Archive for the ‘Farmers Market’ Category

Yeah, it’s late as I post this (seems to be the trend up to this point! It’s still early where most people are reading this though, soooo, whatevs).  Honoring a short break from my research, I just finished one of my essays for my Fulbright application (after a day of convincing myself I wouldn’t be able to apply because I missed one of Ohio State’s numerous deadlines); I do not enjoy writing personal statements. They are supposed to be about you, and about your plans, goals, aspirations, and intended steps to achieve all of it. Boo. I don’t know most of that stuff, yet. Yeah, I’m one year away from graduating from college (with two completely separate degrees in two completely separate directions), what’s your point? Get over it, I know I have. 🙂

Seriously though, it is good for me to be forced to sit down and consider these things, even though it doesn’t mean anything as far as the next 5, 10, or 20 years of my life to sit down now and contemplate (yet at least, once these things happen, different story).  ‘Nuff of the heavy stuff, I sat down to tell something interesting! If you have questions (what’s a Fulbright, what kind of Fulbright am I applying for? etc, etc, please leave a comment or contact me some other way, you know I’ll love talking to you!).

So, aside from occupying myself with application requirements, reading chapters for my research project, which means sitting in a chair for hours upon hours upon HOURS of my days here, I have also been (briefly) through the city, walked around my neighborhood, ate some deeeeeeelicious meals (mostly cooked by yours truly), went shopping (did I explain how stupid I was when I was packing? Yeah, pretty sure I did. Great job, David…you idiot. In my own defense to my self-accusation though, I didn’t know that this summer would be unseasonably cool in Berlin – but I sure am glad I’m missing out on the unseasonably hot summer back home, sorry folks, it’s been about 60 and cloudy for a week now, with occasional rain. And I love every minute of it, hope you aren’t heat-stroking though!! Seriously, please don’t do that.), and some other things. Here is an overlook of some interesting events.

