My father comes into the sittingroom where I am using the computer: ‘We are having apple identification problems’, he says as he holds up a golden delicious and a granny smith. I recognise one of the apples. It was given to me by Tegan as part of a packed lunch for my return home from Berlin a week ago on Monday. The other apple is one of his own, grown in the garden at High Easter. The alien apple has thrown him, his mind can not get round to the idea that other apples may lay in his kitchen. He has to investigate. I am glad that ‘problem’ has been solved.
The trip to visit Tegan which produced the apple was a great success. I left on friday fearing that a large strike by Deutsche Bahn would make my journey long and annoying, but the ICE only had minor discrepancies in to the normal service. A short stop in Duisburg gave me a chance to stretch my legs, I was on my way to the German capital.
I arrived in good spirits, Tegan’s flat was close to the Friedrichstrasse S/U Bahnhof around the corner from the Oranienburger Tor. The great thing about the Berliners is that all the plublicans and restauranteurs were willing to converse in German with me. This was a 180 degree turn from my last visit when everyone reverted to English straight away! All along the Oranienburger Tor where Tegan and I went looking for a place to sit down, have some food and a drink or two we encountered a remarkable group of women. Spaced out a hundred metres apart or so, all were wearing the same white coats, jeans and boots. Often on the phone, sometimes having a chat to a passer by. We did not think much of it at first, but we soon came to the conclusion that they must have been ‘ladies of the night.’ Sure enough, when we walked the same route the next afternoon they were nowhere to be seen!
We did not try to pack in alot of tourism that weekend, we both just wanted to be as relaxed as possible. after all I had come to visit Tegan, not run around Berlin in search of sights to see. The highlight of my trip was to be a museum nonetheless. The ‘Charité’ or Berliner Medisches Museum offered a history of medical science. Miss Tegan and I only went for two things though: Deformed embrios and tumors in the specimen room! According to the brochure it was a bone chilling experience. Bones were indeed chilled as we walked past the jars of ‘mega colons’ and mangled babies with brains growing on the outside of the skull.
The next day was slightly more standard as we went to see the holocaust memorial. That much discussed collection if slabs was really rather fun to walk around in. It did not have me reflecting the horrors of genocide. It was one big photo opportunity.
We then took a walk through the Spandauer Vorstadt. A very quaint, very well redevelloped area, in no way reminding you of the song Gold, or Ballet for that matter. We saw WWII bullet holes and an ‘all wood toy shop’. The next morning it was time for my departure. I was given two cheese sandwiches and an apple…