of color was his blond hair and his red, bloodshot eyes.  he’d stumble over to the game ever so often.  the game started when all the people got a paddle in their hand and ran in circles around the table…each person getting one chance to keep the ball alive across the net.  once you miss the table or put it in the net, you’re out.  the german dude never made it past the first shot.  regan and i barely ever made it past the second shot.  there were a lot of professional pongers in the room.  wasn’t fair really.  germany, you win this time.  combine this and throwing down some authentic german sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, schnitzel, pork knuckle, and a lot of filling dark beer, i think we did the best we could with the time we had in berlin.

off to prague.

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