THE GerWomania Diary..(updated)

Day 3, Berlin…

I got down at the Berlin Main Station and randomly started waking to the exit. As I searched for the exit, I realized I was just on the first or the top floor of the station. There were 3 more floors below me and I  had to exit from the 1 st floor. The Berlin station could also be in your list of places to see. Its pretty unbelievable, the size of the whole thing.


I finally got out. It was snowing and it was really cold not ideal for sight seeing but it was good enough for me. I mean, how many times do I get to walk in a snowfall back home? I enjoyed it, it made the walk all the more dreamy. The first thing as you get out is the river, you cross the bridge and you reach the  Parliament. Its a huge and a beautiful structure. The special thing about it is that you can actually pay a fees and actually go and see the Parliament in session. It is wonderful.


Berlin is full of history, there is so much of it that my small blog will not be able to cover all of it. So, I am not going to try too hard!  The next thing was the Brandenburg Tor(gate) . It is basically a huge gate representing the tumultuous times in Germany but it also  stands for peace and love. Its again an amazing structure. It is on the Unter Den Linden street, one of the most glamorous  and vibrant streets in Berlin. The street is colorful with a hell lot of tourists, and lot of mad things happening. It has all the great brands, but the best thing I liked about it was the Bentley,Mercedes,and Audi showrooms. The cars on display were fabulous. As I walked around  I noticed that every random structure around me was filled with architecture and art. One could stand and admire it  for hours but i couldn’t do that , because it was too cold and  I had limited time. On the same street there is also their Opera and a big church. 



The next destination was Potsdamer Platz. There was a Jewish Memorial structure , a little part of the Berlin Wall and  a huge place called the Sony Centre. Its a nice junction a mixture of both the new and the old. The past and the future. My next stop was Checkpoint Charlie. It was basically the crossing point from west Berlin to the east during the cold war. Its again a major tourist centre, It also has an open air museum with hell lot of pictures and information about the place. After that I went to the Jewish Museum and was completely transported to an another space. The museum takes you on a journey way back in the centuries and tells you about the history of the Jews, their culture,religion, struggles, Hitler and the Holocaust everything that you want to know about the Jews. The way that museum is built is so interesting it really makes you stop with awe. The best thing I liked about it was the numerous stories and photos and paintings of so many Jews who died during the Hitler regime. It was overwhelming to go through some of the stories. I almost took a close to three hours to finish the museum. I  had taken an English Audio guide which made things very easy to understand. 




By the time I finished all this it was evening and I had to meet up with my host in Berlin, Robert Obenaus. I didnt know Robert at all, he was basically a friend of my boss in Parisar an NGO( where i interned for a while). After a decent amount of confusion we finally met on the Museum Island next to the Bode Museum. The Museum Island basically has atleast 6 to 7  museums showcasing different things. I met him and I instantly realised that i was going to have a great time. He talked a lot and was just very warm. It was Easter so he told me that our first stop would be his fathers place, as the whole Obenaus family had got together there. I reached the house, and I warmly recieved hugs from the whole family which consisted of Roberts wife,her mother, Pauline their little angel, his father, mother and grandmother. It was nice, there was festive mood all around and nice sense of togetherness. We had some tea, and bread a nice conversation and then we proceeded towards Roberts place. 


Robert and Kirsten are  a real cute coupe and they are so much in love that it is endearing. They both love India and actually would love to come back there and stay.  They said they loved India for its vibrancy, culture and the most important thing warmth. They told me that people in Germany are way to formal and cold. They have no idea who stays next door. There is not much emotional connect here. Where as in India, they loved the way people were generous in their expression of warmth and love. They said their neighbors would often call them for dinner or lunch. Another incident they told me was about when they went to Ahmadabad during the kite festival, they badly wanted to fly a  kite. They just randomly walked up to a terrace where they saw some people flying it. When they saw Robert and Kirsten they not only made them join the kite flying ceremony but insisted that they join them in their authentic Gujarati Feast later. Robert said they couldnt believe the super treatment they received.  For them this love and warmth is almost unreal.


After all this interesting conversation i went to sleep. I was really tired, i must have walked quite a bit, in that snow and a heavy sack back on my back. I slept instantly, as soon as i closed my eyes.

Day 4, Berlin Wall

The next day I got up fresh and refreshed after a nice sleep. I freshened up and we all again went to Robert’s Father’s place for a German breakfast. I loved the spread of the different breads and cheeses and the meat. After a real heavy breakfast we finally got ourselves up for some more sightseeing. They took me to the East Berlin Wall, where I actually got a real feel of what the Berlin Wall is all about. Their constant commentary of the history made the whole experience even more richer. They also told me that recently a rich politician has decided to break down the wall and build a residential plot there which would host expensive bungalows. The location is ideal to make money as its historic and beautiful and its right next to the river. I confirmed the fact that ‘idiots’ exist everywhere, and are not just confined to my country. If they plan to break down the wall, then that will surely be a tragedy. A whole lot parts of the wall are already broken today, this particular stretch is by far the longest stretch left. Its just criminal too destruct this. Its way too important and monumental. Apparently people host a demonstration every other day to stop the government from breaking down the wall.



After this we saw a bridge, the North,South and the East domes, the TV tower which is a long structure and has a revolving restaurant right on the top and a very interesting church, Interesting because, this church is in two parts one of the parts was broken down during the war and has still been kept the the same way, the other part was rebuilt. The contrast is striking and almost beautiful to see. The church was pretty unique inside also, something i had never seen.


After this we were all hungry and headed towards some food. We had steak for lunch and then they dropped me to the Berlin Station where I was taking the White Bullet to Stuttgart, where I would reunite with my friends. As i left Robert and Kirsten they gave me an Easter present and a hug. They are really cool people and its difficult to imagine German people to be cold after meeting them. I guess I”ll just take some pride here and say may be  India changed them, or may be not. All in all i guess i have made some new friends here. They have promised to come back to India. I hope they do, I will always keep an eye out for them.

Bye,bye Berlin! I loved knowing you!

5 thoughts on “THE GerWomania Diary..(updated)

  1. Was like a mini trip to Berlin……. when I visited the city in 2009 our friend Robert was in India so I did most of the site seeing on my own. Loved the contrast between old and new buildings and the exhibition on the broken down Berlin Wall.


  2. Germany surely has history and most if it engrosses the one they want to forget.

    BTW i happen to be reading the Boomerang and interestingly I was reading the Germany part, I hope Michael Lewis was all kidding about the german affliction thing. Enjoy.


  3. Hi Aditi,

    Robert and Kerstin are very close friends.
    They attended my Marriage in 2009 – December.
    I'am so glad to hear that they appreciate our hospitality so well.

    Lovely Couple, Excellent Human Beings and their daughter has an indian name
    Shivi 🙂


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