Rüdi-Net LESEFEST today!

LESEFESTLooking for something fun to do this sunny Saturday in Berlin? Check out the Rüdi-Net LESEFEST in the Rüdesheimer Platz neighborhood in Wilmersdorf!

You can find the entire program with  a list of authors and presentation topics here. I’ll be giving my talk — What an American Author Loves about Living in Berlin — at 4, 5, 6 and 7 pm in the IBZ Clubraum. A local bookseller will have books from many of the participating authors available in the Clubraum between my presentation times, and I hear there will be cake and coffee, too!

There will be are a ton of other authors speaking through the neighborhood on topics for both kids and adults, so don’t miss out…

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The 62nd thing I love about living in Berlin…

The Berlinale, Berlin’s spectacular film festival.

BrokenCircleThe Berlinale screens films ranging from traditional Hollywood blockbusters (Les Miserables, this year) to small documentaries. Tickets can be rather cumbersome to acquire – they’re only available three days in advance of each screening and the online allotments sell out in literally minutes.

Thanks to a tip from our German tutor, I ventured off to one of the three official box offices where I could compare the list of films with tickets still available against the list of films we wanted to see, then plot the possibilities on a calendar to avoid overlaps. While this entire process took more than an hour, it was an exciting hour and I left the theater with tickets to five films showing over the next few days.

The first we attended was for director Felix van Groeningen’s The Broken Circle Breakdown. Remember my post about the hardiness of German tissues? This film is what cemented my fervent admiration for these Taschentücher. I ended up needing almost an entire pocket pack of tissues thanks to the high emotions and tragic happenings in this beautifully acted film from Belgium. I suspect American tissues would have had a hard time keeping up with the multitude of my tears. Continue reading

The 60th thing I love about living in Berlin…plus a bonus 61st!

win su

Seeing the sun again!

Apparently this has been the most sunlight-deficient winter in Germany in decades, and we’ve definitely noticed. The last few months, it hasn’t been uncommon to go weeks (yes, that’s weeks) with only a few hours of sunlight total.

We’re great fans of winter, though, and we’ve lived in some pretty overcast places before (Ithaca, anyone?) so of course we knew to expect nowhere near as many of those blindingly blueblueblue winter skies we’d gotten spoiled by the past five years in Florida.

Overall, it’s been a magical season of chilly days and Christmas Markets and fat fluffy snowflakes, plus some beautiful road and train trips all around Germany and even into France and Austria. This opportunity to bundle up and experience a northern winter again is definitely one of my favorite things about living in Berlin. (Let’s just go ahead and officially make that #61, shall we?)

Still, while gray may be one of my favorite colors, there’s a lot to be said for even just a bit of some other hue sprinkled into the climatological record.

Looks like all that darkness may already be a memory, though, as those weather-trend expert people are predicting an even sunnier spring than usual here in Berlin. With all the glorious gold-tinged light we’ve been basking in the past two days, it feels like Mother Nature’s spreading her arms wide to welcome us to spring with a great big sunshiny hug a few weeks early.

And for that, I’ll continue lifting my face to the sky along with millions of my German neighbors, adding in a little whispered Danke every time I do.