I'M BACK....delayed post...

Why hello all. I am safely back in the States and have been for quite some time. Well, since Friday night. I had a lovely time eating out at a Mexican restaurant that night. Saturday I finally got to see my brothers perform and they were AMAZING. They make me so proud! I've never been so proud in my whole life as when I saw them playing together in the band. It was really great. Then I got to see some of my lovelies for ice cream at Sonic!

Sunday morning we had a...hectic ride back to Lycoming. Stupid "short cut". But we got back just fine. I'm rooming with Heather and Lala (the Asian Sensation! hahaha) in the new apartments, and they are SO AWESOME! Man, we just don't know what to do with so much room! It's so cool. I love it. There wasn't enough time at home, though. Except that my stupid computer wasn't letting me get on the internet!!! Eric and Jordan finally got it all fixed up tonight. Thank God for Mac's. haha. And my computer savvy brother and his roommate. :D No thanks to ITS...psh. They never do much to help.

My first classes were all super amazing! I think I'm really going to love all of them. Oh wait... Cultural Anthropology is gonna be a little boring. But I like it anyway. Hebrew is going to be tough until I get that alphabet down, but I'm really excited for it! My Archaeology Theory and Methods course is super interesting. Pam Gaber is a really good professor. I think this course is really going to prep me a lot for grad school, which is fantastic. My German Poetry class is SO AWESOME already. I feel so comfortable with my German now and I'm not hesitant to participate. Also, people who decide to take German are just so much cooler and so much more fun than other people. ;)

After my class I found out that I will have a THIRD job on campus now. woot! Dr. Johnson asked me if I would want to be the Greek tutor again because some of the students were asking if they could have a tutor again. He's just going to run it by the tutor center again, I think. I have to get there for my German position yet, too. I'll be tutoring for 101 and 111 of German! Yay! The beginner levels! It's going to be so fun! We've had a ton of new students to the German department, so there are 3 tutors all together. And then today I went to my first day of my third job: Biblical Archaeology lab assistant! It's going to be a little...frustrating at times, just because it's Dr. Knauth. But hopefully I can be a help and offer some insight to the students.

Already I have to get stuff together for LEAF (I'm the president this year. aaaaaah!!!): Involvement Fair tomorrow afternoon and Campus Carnival on Sunday. *sigh* But luckily I've already run into a couple of the members and they're pretty excited about getting things started. Thank God! Then this Friday is the first Stammtisch, then Knoebels with Denise, Melissa, Eric, Jordan, Heather, Lala, and Abby (Lala's friend from China)! Yay! Unfortunately, we realized that it's Labor Day Weekend. It's going to be super packed. Luckily we can stay at Denise's place for the weekend. woop woop! haha.

Alright, well, I haven't started on any homework yet and I gotta get that started. I just wanted to update that I made it back ok and everything. Hopefully I'll get the rest of my Germany pictures up soon! Alright, wells...that's all for now. tootles!


Last day....

*sigh* so today is my last day in Berlin....I'm going to miss it. It's the greatest city I've ever been to. I'm definitely coming back. I made a lot of really nice people and it was just a blast. Yesterday was our last day of class and we all pitched in 2euro for gifts for our teacher, Brigitta. It was so awesome. We bought her this gorgeous flower plant, a box of lindt chocolates, and a poster of Johnny Depp...because she loves him. hahaha. We even wrote her a "love note" on the back of the poster using all the grammar we learned. haha. It was super funny. She used to make us do talk shows and write love notes to each other and such, so it was really cute. She was so happy about it all. Then the whole class went out for dinner at this AMAZING Greek restaurant, and the people there were so awesome. We were supposed to meet at 8:30pm, but of course some people were late. haha. And we ended up arriving at 9pm. We were there until 12:30. haha. The people were awfully nice about it. They actually told us we could stay as long as we wanted. Angelika went crazy because she could finally speak Greek with people. haha. It was so amusing. It was a really good night filled with delicious Greek cuisine, good prices, and we all got a complimentary drink of orzi (erm, I think that's it...it's a Greek drink) or Amaretto. That was very sweet of them.

