Thursday, May 11, 2006

Mein Neuer Zimmer (und Neue Mitbewohnerin)

As the title of this entry indicates, I have a new room and a new roommate. No, I didn't move out of my apartment. Instead, I switched rooms. On April 30, Valentin (aka Das Phantom) moved out, I switched into Valentin/Pablo's room (which actually belongs to Krischan), and Heike moved back. Here's the complicated story: I was subletting Heike's room because she had to go to Koblenz to do some sort of law course. Pablo was subletting Krischan's room, but moved out at the end of February because Krischan was supposed to come back from doing a semester abroad in Austria. However, Krischan got an internship in Bavaria (southern Germany) and didn't come back at the end of February. Pablo didn't want to stay, so moved in with his friend Julian, while Christian and I found another subletter, Valentin (das Phantom/der Vampir/Rasputin), for two months. We didn't communicate with Valentin at all, or rather, he didn't talk to us. Hence all the funny nicknames. At the end of the two months, so the end of April, Valentin moved out, I moved into Krischan's room, and Heike is back into where I was sleeping. And now the apartment consists of Heike, Christian, and me. Complicated, right?

To make things simpler, I am in a new room and got a new roommate. I really like Heike and the dynamic of the apartment has changed completely from when Pablo was here. Two guys and a girl is very different from two girls and a guy. For one, I am no longer "self-made bitch" as Alex called me. Heike washes the dishes more than I do, probably cleans a little more than I do, and cooks as much as I do. She baked an Apfelkuchen (apple cake) for Christian's birthday while I did nothing. You can also tell the difference between our ages: She bought Christian a cookbook and I got him the new Chili Peppers CD. The apartment has skewed older now, too, (Heike is 30, Christian is 27, Pablo is 22), although Heike doesn't seem like she's 30.

I also didn't update about Tag der Arbeit (Labor Day) on 1 May, which is famous for demonstrations and riots. This year was no different. The day before, I went out with some friends and we just relaxed in Viktoriapark over by Mehringdamm. By "relaxing," I mean drank large amounts of alcohol while listening to people playing guitar, watching people play with fire, and enjoying the spring weather. I didn't go anywhere else really after Viktoriapark because I admittedly drank myself silly, but apparently there were other things going on in the city, like in Mauerpark in Prenzlauerberg (where the first stone is traditionally thrown) and Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain. (The picture on the left is our "Workers of the World Unite!" picture from Monday)

On Monday, 1 May, there was this huge street festival outside my apartment on Oranienstraße called MyFest. The festival went all the way down to Oranienplatz, extended to Mariannenplatz, and was also in Heinrichplatz and Adalbertstraße. I suppose this doesn't mean anything to those who have never been to Berlin, especially Kreuzberg, but it's a pretty sizeable area. There were bands of all types playing for MyFest, from traditional Russian music to hardcore ska and punk bands. The streets were full of people drinking beer, eating döner and falafel, singing, dancing, and enjoying the spring weather.

I went and enjoyed the day with Zoey, Mike, and Ashley. Mike was wearing a Blaumann, which are these bright blue overalls that construction workers and such wear, with an orange t-shirt. It was pretty ridiculous but made him it easy to find him in the crowds. We saw many bands, ate falafel, sat on the street and people watched, and sat in the park. It was a good day, but unfortunately I had to leave early to go see a film for my Taiwanese film class. When I came back to Kreuzberg at around 11 pm, the party was still going on. Apparently, the festivities went on til 1 am, but Christian and I didn't notice because we were watching Armageddon on TV til 2.Throughout the day, there were demonstrations going on for every little thing you could possibly think of: People against domestic violence, against the Iraq War, Communists demonstrated, there were some demonstrators for anarchy, etc. etc. I didn't partake in anything. Ashley, Zoey, Mike, and Dan were out very late at night while I had come home, and apparently the riot police were right outside my apartment on Oranienstraße trying to control people and a huge bonfire, according to what they said. The funny thing is that the next day, everything was back in order and it looked as if the previous day had never happened. Another reason to love Germany: Things get cleaned up fast after a huge party like MyFest or Karneval. And every day I still come to the conclusion that I'm so glad I came to Berlin for my year abroad.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Niiice. Good call with taking Pablo's room. Your new roommate sounds sweet!!

I'm leaving tomorrow at 4:30 am, which is weird weird weird!! I'm gonna be in Chicago tomorrow! You should feel lucky about getting to stay in Europe :(