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Philosopher Selfie // Week 20

Week 20 of the Philosopher Selfie // Europa Week One!

Mon. June 9 / Riding a seat in the sky

Today I left for month-long holidays that were a long time in the planning. Pit stop in Toronto and then – Berlin! Portugal! Paris! And yes, I’m sorry: if you want to stop reading the next 3 weeks of posts, I completely understand.

A trip across the ocean generally means lots of time sitting on planes. This particular long trip was gloriously saved in my non-window-seat arrangement by watching The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is, officially, my new favourite movie. So much delight in my heart.


Arrive in Paris with one single thought in my brain: I must pick up my luggage and catch my next flight to Berlin. To make a long, frustrating story short I arrived at the elusive Terminal 1, a glowy mess with sweat trickling down my spine, only to have the Lufthansa attendant tell me with solemn eyes, “I’m so sorry bella, they have already shut the doors.” I was 5 minutes too late for a 9:20am flight and the next available flight DIDN’T LEAVE UNTIL 9PM*. Yes, 12 hours in an airport after a full day on a plane. Terminal 1 and I became very familiar. It wasn’t a relationship that involved much tenderness.

Finally, finally, my 8:30pm flight arrived at 9pm, we boarded and my groggy, mussed-hair self arrived in Berlin at 11pm. Now here I sit in my underwear, typing away in my new weeklong abode in the humidity of this city that I’m so excited to explore. But possibly only after I’ve slept for the next 24 hours.

*unless I wanted to pay at least 600 EURO. Which I didn’t. I knew it, money does buy happiness.

Wed. June 11 / Where risotto at 7pm is my first meal of the day

My first full day in Berlin and I set a strict schedule of not waking up, ever, before 2pm. There’s nothing like permission to do what your heart really desires – which for me is staying in bed a luxurious amount of time. Aaaah

Thurs. June 12 / Bowie and hipsters

After sleeping until 4pm (check!) I was *extremely* productive today and did TWO whole things: David Bowie exhibit and attend, briefly, the most hipster art show opening in my life’s experience. There were grown men wearing their grandmothers’ knit cardigans and crop tops (ie. an ironic t-shirt that they’d stolen from some poor 12-year-old child). Women in high heels and simultaneously wearing men’s white socks. Oh, what was actually in the art show, you ask? The only thing I recall is a mini wine fridge in the middle of the floor filled with cartons of milk and I’m beginning to think that that was accidental and that the hipsters were the actual pièce de résistance.

Fri. June 13 / My friend in all places

I took it upon myself to be brave and head out into this huge city and find some salsa dancing. A 50-minute public transit ride to what I can only describe as the suburbs of Berlin was my first attempt. There’s nothing like showing up at a small club alone where you don’t have any friends and you don’t speak the language. A free glass of champagne (yay for ladies hour!) definitely helped and the music – well, the music was my familiar old friend that carried me through that door.

My second attempt was Havana club, another 30 minute train ride and walk away from free-champagne-club. This city is monstrous! By luck my second dance happened to be with a professional Brazilian salsa dancer – and I suddenly had two friends in my possession: the music, and someone who knew how to use it. Viva la salsa!

Sat. June 14 / Football

I joined some friends at a sports bar in Mitte at midnight for the England vs. Italy soccer game that was happening. It’s amazing how fun you can make an event when you construct your own rules. For example, I scored points based on the hotness of the close-ups shown of the members of the two teams. While the world at large may believe that Italy won, as far as I’m concerned, they were tied.

Sun. June 15 / Time to think and plan

One of my great joys during a holiday is getting to take the time to think and hatch plans. It’s better than going out partying and drinking, better than sightseeing, better than eating good food. MAKING ALL THE PLANS.

Watch out.


  1. mom

    I am so glad the solemn-eyed agent called you “bella”. There is some redemption in that. Really.
    Hurrah for professional Brazilian salsa dancers in Berlin!

  2. Thanks Mom – and it’s true, there’s always redemption in being called “Bella”!

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