I’ve spent most of January a bit under the weather. Some days it feels like I’m in a bit of a daze, but we’ve managed to fit in a few fun things in the last week.
On Thursday, I accompanied PC to a BRVolleys sponsors event. Rarely are wives invited to such events, so I tried not to blow it. I hadn’t had a conversation in German for about a month at that point, so my German was…a lil rough. That was brought to my attention by a well-meaning, if blunt, sponsor.
This person also seemed thoroughly perplexed by my name. I’ve never considered my name exotic, but time and time again, I’m surprised by Europeans who have never come across the name, Erin, and certainly have no idea how to pronounce it. It doesn’t bother me in the least, I just think it’s funny hearing the variations people try out like “Irene” or “Eareen”.
Back to the event:
The event was held at the Wintergarten. Since the 1880’s the name Wintergarten has been synonymous with the variety theatre in Europe. Cabaret, burlesque, magic shows and the first moving picture show in the world graced the Wintergarten. In the early 1900’s Harry Houdini performed on its stage. Originally located on Friedrichstrasse in the middle of the city, it stood until a 1944 bombing raid destroyed the theatre. In 1992, the new Wintergarten was opened a few kilometers away, and has carried on the original tradition of variety theatre.
On our visit to the Wintergarten, we were treated to the Magical Mystery Show. Magic shows generally make me nervous given the possibility of audience involvement, and my fear of interacting with people in front of other people. However, we were seated just far away from the stage to allay most of my fears, and most of the magic was really impressive.
At one point, there were about 5 million birds onstage that had appeared out of thin air, and a magician’s flourish. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a look of pure wonderment on PC’s face. So. Many. Magic. Birds….visibly pooping on stage.
We had a great time, and I reckon I did alright. I have no way of knowing, but PC seemed to think that the sponsors really enjoyed speaking to us as a couple. As for PC, I think he appreciated not having to answer quite as many volleyball related questions, particularly given the team’s unfortunate loss the night before. As for me, I simply appreciated being invited to a club event. Wives and partners are not always looked at as, shall we say, an asset. It was gratifying to be included this time around.
On Sunday, PC and I visited the oldest pastry shop in Berlin.
Konditorei Buchwald, opened in 1852, has been serving up Baumkuchen using Gustav Buchwald’s orignal recipe since then. In the early 1900’s, the Royal Court of the Prussian Prince named the pastry shop its official supplier.
Baumkuchen, or tree cake, is so called on account of the many delicate layers of cake reminiscent of the rings in a tree. The finished cake may be brushed with a layer of jam, honey, or even rum, and then covered in chocolate. Though I’m generally what you might call a ‘hater’ with regard to German cakes, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
On Friday, we cheered on the Eisbären to a relatively easy victory. I just friggin love ice hockey. Such a beautiful, violent sport.
We got to break out our scarf, and wave it around like maniacs several times.
In other news…
Because…I’m a child…dick means thick in German. It’s a two-sided marker with different widths. Also, I should clarify that I do not color in volleyballs for funzies. I’m using the promise of attending a BRVolleys match as an incentive for good behavior. Do the right thing, and I color in some more of the volleyball. We shall see how this goes.
Until next time…