Monday, April 21, 2008

Ich bin ein Berliner...

When JFK uttered this now famous phrase in his speech in Berlin in 1963, he was offering his support for post-war Berlin and for a democratic West Germany (not stating, as the myth has perpetuated in English-speaking countries for years, "I am a jelly doughnut" - only Germans outside Berlin call the pastries Berliners anyway). When I visited for the second time in my life this past weekend, it is evident how much the Germans admired and appreciated Kennedy (several monuments are dedicated to him around town) and how successful they have been in rebuilding Berlin into the great city that it is today. The East and the West of town (still in parts separated by remnants of the wall or a cobbled line that commerorates the line where it fell) are unique from eachother and fabulous in their own ways - the West is overflowing with stunning architecture, ancient museums, contemporary art installations, memorials and historical monuments while the East is packed with shabby-chic cafes, vintage boutiques, tiny galleries, waffle houses, eclectic bars and restaurants and 'Imbiss' where you can get the delicious currywurst and pommes. For such a global city, parts of the city are quiet, leafy and beautiful and tell nothing of the horrors and tragedies that the streets have faced just in the last 100 years. It is a fascinating city not only because of its past but the cool adventures it offers for visitors today. I could get used to being a Berliner :) (some pics to come)


Agnes said...

Have just stumbled across your blog. I'm also a 24 year old Aussie chick, I'm a teacher and am planning to head over to England early next year to do what you're doing, so I reckon I'll be coming by to read more about your adventures on a regular basis! Great to get an Aussie perspective. Keep up the great work!

suz said...

Plus, I get the impression that it's the English-speaking world that always brings up the jelly donut subject... Germans rarely do, and do so because some English-speaking friend pointed out to the "misunderstanding". You could safely say "Ich bin ein Berliner" as a German if you are from Berlin.
(I've been trying to demystify the donut mishap story, I come across it a lot working in an Irish pub...)

Oh yes, three years, congrats!! Still remember the farewell night in the Clock Hotel :)