It's been a hectic weekend of socializing and frivolity: at least for me;)
On Saturday, CN Heidelburgian was in town with some friends and Snooker and I met up with them at Cafe Einstein to have some Kaffee and Kuchen and to chat. Between us, none of us had Kaffee (we stuck to tea, hot chocolate and, in my case, a citron presse) but we all indulged in Kuchen. Kasekuchen, Apfelstrudel and Sacher torte were our picks and we all heartily enjoyed.
We then spent several hours wandering about being tourists, with a stop at the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe and Topography of Terror. Snooker was our native guide and told us about some of the many interesting buildings and areas that we passed. One of CN's friends was a photographer (it was interesting to watch him compose shots) and they are both from my hometown so it was fun to discuss thing. They had just eaten at a restaurant I read a review of, WD-50, and I think that I should try to book a meal there next time we are in NY. We also met up with Snooker's spouse, N and enjoyed some friendly chat before she needed to be off to another meeting.
Afterwards, everyone went off in the evening to follow Snooker to what she described as a great doner place
and I had to rush home for my next social engagement.
There was a Mum's Night Out and I was finally going to go to one of these things. The German had fed the kids and I spent some time playing and then changed and rushed off. It's amazing how I can manage to be late even when I'm not traveling with the kids, but I guess the impetus of having to rush everyone along isn't there.
We were a group of 10 moms and we had a lot of fun chatting and checking out Bond, a realtively new restaurant/lounge by Savignyplatz. The conversation was intriguing, the women were from a wide range of countries and backgrounds, and the food was adequate. We had an amuse bouche of curried apple spume and then a varied bunch of main dishes. One woman said the fries were fabulous. I had a bite of another diner's "Brownie" dessert and I found it to be more like a Viennese flourless chocolate cake: not to my taste, but interesting. We wound up chatting until almost midnight and then had the usual "chase the waiter down". At times I really appreciate the German concept of almost never interacting with customers (although the waiters here were quite attentive for Berlin) and never expecting a table to actually turn over. I was home by 1 am.
On Sunday we had a busy day. First, after a late breakfast the German took the kids to the playground and after doing some errands I joined them and we went to a Sukkoth celebration. It was lots of fun and the amusement included a fire eater. I hope to include pictures later. We ran into some folks from kita there and spent the usual time discussing what our plans are for Grundschule next year. Thing1 had her face painted and we ate pizza and cotton candy.
Then home and I needed to change, grab a bottle of wine and be off to my "serious" book club. I belong to two and one is quite challenging and run in a strictly orderly way, reading only "serious and literary" works, while the other tends more to the frothy- although we have some very interesting books coming up in the next few months- and some folks actually come for the socialiation not the book discussion. I enjoy them both but the serios one tends to stretch my reading muscles more. I got there late, as usual, but enjoyed the discussion of class/friendship vs. the intimacy of the downtrodden/analogy to slavery of The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar.
This club has a well-defined end time and at that point about eight of us wandered off for a drink and a chat. The men and the younger ones toddled off by 11 and two other women and I stayed to chat about life until 1 am. It was an interesting triangle of a Scot, an American and a German with our differing views and attitudes. H and I shared a cab to the Mehringdam U-Bahn when we noticed that it was closed for the night. Good gracious. I had forgotten that transit systems actually stop in some cities. So I dropped H off and then took the cab home. It was very reasonable compared to NY prices and I'm glad that I did. It was getting quite chilly last night and even if I had found the night bus stop they run only every 30 minutes. As it was, I got home past 2 am.
And that was my weekend of gay frivolity. I think I have done more socializing in the last 30 days (including my non-blogged about, but one day I will finish those posts, WEBMU-2008) than I have done in the previous 12 months. I need a rest.
It is interesting though that only since we actually decided to stay here in Berlin (rather than live in the limbo of constant extensions) that I have really felt the need to actually develop some type of social network. I'm curious to see whether I can actually meet and be friendly with Germans: I'm not certain whether the period of time that we are expecting to be here makes it "worthwhile" for Germans to really get to know us.