“Jonzi Moment” Berlin (Part 2)

May 21st, 2012

So for those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting my pint-sized grandma, Jonzi, you all are missing out! She’s basically the most adorable person I know and she famous for her “special moments” which typically involve some sort of chaos and here was my moment.. ENJOY.

Charlotte’s dad is in charge of an international hotel chain in Berlin and he was able to get us free segway rentals for the day, so  Charlotte, her boyfriend Linus, his friend Max, and I all headed out to explore Berlin.  The boys raced off as soon as we got them while Charlotte and I stayed behind so she could tell me about the different buildings. Well the sidewalks are 300x the size of the sidewalks in Firenze, but with the vendors and massive amount of tourists – there’s not much room. Segways work by leaning forward to accelerate, leaning to the left to turn left and so on.  We went to pass a group of tourists before a light pole approached and just as I was about to pass, one of the tourists stepped left and I instinctively moved left which made me hit square into the light pole and go flying! Now I’m not talking about a few inches – I superman flew a few feet. The huge crowd turned to see the commotion and a few old men came up trying to help me, but I couldn’t understand a word they said since they were speaking German. At that moment, Charlotte rushed over and responded back to the man (in English) that I didn’t understand German which only confused the poor old man more. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I was so embarrassed that I rushed to get back on the segway to only make it down one more street where I eventually threw up – and I have thrown up MAYBE 6 times in my whole life. I was mortified.  (I only ended up with a few bumps and bruises)

Later that night at Charlotte’s parents’ house, we told them the whole story where instead of being embarrassed, we could not stop laughing at how far I flew.  In the middle of laughing with everyone, I realized that was the first time in a really, really long time that I have laughed that hard and that genuine.  Finally the stress from life and school has disappeared and in that moment I realized my trip of a lifetime has just begun!  In the end, I had a great time in Berlin and I was really sad to leave. We ended the trip by vowing to never let another 2 years go by before we see each other again.

“hallllllo” Berlin (Part 1)

May 21st, 2012

This is the first time I’ve seen Charlotte since high school graduation and it was like nothing changed! I stayed at her apartment in downtown Berlin, but I was able to see the countryside of Germany too since that is where her parents live.  The city is really modern but full of history – and I loved it! I saw a bunch of places but the most interesting thing by far was the Berlin Wall which use to divide the city into different neighborhoods by nationality.  It was partly torn down in 1991, and all that is left has become a blank canvas for professional painters to decorate.  I met all of Char’s friends which were super sweet, and German is definitely a hard language.  The words spelled out relate to many English words, but the speaking part is challenging. I saw Charlotte’s horse, rode on the AutoBahn and even went to their lake to relax for the day :) it was great. The people are a lot friendlier to strangers in Germany than in Italy, which was a nice change of pace! We watched the championship soccer game where Munich’s team played against Chelsea in the finals.  Berlin’s team is really bad so they cheer for Berlin and had a devastating loss after PKs!  Everyone was so bummed, but it was fun watching the game at the sports bar where everyone was so into it.

germany bound

May 17th, 2012

My day started off by going to the local markets in my cooking class as my professor, Chef Desy, told us about the different ingredients and the areas of Italy where they come from. We were sampling olive oils, balsamic vinegar, cheese, meats and olives at 9am, but it was the most amazing breakfast ever.  The markets are filled with locals who typically run family owned stores that date all the way back to the 1800s – pretty cool stuff. Afterwards as a treat, he bought us some gelato where I was finally able to try the hazelnut flavor which was molto bene! (very good)

After Italian class, we then went to our family business course where we went around the city looking at family businesses and talking to the owners.  They were all really sweet and it was sad to hear that so many are struggling financially when they have been around for centuries. Also, today we found out that an apartment full of girls was broken into and they had their laptops stolen.  It really shook us all up but in a good way since we are taking more measures in being safe.  They took nothing else and didn’t rummage through their apartment either – no windows or doors/locks were broken.

I might not be able to post much this weekend since I am leaving to go to Berlin tomorrow to see my friend Charlotte! I should get in around noon their time and I can’t wait to see and experience the different cities. Until then..