The Beer Tavern, part two: Magic Powers.

106bctDay four,or ‘night four’ rather, and I am walking my crippled, half-asleep ass up the twilit city Straße to the beer tavern, my wonderful great super fantastic new job where the cursed red light shines all the stupid time, twenty-fucking-four hours a day, every-shitty-seven days of the week; and I am goddamn thinking positive, yes.     Continue reading

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THE TAVERN, pt.1: Beginning Again

PIC00107n“Sind sie Hollander?” the purring Cougar asks. Am I (a) Dutchman? The bar is dark like a cave, but I swear I see the big cat lick its lips in the shadows.

Dutch? I don’t hear that one too often. Usually French or, at worst, British.

“Nä, Ik bin Ami, aus Denver, Colorado. Aus dem Wilden West, ja, oder wie die Haribo, nischt?”

Nah, I am Yank, from Denver, Colorado. From the Wild West, yes, or like the sort of Gummibear candy mix, no? Continue reading

Spreepark

133b   “In GDR, you amused park…,” I often laughed.  The reason I had never been inside had nothing to do with my repressed fear of all things clown, circus, carny or even county fair.  No.  And neither did the idea of an abandoned Communist-built amusement park completely horrify me.  Nope. Continue reading

Captain Kirk broken-hearted stuff

029Like a comet into the side of Kansas. Whack. I was out cold two months from the sheer impact.

The hole still smoking, I am just beginning to emerge from my pod, feeling pretty damn crappy. And I am emerging from this hole slowly, mind you. I want to make sure the people here are not warlike. I am simply trying to look outside the ditch and see what’s happening on the outside, in this new world. Maybe it’s the shock of impact but everything here looks so different from what I knew.

I have to relearn everything. Again. Continue reading

Bald Buzzards, Boomers and humanity as a kindergarten

jan 29 053The symbol of America’s Bald Eagle has been replaced by a Greedy Gray Buzzard, an aged vulture feeding on the already stripped carcass of the country’s dead dream.

There is no meat left for the children this winter. And that, now, world-wide. Politics aside…business is running the show anyway.

But what do I know? Continue reading

Scenes from a summer gone bye

043bMy afternoon student, Magdalena, was apparently some princess of Prussia. Sorry, The Princess of Prussia.

The next in line to the German throne, after her brother, were something to happen to him. If.

Can I, with thee, talk?” my boss asked. My eyebrows raised, instantly wondering how I had fucked up. “It goes around thine single-student.”

Sure…one moment,” I answered. Continue reading

Graffiti, heartbreak and American preachers

030bUp the cool echoing stairs from the U-bahn, pausing to lay a cigarette between my lips, to light, to inhale, to light again, and to take a long,  off-work-for-the-day drag off that cigarette—basically, a nicotine sigh—I turned the corner out into the bright of daylight, walking toward Alexander Square, across which I was headed to catch my tram home.

An amplified American voice immediately got my attention.

“Hey, thanks a lot for your patience you guys,” the voice said, with total conviction, a clear-headed, naïve sincerity you only hear from believers.  Wally Cleaver sincerity.

Patience?

He has obviously never met a Berliner.

Continue reading

The Berlin Wall: still dividing after all these years

aug 13 180nYou ever been talkin’ to some person in maybe a bar or somewhere…this is another American you’re talkin’ to…and somehow something about the Civil War comes up, and you realize they have a very different take on the same history, they remember different heroes, different historic battles, different dates?

Well…as I reported on Saturday, Germany this week remembered 50 years since August 13, 1961, the day when, in the wee hours of the morning, soldiers rolled out the first coils of barbed wire and masons lay the first bricks of what would become The Berlin Wall, Germany’s version of The Mason-Dixon Line. 

Germany’s civil war was a Cold one and between East and West.  Continue reading

The Youth is a Ghost, Haunting my Falafel Research:

303 South Sudanese independence…”We are all Egyptians”…Gentrifizierung NO, or a  Brave New Squatter-free Berlin…and some damn-good chickpeas, a peanut sauce.

As a professional falafel controller, I read the store-front window advertising a rare style and was compelled to investigate. I was excited to find something new…and perhaps owners that weren’t flipping out over politics. My job hasn’t been easy lately.

Thin and crispy brown on the outside, a moist, green flavor explosion on the inside, a light salad, a peanut sauce drizzled over, a warm fresh pita. The plate a landscape of tasty; a pool of olive oil topped, lemony sour hummus, hills of foul, a North African bean salad, the coffee similar to a minty Arabic coffee, but served in a larger cup.

This was last week. My observations were positive.

Continue reading

A fairytale of the Berlin Wall: August 13, 1961 and the Big Bad Line

080bThings had been kind of nervous in Berlin, since the day two months before when the leader of the GDR, Walter Ulbricht, had sort of spilled the beans in answer to a reporter’s question: The Allies had formed a state. Would the Soviets then ‘control’ the border?

“There are people in the west that think we are going to mobilize construction workers of the capital of the GDR to build a wall? I am not aware of such an order, because all our workers are primarily busy building housing,” he rattled off. “Nobody has any intention of building a wall.” Continue reading