Berlin: first week

The first week in Berlin was a sort of getting used to the new routine that it will last for a month. I always liked routines in cities where I don’t live. It is like to have an intimacy with a place for a short period of time.

I started with German classes in the mornings and I had afternoons and evening to know the city, see friends and visit museums. On the first days I met Thomas, Lorena and Kai for a beer in Mitte. Thomas I met in Bolivia in 2001. Lorena is my friend from Barcelona and Kai is her friend. We enjoy the warm Berliner night sitting outside and chatting about travels. The talk was a mixture of Spanish and English with some words in Portuguese and German.

I visited the Wall Museum (Haus am Checkpoint Charlie) with Lorena. I thought it was a little disorganized, there was a great amount of photos and newspaper pages hanged on the wall. By the end one could notice some organization. Great part of the museum was about people who wanted to escape from east into west. That is something I don’t see as a story with an end. People trying to cross a border happens all the time. The only difference is that today there is no walls dividing people. Only in Spain, I can see every day on the news reports of African trying to get to the country in precarious conditions. Maybe in the future it will be done a museum for them also…

Lorena and I went to Potsdamer Platz so she could see the Berlin’s modern architecture. There we saw an outside photo exhibition of heads. It was the work Talking Heads/Gesichter Unserer Zeit of the photographer Angelika von Stocki. Later we met Pepe, a friend of mine I got to know in Bolivia. We walked around Kreuzberg, his neighborhood, and ended up the day having good Indian food.

To conclude my week I visited the Film Museum and the Jewish Museum. This movie museum had nothing so impressive, there were many movie excerpts. What made the visit worth it was the place. I was like walking on some futuristic paths, rooms covered with mirrors showing parts of movies. I left with desire of going to the movies.

The Jewish Museum impress for its architecture, from outside and inside. The building was really well thought to be a museum. The exhibition itself it is not so incredible, it is too didactic. What I liked the most was some small stands with computers that had some questions related to subjects from nowadays. Always when I go to a museum I complain that they only show the history part without any sort of questioning of the present. History it is usually shown as something distant and not related to the today. Here no, with these quiz they were questioning what it is going on nowadays. When voting one could see the number of persons who have voted and the percentage of each answer. The questions were (more or less): “Do you thing that all person who born in Germany should get German citizenship?”; “Do you know someone who nowadays has prejudice against Jews?”; “Do you think Turkey can be a part of European Union?”.

See also Berlin – 3 more weeks of classes

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