  • Went on an adventure to locate libraries and begin looking stuff up.  EPIC fail, as I am not registering with the city, I can not get a library card (an academics and nerds-alike worst nightmare!). I can at least stay in the library and work with anything I may need; however I haven’t been back to a library since, also because the one library (one of the most important for my project, actually), didn’t exist at the address listed on GoogleMAPS, and I since then I have not been able to locate an updated one (I did go to the place google told me to, heavily under construction, the building had an A, B, and C version of the same address…long story short, I spent 45 minutes walking around 1 half-block only to realize the internet probably got the better of me, damn you interwebs).
  • My failed library trip encouraged me to see part of the city, so I went to Alexanderplatz – google it for some history, it’s quite interesting and I’d love to tell you, but I’m tired and don’t feel like raking my brain at the moment.  I’ll attach a picture of what (one) part of it looks like.  Note to anyone traveling to Europe (that means you’ll probably want to do some shopping), don’t buy shoes here, ever.  I walked into a “discount” shoe outlet, only to laugh at every shoe I flipped over (you know, that’s where the price is).  It was fun though, I probably looked insane, literally (lone kid walks into store and laughs (almost hysterically) to himself every few seconds while he scours size 41/42 shoe racks…I love me 😛 ). I did find a nice, new-looking, perfectly fitting cardigan to supplement my under-prepared wardrobe for the chill weather, for only 9 euros! That thing was definitely overpriced new, but not at the second hand store 😀 I also got to watch two Dutch boys seek out and fashion themselves some second hand stuff, I was honestly more interested in them speaking Dutch to each other though (it sounds SO cool, and silly, especially as a German/English speaker).
  • Got yelled at by a train driver (because I stupidly forgot to shut off my flash as I was taking a picture of the approaching train…gah, I deserved it, and I sure did feel bad, although the guy was a pretty big jerk about it…I made sure to apologize before and after getting on the train, and the dick still gave me a pretty dirty look. Some people just don’t like being in good moods, ever. The *not so epic* shot is posted below. If you look closely, I’m pretty sure you can see him scathing.
  • Saw a dirty, out of shape, (maybe homeless?) man flash his junk (the between-your-legs kind, not the in your shopping-cart/mobile wardrobe variety), ON THE STREET (the busy kind) in broad daylight, to a woman inside of a store.  Don’t know the details here, don’t know if she knew him, liked it, or asked for it. I know she saw it though. Just…gah…odd, to say the very very very least.  Why did this make the “interesting events” list?  Well, think about it, firstly; secondly, it’s one of those things that just makes one want to say “WHAT?!” loudly. At least it makes me want to say that, because I did. Right there, on the street.  Plus, I’ve never seen this (personally) in the US, only heard of stories – it doesn’t happen if you don’t see it, right?? hahaha, yeaahh, riiiight (you did insert sarcasm there, yes?).
  • Discovered an open-air market/farmers market around the corner! This is a huuuuge discovery for me, because it means super cheap produce (among other things as well, apparently). Farmers markets in Germany always include mass amounts of people crowded inbetween vendors who are all shouting their best offers, rushing to the many customers trying to score a good deal (which isn’t hard, I’ll get there in a second), it’s chaos, pandemonium, hustle-bustle, and usually one 0f the first things any foreign exchange student or non-native experiences. They are very, very memorable, and in my own experience, quite different from any I’ve seen in the States. Anyone from Bonn knows the Spargel lady all too well (Deutsche Spaaargel, frische Deutsche Spaaargel…I’ll never forget that raspy voice, I break out into laughter every time just thinking about it, Skype me and I’ll do my best impression possible – it’s worth the Skype call, trust me – although she is probably somewhere online), but this market is of a different variety.  Almost all of the vendors are non-native, so you have to listen extra hard to understand most of them, but they are way more lively and interesting with their cries of produce deals and steals.  A case (12) of avocados for 2 euros?! Whhaaaaat??? If they weren’t all so ripe, I definitely would have indulged. So what did I purchase, and how much did I spend?
    -a bundle of carrots, fresh from the ground (at least a dozen)
    -one decently-sized eggplant
    -one large head of cauliflower
    -six big tomatoes
    Well, I’d prefer you all guess, and then I can surprise you all by posting the price later, but let’s be real, most of you haven’t read this far and don’t care to put the energy into checking back for something so trivial. I get it 🙂 I spent just under 3 euros for all of that, which is just over 4 dollars.
  • Ok, so food. I still have yet to go out and eat at a restaurant (being vegan and all, not a vegan restaurant around the corner like there are Döner Imbisses – Döner is a delicious, gyro-like snack, soooo much better than a gyro, but definitely more questionable. They make a variety with french fries to, definitely try this if you come to Germany/Europe, or go to Turkey. Pommdöner, or any döner.  Again, that was “döner,” did you write it down? 😛 ).  Most of the food I have been eating, like I mentioned, I am making myself…I’ve made some delicious tomato sauces with kidney beans and chickpeas; wonderful veggie stir-fry (with peas, cauliflower, carrots, artichoke hearts, kale, shallots); olive oil-balsalmico penne with herbs de Provence and steamed veggies; a delicious vegan casserole made by my roommates (no, they aren’t vegan, they just made a separate one for me, I’ll have to write an entirely separate post about how awesome my living situation really is); amazingly healthful smoothies (before and after pics below); sugar-free whole wheat corn meal blueberry muffins (featured with penne and veggies picture); müsli with nuts, grains, seeds, fruits, soy yogurt, and soy milk, and a variety of things on bread. The best breads here are Kartoffelbrot (potato bread), Kurbiskernbrot (pumpkin seed bread), Vollkornbrot (whole grain wheat bread), all kinds really, but also any Brötchen (individual, roll-size) varieties of aforementioned breads…I’ll post some pictures incase you’re curious on what these dishes are and how they turned out.  More to come in the future!
Ok, it’s entirely too late, I’m tired, have to pee, and still want to do my measly ab-exercises.  The final song of the evening is “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash.  Before I go, here is something from the home base that should get your synapses firing…
and now for pictures! I think you  can figure out what’s what, there are 2 of Alexanderplatz, one of the train before I got yelled at, the rest are food.