Wednesday, September 26, 2012

40 Days of Birthday: Day Five

When Lennon went down for his two-hour nap today, I joined him. Too much champagne and rum soaked cake made for a questionable night’s sleep. I hit a slump, just five days in: I really just wanted to stay in and do nothing. I considered just taking a bath and calling it ‘special,’ but I decided to save that for a day when I am really desperate for ideas. I also knew I really should do something outside as Lennon’s doctor had prescribed a daily dose of fresh air for little boy’s bronchitis, and probably more than he would get with our typical walk to the market. After much soul searching via the interwebs, I remembered that I have a gift certificate for entrance to the top of the TV Tower! What a perfect thing to do: for me, for Lennon, for my 40 Days of Birthday!

After a forty-minute transit on the train, waiting in line to have our gift certificate processed, and a confusing, broken German conversation with the ticket clerk, I come to find out that one is not allowed to bring strollers up into the TV Tower. I am meant to leave my stroller under the staircase in the main lobby and carry my child as I enjoy the view at the top of the tower. Writing it now, it doesn’t sound so awful—aside from the fact that my stroller would likely have been thieved—Lennon could have crawled around the Tower observation room, making for an impossible photo opportunity. At the time, however, I showed the ticket clerk my frustration and asked that she please un-process my gift certificate so I may use it at another time. We exited through the gift shop buying nothing.

I fished for sympathy and I received it. My husband suggested that I take myself shopping in the Alexa Centre. Alexa is big, American, and a monument to capitalism. I’d bore you if I noted the irony of its proximity to the TV Tower, the GDR’s monument to the strength and innovation of communism. On the way there I bought a Wurst from this guy:

I was more interested in strolling the mall than shopping. Happiness Station provided the ice cream. Note: there has not been a weighty post in months. Let’s not talk about it.

Lennon began to fuss, and rightly so. Today had not gone as planned. Were it not for the incredible amount of people smoking cigarettes in Alexanderplatz, I would at least say my son got some fresh air. All was redeemed, however, when we came home to Shwarma, purchased by my husband. Baby boy went to bed without a peep. 


  1. Memories. I went shopping in that mall in 1987. It was still east Germany. I bought myself a leather cap. Back then you had to exchange a certain number of marks every time you traveled to East Berlin. The exchange rate was mandated and so non-market, that you were better off buying stuff in the east than exchanging your money back. It still blows my mind that it's all just "Germany" now. Such is life for a woman who was a girl in West Berlin in 1987.

  2. P.S. This is Kirsten. I lived in Berlin for 6 months when I was 16. Of all the places I lived in Germany, I was most comfortable in Berlin.

    1. That's right, Kirsten, I remember you telling me this, though I didn't recall you'd lived here as a teen. Oh, how I wish you still had that leather cap! Bet it says "Made in the GDR"....

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