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This will be a brief post because the wifi keeps going up and down (annoyingly, when it’s down there’s still signal but no data, so our phones insist on trying to use it instead of the 3G).
Out of yogurt at the apartment, we set out in search of breakfast. But though this is a pretty good neighborhood for restaurants, it’s more of a bar-and-club sort of a place than a breakfast place, and most of those we found were just bars that had baked goods and coffee in the morning. We settled for a croissant and coffee, but I think the lack of a proper breakfast put me out of sorts for the rest of the day.
Today is our last day in Europe, at least for this trip. We spent the day preparing for the trip home, mostly, sorting through papers and packing and going to Kaufhaus Galerie to buy another bag (yes, we did buy a lot of souvenirs). Kate also browsed in bookstores and bought a scarf and a few other things. I wrote and mailed a few last postcards, but mostly just lazed around the apartment in a traveled-too-much stupor.
Had currywurst (Curry 61 at Alexanderplatz was better) and doner kebab for first and second lunch. FYI, “kebab” means meat grilled over or near flame, “shish” means skewer, and “doner” means rotating, so when we Americans call skewers “kabobs” we’ve got it all wrong.
Today is our 21st wedding anniversary. I got Kate a tin of mints with a VW Beetle and the words “Er lauft und lauft und lauft…” (referencing an old VW ad we’d seen at the Glass Factory, it means “it runs and runs and runs…”) and a kid’s book about a sheep, both of which I’d spotted in one of the shops in the Hackesche Hofe. She got me a bar of chocolate with walnuts and marzipan.
We had an early dinner at a Japanese noodle place nearby, called Makoto. The Japanese staff speaking a mix of German and Japanese made my head ‘splode and Japanese phrases lying dormant in my head since 2007 come spilling out. “Eigo-de daijobu desu ka?” I said, and “toide-wa doku desu ka?” I had a Ramune, the lemon drink with the glass marble closure. Our ramen soup was really exceptionally good, and I don’t think I’m just saying that because this is the first time I’ve had Japanese food in a month. After that we wandered through the neighborhood for a bit. I could come back to Venice, Vienna, or Prague but I think I’ve “done” Berlin. It’s got a lot of keen stuff, but it’s just very hard to navigate and there’s a certain negative vibe — might be leftover Nazi and Communist engrams or something.
Cab tomorrow at 4:30 AM for a long, long travel day. And then home!