this is the archive for the ‘in germany’ category:


one second everyday – november 2014

november went by so fast!

we started the de-cluttering process, sold lots of our furniture (including my beloved postcard stand, snif!), spent as much time with friends as we could, wandered the streets shuffling the leaves, celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the wall, visited the computer games museum, and started slowly packing…

a fold back on the temporal isometry

“But do you know this idea of the imaginary homeland? Once you set out from shore on your little boat, once you embark, you’ll never truly be at home again. What you’ve left behind exists only in your memory, and your ideal place becomes some strange imaginary concoction of all you’ve left behind at every stop.”


― Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs

farewell

i’ll take off the band-aid quickly: we’re moving again — and this time, back to portugal.

i’ve had plenty of time to get used to the idea, and yet, i’m still not sure how i feel about it. it’s an easy move, back to a familiar territory — but it’s also the scariest of moves, the one in which instead of jumping to somewhere new and unknown, one turns around to go back to the place where we started from.

i’d like to try to put my feelings about the whole thing into words, there’s still so much to say… but there’s no time for it at the moment, as our days are filled with craigslist ads and minor reparations, while we scramble to hug all our friends and visit all our favorite places. rationally, i know this isn’t the last time we’re here, but still, i want to hold all these things fresh in my heart.

i guess it’s time to say tschüß berlin then… and we’ll see you all on the other side! :)

ps – our berlin address won’t stop working, but we don’t recommend that you use it for mail. we’ll have a new one sometime after christmas, just ask us for it! :)

the german breakfast

the april roadtrip was also an opportunity to explore german breakfast options — especially in hotels… who doesn’t love a good hotel breakfast?

turns out, they were remarkably consistent throughout the whole trip: a plate of cheese and cold cuts, a basket of bread, one boiled egg and some coffee… p. was in heaven, as he loves slathering bread with butter and then stacking layers of ham and cheese on top! :)

bkft1

bkft4

bkft3

bkft2

though i like a good espresso, i’ve also grown to enjoy this kind of watery coffee during our years here… i find it inexplicably comforting. plus, jacobs roasts theirs in the south of neukölln, and if the wind is right, you can smell it from our house! for months, we thought someone in the kiez had a really powerful cafetiera… :D

isetta <3!

passing by munich on the roadtrip, we did a small detour to the bmw museum. cars are not really my thing, but i knew they’d have my favorite specimen on display, so we had to take a look!

isetta1

isetta2

in fact they had not just one, but two — and you could take a ride on one of them!!! :D

isetta3

oh be still my heart!

the steiff museum

sorry about that, i didn’t mean to leave you on a cliffhanger for so long after the last post! so here you go, my favorite part of april’s roadtrip was…

steiffpolaroid


…the steiff museum! :D museums are usually not my thing but this one… boy, was it good! it had a great story, interaction, big cuddly stuffed toys, and even a slide! i don’t even know how to write about it without gushing!

first, some context. margarete steiff was born in 1847, in giengen, a small town in the south of germany. when she was just a baby, she got high fever, and ended up being paralyzed. her parents were distraught, but margarete persevered. her siblings took her to school on a hay cart, and she learnt how to sew and worked with her older sisters as a seamstress. and then, in 1879 she made a small stuffed elephant as a pin cushion…

stuffedelephant

and the tiny elephant was so popular, she started doing more, selling them at fairs… and pretty soon the steiff brand of soft toys was born. but it wasn’t until 1902 that a really popular bear came along, and they named it “teddy bear“, after theodore roosevelt, president at the time. the bear, designed by richard steiff (margaret’s nephew) had movable arms and legs and cuddly mohair plush, and was such a hit at the leipzig fair that an american buyer ended up ordering 3000 of them… the rest, as they say, is history!

ok, enough of that, let me show you the museum! :D

55pb

it’s as immersive and interactive as they get. you step into steiff’s workshop to be greeted by 55PB, the bear that started it all. he’s the one who narrates the story for you, as you are transported into a series of different worlds where all the characters are cuddly plush toys…

sea_steiff

i don’t want to share too many photos of this part to avoid spoiling the surprise, but you dive into the deep sea, trek the arctic, float in space… and when you reach the apotheotic end of your journey, you’re presented with… more plush! plushes big enough for you to cuddle and climb on, which all the kids and grownups do… and a slide! oh, it’s magic!

one floor lower, you can see the masters fixing really old and beloved teddy bears, and learn more about the history of the company. did you know that all their toys have a little button on their ear? that’s their trademark! :)

fixingbears

and of course, the exit is through the gift shop, where you can buy all the plushes you want!

plushies

oh, and as if big cuddly bears weren’t enough, take a look at their original factory, with its translucent glass curtainwall facade:

steiff_factory

this remarkable building is from 1903! let that sink in… 15 years before bauhaus came along (and those guys were already way ahead of their time), richard steiff just wanted a building with lots of light to increase productivity and so, he made one, by removing the walls and replacing them with glass. it’s still there, over 100 years later — and it’s exceptional.

bigbear

ok, that’s it! i hope i’ve convinced you to go there — you won’t regret it! :)