I’m sad to report that MT has left the house, country, and continent.
Her visit was busy—for both of us. I’ve managed to get a lot of work done, yet have time to hang with her. Last time I had nine items in my work queue. I now have eight items in the queue, with one of those 8 substantially done: it will be removed tomorrow afternoon after a meeting.
While I was in the office, she was off doing Berlin history: Checkpoint Charlie, Topographies of Terror, German History Museum, and the Allied Museum. Together we did my version of the free walking tour of Berlin, hitting all the highlights: the Lego giraffe, Potsdamer Platz, Hitler’s Bunker, the (Jewish) Holocaust Memorial, the (GLBT) Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Tor, the hotel where Michael Jackson dangled a baby, the Ritter Sport Store, Bebelplatz, Gendarmenmarkt, Fassbender & Rausch, and the East Side Gallery.
I’ve probably left some things off.
Berlin is history heavy and MT is a history kind of girl, and I wish I could have joined her everywhere she went.
Sunday afternoon we went to see the final home game of the season for the Berlin Eisbären – the ice hockey team. The team plays out at O2 World (O2 is a mobile phone service), and, per a message that appeared periodically on one of the many message boards, “O2 World is part of the Anschutz Entertainment Group” – a message in English. It turns out, if Wikipedia is right, that not only does Anschutz own the arena, it owns the Berlin Eisbären hockey team. And it also owns the Hamburg Freezers – the Eisbären’s competition Sunday afternoon.
The game was rather exciting, and thanks to my early ticket purchasing, we had excellent seats behind the visiting goal – three rows from the ice. The arena holds some 14,000 for ice hockey and it was sold out. I was shocked by how large the crowd was and how full the arena was. The final score was 4:1, in favor of the home team.
MT’s trip was marked by a few Berlin musts: she had a Döner from an Imbiss (although it was a chicken Döner, but I don’t think the meat choice of the Imbiss affected the feeling of eating a large Döner from a street-side Imbiss – and for our entire meal for two spending only 8€, including drinks. We had currywurst at Curry 36 for lunch Monday, and that evening we made our way to Burgermeister, Berlin’s most famous burger stand in a (former) public toilet.
In the realm of food eaten served by a waiter, we went to Maximillian’s Saturday evening for authentic Bavarian/German food—joined by Sweet No and Snooker in Berlin. Authentic Turkish cuisine came in the form of the Hasir located near Nollendorfplatz after Sunday’s hockey match.
There have been quite a few other things crossing my radar in the last week – in the realm of sport, I am suddenly a supporter of the Sheffield Eagles, the Sheffield rugby club. They just introduced a new kit (in the British meaning of the word) that has the main message, “Homophobia: Tackle It”. I want to get my hands on one of their kit, but their website seems unprepared to take orders from anywhere but the UK. I have reached out to my British friends.
I also want a jersey from the Swedish Utsiktens BK football club – one of their players, Anton Hysen, just came out of the closet—at the age of 20—saying, among other things, “I am a footballer. And gay. If I perform as a footballer, then I do not think it matters if I like girls or boys.” I don’t actually speak any Swedish and haven’t been able to figure out if I can order a jersey from the club online – again, I’ve asked friend in Sweden if it is possible.
This week, even without MT, promises to be hectic. Work will keep me busy during the days and then in the evenings I only have one evening unscheduled—that’s tonight. Although I am certainly looking forward to Thursday and Friday evenings when I hang out with friends, I am most excited about Wednesday evening.
This week couldn’t be any more action packed.