So it was all in all an amazing day. Oh wait, except for the getting up super early to take my test. That part wasn't fun. BUT I think I did pretty well because it wasn't very difficult. It wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. But we'll see how my speaking interview goes. Haha. I have that in an hour and I think it's only supposed to last at most 20 minutes. Then some of us are going to meet one last time for lunch. Then it's packing packing packing for me! Maybe I can get some more pictures up while I'm packing tonight.

I come home tomorrow!!!! Yay!!! I'm so excited!!!! I can't wait to be home. But I get home late... :( I don't have very much time between home and Lyco, so I can't see all my beautiful people before I leave for Lyco. *sob* I'll just have to try to make weekend trips. Hopefully my work load isn't so bad that I can do that often enough.

OH! The ASOR meeting is in Boston this year! I totally wanna go! Sam and Steve are making presentations on our finds and such! I wanna hear! And technically we have a "staff meeting" on the first Friday night of it all...I think. Not entirely sure. HEATHER! Wanna go to ASOR with me?! Oh, ASOR: American Schools of Oriental Research. Or also, SBL: Society of Biblical Literature. I think they work together...there's another one too...but I can't remember it. And it doesn't really work with ASOR...

Anywho, I need to get ready for my test.



Altes Museum! Pt. 1...

Yea, alright, here are some pics from when I went to the Altes Museum! Yay! They have Egyptian and Late Greek Antiquities. Erm, I have too many pictures from all of this, so I'm just going to put up the Egyptian pictures first. haha.

Ah, the Lust Garten! Quite pretty...it is obviously a favorite spot to sit and chill on a nice summer evening, bring some food and beer and/or wine, have a lovely time...yep.

Yea! Egypt! Get ready for it!!!!

Ah, beautiful piece of Egyptian art. I mean, pharaoh respect. See the stiffness in his posture while it still looks like the man? This rigidity was necessary to show in Egyptian leadership: the more important and higher up the social ladder a person was, the more rigid they appeared in the art. Unmoving, firm, certain, rigid: everything a leader should be, and is so depicted by remaining trapped in his stone block, keeping him one with the earth and so in contact with the gods. Also, you can't really see it from my picture, but the right foot is almost ALWAYS slightly forward, showing his dominance. The skirt thingy is super rigid, keeping almost perfectly align with the original stone block he was carved out of. His hands are also glued rigidly to his sides.

Oh man, it's Queen Hatshepsut!!! One of the few women pharaohs of Egypt...

Hieroglyphs! Yay! Ah, and atop it all, the winged sun disk; the symbol of royalty and divinity, usually associated with the pharaoh and the gods. It also appears on LMLK (lemelekh - "king's property") seals on jar handles...of which we found this summer!!! woop woop!!!! Gezer's mentioned on that wiki page. I think that's awesome...booyah!

Alright, I find this piece very interesting. Alright, the Greeks first learned art and sculpture from the Egyptians, so the beginnings of Greek sculpture look very much like Egyptian (I'll show you some examples in my next update). But the Greeks didn't see the world as having to be firm and rigid and in control; they saw movement and freedom from the stone medium. Then when Egypt began losing control in the Mediterranean and Greece started gaining it, Egyptian art began transforming into the Greeks' original interpretation. Whoa, sorry, I think that sentence was confusing. I hope you understood a bit. Anywho, here's an example of GREEK influence on EGYPTIAN art. haha. Ah, do you see the right foot slightly forward? And that he's still connected to his stone block in between his feet? And one hand rigidly at his side and the other held up in a kind of prayer? This man was probably a very important priest of some sort, I'm thinking. But then again...I'm no expert, this is my purely novice interpretation...

