- Beggars there are better dressed than in India. But the weird thing is that they always, but always, have a dog with them. A really cute one. On a leash that too. It's the most bizarre thing, but I swear I never saw a Berliner Beggar who didn't have a dog (Hmm...that sounds like a song from a musical)
- The market at Hackescher Markt every Thursday. I could go on and on about my very favourite place in all of Berlin, and I get dreamy eyed just thinking about it - Okay, truth be told, it's just a regular market with different stalls - but I dunno, something about it just stuck, and I kept going back during my time there - for different varieties of olives from the Italian stall (or was it Greek?), for second hand but almost mint condition German books at as low as 25 Cents a book, for bittery, soothingly steaming, sweet, floats-right-up-to-your-head type hot chocolate, for Sandtiere (cloth animals stuffed with sand - I bought a green snake and a lizard for 9 Euros -the cute kind, with buttons for eyes) which I bought at a stall that sold, among other things, Indian agarbattis and cloth posters of Indian Gods and Goddesses. If there was one single place I'd pick to go back to, Hakescher Markt would be it for sure.
- And ganz in der nähe von (translation: very close to) Hakescher Markt, is this place called Oranienburger Straße, which houses the Tacheles Gallery, which is this awe-inspiring, intimidating, outlandish and honestly, a slightly smelly building where artists live and they have pubs and exhibitions and paintings for sale. Another thing Oranienburger Straße is known for besides Tacheles and its lively night life is ahem, the street prostitutes (street prostitution is legal in Berlin, by the way). One question - How were they not cold in their short-shorts?
I was in Goa for about two weeks after I came back, which was a lot of family time spent visiting various cousins, playing with two very cute new members of the family - my niece and nephew - and it was all very fun. I was always scared of holding babies and mostly prefer to stay away from the giggling crowd of women who usually take to surrounding babies, cooing and cheek-pinching and kissing. I mean, of course babies are really cute, but I never understood the mad dash people have to like, cuddle and play with them. But after these two tots, babies suddenly seem less scary and less mysterious - Babies in general that is, not my own. Heh. That thought is still petrifying. Naturally.
I reached Pune two days ago, with a mixture of resignation and numbness - I've never loved the city (though I've been here for about three years) because let's face it, Pune is no Goa. And while I appreciate how much living here has taught me, I was still thrilled in May when I went back to Goa for an indefinite period of time, taking a break from the German courses. Somehow, in my mind, Pune life is real life, where I have to do all the work (buying groceries, taking care of bills, repairs, etc) as opposed to Goa, where there are other people who get the work done.
Anyway, the plan is that I do another level of German now (if I get admission - there's always a waiting list at the institute) so as to better my chances of going to Germany.