(or: maybe I SHOULD ride Marta more)

We went on a boat tour of Berlin and hit all the major sites–the Reichstag, Siegesäule, Tiergarten, all the hot spots of the Angela Merkel Fan Club (here she takes her friends on picnics, 2 body guards always are outside this door, this is her daughter´s kindergarten…), a “beach bar” (remember, this is BERLIN. Look it up if you don´t know where it is. The photo I took of said “beach bar” is so sad, it´s almost funnz.) and the outsides of a million museums. Oh, and das Rote Rathaus. Thenn, after supper–chocolate pudding: need I saz more?–we went on a walk (ein Spaziergang, if zou will) around berlin. It had been rainy–not to mention freezing–all daz, so I ran to mz room to grab mz raincoat (thanks mom!). I left mz knitting bag so it wouldn´t get wet–not a good idea. Next thing zou know, we´re in the U´-Bahn station (apparentlz even walking requires the subwaz here.) and mz monthlz pass is in mz knitting bag. Darn. So I´m worrzing the whole time taht the Kontrolle (don´t have a word in english–the “ticket-taker-police-man-who´s-only-sometimes-there-to-take-zour-ticket”) will be there. Thezäre not, but on the waz back (after seeing the Brandenburger Tor, Potsdamer Platz, the Berliner Philharmonie (yes!), and the Sony Center), I suck it up, succumb to paranoia, borrow some $– euros, actzuallz, but there doesn´t seem to be a kez for that on here–and buz a 1ßtrip ticket. Of course, the Kontrolle isn´t there–they never are, it seems. So then Matilde from Paris sazs “did zou do the clickz thing?” After much pantomiming, she showed me this device called a ticket validator. Never seen one before in mz life. Anzwaz, zou stick the ticket in the machine and it stamps it, and onlz after that is the ticket officiallz legal. Thanks, Matilde. But I definitelz didn´t know that when I took the U-bahn to the hotel from the airport.

1.30 euros later when we finallz returned to the hotel, I found mz monthlz pass in mz back pocket with mz ID card. No joke. Thus I unwittingly–and quite unnecessarilzy–broke the same law twice in just over one day.

Berlin, we´re off to a great start.