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IMG_20121122_000000Coming to Germany at three o’clock in the morning by car share and desperately tired, I thought it was time to treat myself to a little luxury, so I stayed four days in a hotel with a swimming pool and sauna. The first two days were divine in my private room. I only left the hotel to take a quick peek at the East Berlin Wall Gallery which was conveniently located across the street. The third day I decided to venture from my cozy bed and made up for my lack of tourist activities by visiting three museums in one day. I was impressed by the museum selection in Berlin. They have a whole island dedicated to them here. My last night was spent treating myself to an extravagant meal at the restaurant Gendarmerie, where the largest wood sculpture in the world resides. The warm lighting of the interior drew me in and made it stand out from the rest of the renowned Michelin restaurants lining the street. I made friends with the waiter while swapping observations about the other diners who I found entertaining to watch and ease-drop on while savoring my delicious meal.

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After Berlin, I headed to Bad Soden-Salmünster to meet with a friend from high school I haven’t seen in ten years. I enjoyed this little town with its forest walks and morning snow, but most of all I loved feeling so part of a family. Her mother reminded me of my own making me new gluten-free creations every day. I went for morning runs with the dog, listened to her father’s jazz band, drank hot spiced wine at a Christmas market, cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, caught up over tea and chocolate, discovered a new favorite author, Kazuo Ishiguro, and went on road trip adventures to Frankfurt, Würzburg, Fulda and Heidelberg. They made me feel loved on my first birthday away from home, and it meant so much to me.

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Dark Romanticism Exhibit at Städel Museum in Frankfurt

romantics

“The death of a beautiful woman is the most poetic topic in the world.”~Edger Allan Poe

“I believe in the future resolution of these two states, dream and reality, which are seemingly so contradictory into a sort of absolute reality, a surreality, so to speak.”~André Breton

“I fear neither witches nor poltergeists, ghosts, braggarts, giants, good-for-nothings, villains, etc. I fear no creature but one: Man.”~Francisco de Goya

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IMG_20121120_133156I hurt for Germany and its Berlin Wall, its Holocaust museums and memorials, constant reminders that their past is full of war and cruelty. How can they move on under such scrutiny? The guilt must be like the weight of an elephant on someone’s chest. This mural says it all. Tourists come to Berlin to see the wall that split the country, not necessarily the art and history museums or amazing nightlife and culture that make Berlin so special. Looking back on past evils in history, will people stop making the same mistakes, or are we doomed to repeat history again? Maybe we need to be reminded daily of our cruelties because we so easily forget them. Or does the constant reminder only make us indifferent? Do future generations deserve to be marked with a scarlet letter because of the faults of their ancestors?

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“We are all part of a chain. Puzzle pieces that create a picture. Everyone has a role. You don’t need to be educated to be important. If you do what you love, what does it matter? If you can improve, that is good. If you want to be the best at making soup and have a college degree, make soup.” ~ Words of wisdom from a man at YAAM (Young African Art Market) sitting around a metal barrel of fire, reggae in the background, surrounded by graffiti art…a little Jamaican Berlin Oasis.

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Berlin screams consumerism and postures power.

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Staring at the remains of the Berlin Wall with trees growing up and around it, I again sense that the trees will outlive us humans and our wars. They will make the ugly things we create dissolve and disintegrate as though we never existed.

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