Sunday, August 8, 2010


After much debate, I've decided to officially move to my tumblr blog instead. For anyone who happens to stumble upon this humble website, my updated blog is now at -

... there are also some linked blogs that might pop up through that... 

Many thanks :) See you there!

Monday, July 12, 2010

My July 5th, 2010

Monday. I decided to try biking a different route to work on this morning, and was so glad I did; the view was spectacular, and I patched together a few more parts of Berlin in my mind.

I stopped by a few different bakeries and collected three different types of Kuchen, cakes, and brought them to work to share with my coworkers. Around noon, one of my bosses came in with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and sang to me, an experience that made me chuckle as I could not understand a word. “Did you understand?” “Not a word!” “It was Swedish.” No wonder.

On the way home, I allowed myself to be distracted by a street performer. There was something way too interesting about him to pass by; he had an entire piano on wheels with him, and had even lashed a cafe umbrella to it. He later invited me to play, which I eagerly did, and of course I played Gravity and Starlight on the cobbled streets of Berlin. I found out that I was filmed by a few girls who were making a mini documentary about this man and his roaming piano for a project for their studies.

Back at home at last, and after lounging around a bit with the music rolling in the background, my roommate pops in - “Caroline, could you do me a favor?” “Of course,” and I stand to go help out, but she goes on, “Please don’t come into the kitchen until we tell you to, okay?” Wasn’t expecting that.

“Okay, come now!” “Alright, coming!” I toggle a few buttons on my computer and shut down some programs, “You really should come quickly!”

In the kitchen, I find out why: they’d found those sparkler candles that fizzle little stars, and they were blazing away on a beautiful lemon cake in blue frosting and little pink and white heart sprinkles. Together they sang a children’s birthday song in German, after which we chatted and ate dinner. The conversation moved to the balcony with the cake, and a refreshing breeze brought a July drizzle.

The day ended with a wonderful chat session, and I slept with the cool winds and rain.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Germany scores, my eardrums explode.

I knew Germany scored because downstairs the men started yelling and around the city there were explosions and the tram passing by my window gave a tremendous honk. More than before there were fireworks right out my window. As far as I can tell, I'm certainly not living in Siberia.

I don't want Ghana to be out, but I would love to be able to see a few more games in Germany with its country full of adoring fans.

Now, how do I upload a video I took of the explosive city...


My internship started on Monday. As I mentioned to someone before, through a series of not so wise decisions this weekend, I wound up staying in bed today on my third day of work. I'm blessed with really understanding, humorous, and nice bosses.

I spent most of today sleeping, but have found some time now to write a little, so that I can at least jot down some first memories at work. Outside periodically over the past few hours fireworks have gone off right on the street, and I've been jolted into laughing and occasional cursing. I even saw the fizzling sparkles of a set of them flaring a few meters from my window. Sound from downstairs (and farther away from around Berlin) alert me to how Germany's doing against Ghana... they really need to win this one after last Friday's surprising loss to Serbia.

I've arrived at the workshop on Bergmannstra├če around 9am Monday and Tuesday, and it's been extremely exciting to see how Olbrish's leather handbags are made by hand. Because I don't have a specific daily regimen or list of things to do, I have a lot of freedom and time to spend watching everything in detail. There's a giant leather cutting machine that I haven't yet had the chance to hover over, but I'm planning to do so soon. I've been spending most of the time around the work tables and sewing machines, which I was allowed to play with (well, maybe experiment is a better word). Conny explained to me that it was probably not going to be like my sewing machine at home because this was an industry machine. She's quite right.

Everything happens completely in German. I'm happily surprised to find that its actually going well in German; there are words I don't know, mostly because they're specific material names and so on, but with guesswork and watching what's going on I can pretty much understand how the techniques work. I was so happy to see several bags go from scraps of leather all the way to completed handbag yesterday!

(Ghana and Germany are currently still tied, as are Australia and Serbia. I have my little window open, haha... I can hear some more howling from the bar downstairs. Sounds kind of painful.)

