Fall Upon Me

I haven't blogged in a while, so this post may be a little overwhelming and scattered, but I wanted to post something complete.

1) Herbst ist hier!

Fall is here, and it has made its arrival quite clear. Berlin has had scattered showers for the past two days, and more to come. I'm wearing my peacoat during the day, and my scarves are serving their actual purpose rather than as just another outfit accessories (which they so often are).

2) Busy Bee

I had a really awesomely hectic/tiring week/weekend. Here's a not-so-brief outline:

Wednesday (9/23)

.Went to the Berlin Philharmonie. Beautiful building. Listened to a piece by Mahler. It was pretty good, but I more so enjoyed the building. The architect, Hans Scharoun, didn't think that right angles are harmonious with patterns of nature. The result is an angular structure that embraces entropy.

.I had coffee and a plum cake afterwards with Jenn. Instead of studying for a quiz, I decided to embody the European model of leisure and enjoy the company of good people and conversation instead.

Thursday (9/24)

.Visited the home of Bertolt Brecht, the father of epic theater. It's always such a surreal experience walking through someone's home, with remnants of their life hanging on walls, stashed in shelves, shoved into books, frozen in time... it's bizarre.

.Had my third Yoga session, and I must say, I'm really loving the class. After getting over the language barrier (I finally just gave up and told the teacher I spoke little German) and getting into the routine of movements, it has been really rewarding. I actually want him to come over and correct my form now. My favorite part: the 15 minute "nap" that we get at the end, where he hands out blankets and has us listen to this CD which consists entirely of a gong ringing over and over and over again. It's great. I fall asleep each time.

.Visited the Helmut Newton Museum with Leo. It's a permanent collection of Newton, all pieces of which he donated right before his death in 2002. Cool fact: he taught at Art Center in Pasadena. I really want to explore fashion photography more. Seeing exhibits of two masters recently (the other being Richard Avedon in SF) has made me thirsty for more.

.Went out to Cookies (shout out to jkunemund). It was great. Best part: being a girl and maybe perhaps not having to pay cover fees.

Friday (9/25)

.Went to the Wansee Conference House, which was thoroughly depressing. This was where the Nazis signed official papers regarding the systematic killing of Jews. The house has been turned into a museum that outlines the history and origins of racial oppression in Germany and Europe. Can you imagine that this document was discussed over drinks and food, as if it's just another topic of light discussion? The house itself is right next to a lake, and the juxtaposition of the beautiful scenery with what took place within is unsettling.

Saturday (9/26)

.Saw Bertolt Bretch's Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui on stage at the Berliner Ensemble. It's a satire of the Nazi uprising, and probably the most absurd theater piece of seen thus far. The first fifteen minutes consists of the main actor (who, by the way, played Hitler in Inglorious Basterds) panting and acting like a dog, his tongue painted bright red, running around on all fours, panting and heaving madly. The play was great, albeit I couldn't understand so much of it. It was mentally exhausting. The main actor was seriously phenomenal.

.Went to Maria am Ostbanhof afterwards with Arie and Jenn. It's a club by the river in this industrial building. Probably the most outrageous of places I've been to yet, and they probably had the best techno too. Outrageous because there was so much fog in that place that at certain points, I couldn't see anything but a gray haze. It was so disorientingly amazing. We also met some random locals on the bus that we ended up hanging out with for the rest of the night... Arie is way too friendly.

3) Gemütlich

This week I'm feeling wholly at peace with the ebb and flow of daily demands. Things are falling into place, and I'm just getting over the fact that my German sucks (for now, hopefully). But being here has made me so determined to master the language. I'm seriously considering taking more German when I get back to Duke, whether it be a conversational course or more.

Overall: I'm in a constant state of flux here. The contrast of depressing history and mind-numbing dancing and music. Berlin is so damn interesting because of all this historical tension needing to be done away with somehow, somewhere. In art, music, night life... it never ends.

1 comment:

Tiffany Chen said...

I love the first photo :)

Glad to hear you're immersing yourself into German history!

Love brecht.