Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Day 82: One Last Look

Guten Morgan. Our last (full) day. A day for cleaning, packing, and last minute sight-seeing.

First things first... we must send three more boxes. But, they are heavy and awkward, too much to carry, so we take a taxi. It's a short distance for a taxi ride (5€) but it helps us get the packages to the Deutsch Post.

I'm a little bummed that this is how we're spending our morning. I had wanted to get in one more walk with Chris to his office. I wanted to run home via Mauerpark one last time. But, after last night's debacle, we slept in a little bit and these boxes have got to be mailed. It's another short line at the Post, today, so there's that!

The woman said, as far as I could understand, that because one of the boxes was valued over 800€, we would have to pay a little more (to insure it?) She asked if that was ok... and what were we supposed to say? Not much choice, so we say, yes, it's fine. I quietly add, "Es ist was es ist (It is what it is)". And she added, "Genau (I agree or exactly)."

After shipping the boxes, Chris heads to work and I head back to the apartment to clean. Either because of the prospect of needing to clean, or more likely, the fact that we are on our last day, I am relishing my short walk home. I feel the air, look at the shops, and try to soak up as much "Berlin" as I can.

Meanwhile, we have no internet. It was out when we arrived back last night. It's still out today. It's being fixed, but there is no news as to when this might happen. It's frustrating to all of us to not have our connection to the outside world (ok, the kids can't play their games or watch YouTube and I can't blog). This lack of internet adds to all of our sadness about leaving.

Mould in the cream cheese
The kids and I tired to eat out of the refrigerator. The kids ate the rest of their frozen dumplings, rest of their chicken nuggets from last night, and other foods from the refrigerator. I thought I'd have a bit of cream cheese on one of our last tortillas... but, I found mould in the Philadelphia cream cheese! Maybe we got "something" in to the cream cheese and it "grew", but still... I have never seen this much mould in cream cheese that is only a few weeks old. I'm convinced it's because it's "fresher" than the stuff they market in the U.S. Either way. Gross.

The Brandenburger Tor continues to be one of my favourite spots in town. It's on my list of things I want to do today. See the gate one more time with the kids. We hop on transportation and head over.

The kids and I take in the gate one last time. Then we're off for one last visit to the Jewish Memorial. As we walk through the gate, I see, what I think could be the inlaid stones, that used to be the wall... and then, doh! I realise they are just the outline of a bike lane. But, as we make our way to the memorial, I see more inlaid stones in the street going at odd angles... ahhh, that's the path of the old Wall. I had wanted to see it and now I have. Check!

The path of the Wall (left), Bike lane (right), Cool manhole-cover (right)

The kids enter the memorial and take one more tour around. I take more photos, and really just soak as much in as I can. The sounds. The sun. The shadows.

And now it's time to say good-bye to the memorial. Good-bye to the gate. It's hard to not look back.

UBahn and SBahn

And now for an errand. Remember, I have no raincoat anymore. We're about to go to London during the rainy season. I must get a coat. So, we're off to the Galleria one last time. I'm not as sentimental about the Galleria, but I will say it has become a lifesaver in many instances.

We decide, that since we'll be there anyway, let's take a quick detour to see the World Clock one more time. It really is a beautiful day and great weather for us to be out and about (makes all our sight-seeing fun and leisurely).

I do find a coat to buy that fits my needs... at least I think so. Out of the 1,000 coats I see for sale, there seem to be only about 3 choices for waterproof. Of course, I can't read most labels and then there are many without labels. The only one I found with a label and in English said, "water resistant" not "water proof". Sigh. So, I settle on a coat that looks like it's water resistant and isn't too expensive (after all, I have tons of coats back home, so no need for a new one...)

After this, we head to the parks near our house. The kids play for about 15 minutes ate the big one (where the kids did a bit of circus arts and ping-pong). And while I was in the middle of emailing on my phone (using cellular service since we have no wifi), I sent the kids to the park across the street to take one last go at the steep slide. I finished my email and went to catch up with the kids. At this point, I realised that "across the street" might be ambiguous as there are a few branches of streets intersecting at this point. I'm now worried that they took the wrong street and we'll be lost from one another... in the dark. I look on the street that I think they could have accidentally gone down... I don't see them.... so I head to the park, and, phew, there they are, swinging and having fun... in the dark (good thing it is dark, at one point, Xander had to "water the plants" and the darkness gave him good cover).

It's cold. It's dark. It's late. So, we don't spend too much time at this park. Time to get home so we can go out to dinner one last time.

Dark park (left), Zionskirche (right)
As we head out with Chris, we see our tram coming. We run about two blocks to be able to catch the tram. I guess I got my run in after all! And... guess, what... it's the wrong tram, which we only realised two stops too late. Time to back track. Whoops!

We picked Zia Maria for our last dinner in Berlin. This was a good pizza place and it's a place where we don't need to make a reservation. Other than the tiny fly that kept bothering Xander (and landing on his head, so he said), we enjoy a perfect last meal.

We are looking forward to more Hokey Pokey for dessert (that super yummy ice cream place that has been recommended time and time again by one of Chris' coworkers). But... it closed at 7pm (it's close to 9pm now). So, dejected, we head home for ice cream from our freezer (silver lining... cleaning out the refrigerator).

Between the wild boar delay, no internet, no Hokey Pokey... we've decided it's the universe making it a little easier for us to leave Berlin.

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