(With all due credit to Diane, from whom I stole the idea)
- I started another German class two weeks ago. I had thought that I would take some time off, but no, I signed up for another. I really like my teacher, K, and the location (walking distance) really can't be beat, but I'm already a little fatigued by it: the weather has been gorgeous and it's just depressing that I am inside most of the day. I have 90 minutes after class before the girls come home and that seems to give me just enough time to make a run to the supermarket. I am definitely going to be taking days off here and there. I had also hoped that my friend Y would take this next class and that we would get a chance to see each other, but I think she is taking the summer off as a vacation.
- We are spending far too much time apartment hunting. Ah, Germany, the land where real estate brokers still make a monopolistic, non-transparent market commission, where they don't work most weekends, and where they don't bother to return calls. Reminds me a bit of Manhattan in 2000, before the dot-com crash. And yet prices are quite low here.
- Berlin is also the land of the insane property owner, who thinks that one can rent apartments without kitchens or appliances, or apartments with an estimated 3 months of renovations (with costs to be borne by tenant) or where a landlord offered to have us pay for his kitchen, while he would retain ownership!
- We didn't go to Amsterdam (or the originally planned Venice) this weekend. The German's work interfered: a crisis/deliverable timeline change cancelled our plans. So instead, we will be going to see the wild horse round up in the Duelmen area, which is held the last Saturday in May outside Muenster. This is only about a 90 minute drive from my in-laws, but the German has never seen it. It's quite famous and I think that a lot of the extended family will join us, so it should be great fun. In a funny bit of serendipity, I read about this last week in class (the theme for the week was little known but interesting attractions in Germany and the area) and I was so excited that I went home to google it and to ensure that we could actually still make it, then we rebooked a visit from my sister-in-law and her friend so that we could go. This link is to a Flickr slideshow from the round up.
- We went to a concert on May 10th, on the third anniversary of the opening of the memorial at the Holocaust Denkmal. (This is a stock photo, I haven't downloaded mine yet). It was fascinating and I may try to add more. It was performance art in music and it was indeed very moving. There was also a poetry reading, which of course I could only understand the smallest amount of, of work by a Holocaust victim. The concert itself was held by musicians scattered throughout the memorial, which is composed of stones varying in size and orientation laid out in a pattern. The "stelae" made the sound waver in and out, be audible and inaudible, loud and soft, as we moved between them while the musicians were playing from their stations in the memorial. It was haunting and evocative.