That's my mornings. In the afternoon, my main overseer and the designer of the handbags comes in to work, and I go to my own work stations (one with a computer, and a huge tablet-like thing that isn't really a tablet, the other in the middle of the workshop and across from Beate) to draw and think and make models. The work is very self-driven.

The atmosphere is really friendly. They work diligently, but when someone has something to say, out it comes and often it fills the room with laughter. The World Cup is a hot topic at the moment, and my boss would run out of his office to catch what everyone was talking about and interject. They even have I only wish I could keep up with all of the German, they talk so quickly sometimes. I felt more lost though among my roommates' friends when they were speaking quick colloquial young people German. But it was kind of fun :) And they like to make sure to reiterate in English, haha.

(Halftime, Ghana and Germany each with zero. The mood downstairs seems lively and more fireworks are going off, luckily more distant this time.)

There was also a giant, friendly dog in the workshop on Monday. I don't know much about dogs, but it looked like a black lab to me, so something of that family.

Well, enough of my gabbling. I wanted to post a few photos from last last Friday's DMY Berlin (International Design Fair) which I enjoyed very, very much. The people who showed there displayed products and art just like those that I enjoy reading blogs and magazines about.

There was an art installation - a giant cobweb constructed entirely out of packing tape. About 700 rolls I think.

We got to go inside. I was very, very excited.

The fair took place at what used to be an airport, Tempelhof, but is now used as an open park space and a space for public events like this one. I was completely lost when I first got there, but luckily I had the chance to walk around the places where airplanes used to take off and land and taxi...

And soon we shall see what the outcome of today's World Cup games are...

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Germany: 4
Australia: 0

Well friends, it's good to be in Berlin during the World Cup. The streets are all alive with fans. We watched the game at the Hauptbahnhof, or main train station, where there were many outdoor screens set up around the area meant specifically for public viewing of the game. The noise after the first and second goals resounded around the city... I could literally hear cheering and honking and screaming from all sides around me, across the wide landscape. Just imagine all the sound as the game ended and the fans streamed into the station to return home (or, more likely, go out to party some more).

It's the latest fashion to wear a German flag, didn't you know?

Giant outdoor screen at half time. Fans eagerly await the resuming of Germany's hopeful win, with the score at 2:0.

Giant screen at third or fourth goal, with flags and arms in the air and random (illegal) fireworks popping to our left.

Hauptbahnhof was astir with noise and an enormous, billowing flag that I really wanted to have.

This is the S-Bahn station. It's on a normal day possible to get on the first train that arrives. Today, this was impossible.

I may have some difficulty sleeping tonight as people are still driving by my window happily honking their horns and trailing German flags out their windows. :)

June 13, 2010

Last night, I read the last chapter of Fullmetal Alchemist. After following the series since 8th grade, it has really grown on me and been one of my favorite series during all this time. At 108 chapters (updated monthly, not weekly!) it has finally ended, and while I have been wanting badly to know how the series ends, it is also sad to realize that now it is really over. It was really a wonderful series.

Tonight will be one of Germany's games (against Australia, if I'm not mistaken) in the Weltmeisterschaft taking place in Africa, and Berlin will be in an uproar. I'm planning on heading over the Brandenburger Tor where Annick told me there should be some large outdoor screens for public viewing of the game. I'm really excited. Even if it doesn't exist, I'm going to find a restaurant or bar. Everything is going to be showing the game tonight, that's for sure.

Finally, from my tiny batch of edited photos, I'm going to pull out a few and share them here. Amazingly they all happen to be from Paris.

Desserts with fruit on them are truly one of my weaknesses. I think I mentioned that already.

The Louvre is truly a frightful chaotic mesh of people hurrying to see the Mona Lisa.

Lisa is one crazy escargot-eater.

... More dessert ...

And going to the airport in Paris at some obscene hour like 4am will guarantee that you see a glorious sunrise.

And now back to my take home German final.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June, 2010

It's still cold and raining.