Aloha Friends —
I write again to share observations on being in this historic and important country, which is fresh from re-electing Angela Merkle as its government’s leader.
Again, differences with the U.S.A. abound. When did we last elect a woman as our government leader? Never. . (Surely that will change, perhaps in our next election. Hilary Clinton maybe?) Resuming a look at differences:
• At our sumptuous breakfast buffet today, real fresh table cream was provided for coffee drinkers. I doubt there is a single item among the offerings that was previously frozen.
• Smoking seems the norm, with women well represented Thankfully, smoking apparently isn’t allowed in public dining facilities. .
• Horn honking seems less common than we experience in the U.S.A.
• Helmets are worn by most bicycle riders, both men and women.
• Everyone seems to speak English in addition to German. At dinner this evening in a Turkish restaurant, our waiter — presumably fluent in German as well as Turkish — seemed perfectly comfortable speaking English.
• All or at least practically all of the taxis, which line up in many locales in long queues, are cream colored — a shade I very much like. Back home, on my favorite running route, I regularly see a late model Volkswagen Beetle, parked in a driveway, painted this color. I look forward to admiring it, coming and going on my run. Guess what color my next new car will be?!
• Whle jeans are surely popular in the U.S.A., here seemingly 90 percent of the populace wears them, men and women. With women particularly, a tight fit is preferred, with the blue darker than typical denim and a sheen somehow added.
• Emergency vehicles proceed with the siren tone quickly rising and falling. At home the tone has a wavelike quality.
On Friday we do a city tour with fellow marathoners, here from America with Marathon Tours & Travel of Boston handling arrangements. In fact, this being its 40th anniversary, the Berlin Marathon was a quick sellout. Absent Marathon Tours’ ability to acquire a block of entries, we wouldn’t be here.
Stay tuned. Marathon Day is only three days away! Blessings and aloha, Kit