I don't know if you know this but, I went to Berlin (again) a couple of weeks ago for work. We were putting on a conference called... Ok it had a really long, convoluted name that I still have to look for on our website when writing about. You can google my workplace to read about it. Because of the all aforementioned stuff I have been doing since I have returned am only going to tell you some of the highlights and post some stolen participant pictures…
- Congratulating one another on loud burps in the prep-committee room.
- Meeting 43 super awesome (I went there) people... This isn't even including the Vice President of the German Parliament. That's right, I met him! (and by "met him" I mean - I sat on the other side of a room from him while he answered questions about stuff and things).
- Touring the Reichstag WITH a tour guide. I don't know if you know this about me, but I L-O-V-E tours of places. I think this was ingrained in me by the family's numerous trips to forts in Western Canada. Did I mention it was the Reichstag though??? This building has a 1.5 hour wait in the down season! We had a private tour! A PRIVATE TOUR. Breathe… I think the rest of the people in my tour group were pretty sick on me saying things like "OH MY GOD look at this" and "OH MY GOD I can't believe I am here" and and "THERE IS A HOLE IN THE TOP OF THE BUILDING!" They can suck a toe though because EGAWD That building is so interesting… There is left-over graffiti in it and the Parliamentary House itself (or whatever you call it, I took POL SCI 101 five years ago) is just incredible - public galleries, glass ceiling, pedways. WILD! I can't get over how interesting that building was. You should all go see it.
- The size of this elevator!
- Learning what it means when a man tries to sell you tickets into the other side of the ruin bar... when no one else needed tickets to get in (Could he have chosen someone more naive?) I know a guy in Berlin if you need "tickets".
- A fridge full of beer that I had nothing to do with.
- Learning to speak German: "Schnell, This conference is graveystraße, but would be better with more sleepplatz"
- Telling a participant you would like to write a song for everyone... being too busy and instead them having write a song for us. Cute! Tear, sniff, sigh... (I don't think that bullet point makes sense, but I am leaving it in)
- Catching people looking for the Ash Cloud in a blue sky.
- Only one person going to the hospital.
- Only awkwardly kissing one person hello because I thought we were going for the double kiss and she thought I was going for a hug. Ugh.
- Digging in a dumpster (It was a German dumpster, I could have eaten out of it, it was so clean) so that people could do this:
-When life gives you lemons, make solar panels, reconcile with your neighbours, and solve your country's internal economic problems.
-Could they look any more polite?
-These captions don't make any sense because none of you were there... Well they were teams, they had garbage and constitutions and had to make shelters. More importantly we changed the rules on them constantly. It was cute.
-A shout out to Lauren, in Toronto, for making this game up with me... It was a success!
In other news, I have the best job in the world.
I spent two days longer in Berlin after the conference. The first evening I spent with a small contingent of Ash Cloud Squatters. We made a giant meal and then I SLEPT! It was lovely. The next day I wandered the entire city. I saw the East Side Gallery, shopped for shoes, went into 500 vintage stores, walked along the river, and coveted new neighborhoods to live in.
I am sure I did more but I didn't have my camera with me.
Oh! I napped in the grass and ate a tofu burrito. I am not even a fan of tofu but I haven't seen anything like that in so long I was overly excited.
-Look! Another picture I didn't take but how cool is that tower?? Pretty neat hey?! HEY LOOK AT HOW COOL THIS CITY IS!
-I also didn't take this picture... but I was might have been near by when someone else was.
I took the 12 hour train ride for the fourth time, this time with 30 song books, a stack of paperwork, t-shirts and a computer in my backpack. The train stopped on the furthest platform from the exit in the train station and I literally had to rest three times before I even exited the building. In my defense, books are heavy and the Keleti Train Station is probably four blocks long.
I had two nights rest, I think, (sorry... I blinked and then it was May. Time is whizzing by), and I had a Canadian friend come for a visit, swiftly followed by a second one.
More to come another time about being a tourist in Budapest. Now back to my usual routine of being extremely (this time with more sunlight and tanning) busy.