AHA! See? This is called Kuros (Greek for "youth"). I don't understand why this was put in with the Egyptian exhibit, but this was the beginnings of Greek sculpture, as borrowed from the Egyptians. The feet are together, so the Greeks didn't take that part for this specific piece, but see how he's very straight up and down with his arms pinned to his sides? Yep, Egyptian ideals. HOWEVER, there is no sign left of his stone block. The Greek ideal: freedom.

Ah, this piece is very interesting. It was a new kind of way of sculpting for the Egyptians called block sculpting. This man is Senenmut! I believe Senenmut was a scribe, but had some kind of favor or was her secret lover or something with Queen Hatshepsut. Her daughter Neferure is actually sitting in Senenmut's lap, I guess it shows his favor from the Queen Pharaoh. Oh, interesting unnecessary little piece of information on the Egyptian language: nefer means "beautiful" or something like that...so you know, Nefertiti, the most beautiful Egyptian Queen in it's entire history...or something. haha. Yea...you'll hear a bit more about some things in the Egyptian language...in case you were unawares before, language is like my favorite thing every, so you'll always hear something about interesting language trivia from me. Just a warning: I'm a total nerd. But most of you knew that already...and you still love me! Yay!

Aw man, why did I not take a picture of this guy's name plate in the museum? Now I can't remember who this guy is! His wife is always depicted as black because she was from Ethiopia, which was most definitely considered part of Egypt and it's people were considered Egyptians...during most of Egypt's ancient history. Nuts...well, now you guys know my secret. I'm actually not as smart as you thought. But anyways, here's a nice example of Egyptian wall painting anyways!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! IT'S HATHOR!!! WOOOOO!!!! She was a goddess...in fact, I do believe she's the one who wanted to destroy man kind with a giant flood (*AHEM* DESTROY HUMAN KIND WITH A GIANT FLOOD...this story is found in nearly every single civilization, and ESPECIALLY in the Middle Eastern ones), but Re (her father) decided he didn't want her to do this after all and tricked her into drinking fields and fields of beer, and she became SO DRUNK that she couldn't kill them. haha. I love Egyptians. Such a good story...

Aha! The sun disk (top left), Horus/Ra/Amun-Ra, depending on which time period you're looking at! Represents the aforementioned god(s) and for the pharaoh, a sign of his right to reign, since he was, after all, partially a god himself. I think it also has a representation for life. AND to the top right, you will notice a partial disk with many little ankh symbols around it. The ankh looks like a cross with a loop and represents eternal life (so this may be from a tomb...) and also is usually shown with pharaohs.

Ooooh, this is Queen Tiy! Erm...I don't really remember much about her, but I remember seeing this exact sculpture in both my Art History and Ancient Near East classes. So...that means she's important. lol. So, here's a link to another website if you feel like learning about her ----> Queen Tiy!

Alright, and now we move on to my most favoritest time period on all of Egypt: The Amarna Period!!!! Ooooooooh maaaaaaaaaan, I love this time!!!! Alright, the first link I provided for this time is just super brief and talks about the kings. But THIS link really gets into why this is my favorite time period: The dramatic change in theology and art and the mysteries surrounding all of it!!!! Also, you can read the much-too-short-for-my-liking blurb written in the museum, of which I took a picture:

Does not give this time period justice. First off, Akhenaten goes crazy and has all the gods wiped out except the sun god Aten. He creates a kind of monotheism that isn't really monotheism and is hotly debated. I'll spare you details. THEN, he radicalizes the art form! Instead of depicting the pharaoh as rigid and firm and perfectly godly beautiful, he makes everything more, well, not necessarily realistic...but hermaphroditic. People are given curves instead of straight, sharp lines; abnormalities of the people are shown. Here, I'll explain more in the following photos.

See? It almost looks funny. The guy on the right is Akhenaten himself: big ears, large lips, slim neck, bulbous chin. Not sure who the other guy is, but he's much more rounded, too.

Here's the head of one of the princesses. See how the back of the head has this enormous...abnormal...bump-thing? This may be just the new artistic ideals, or it could be representational. All the heads of the royal family are shaped like this, so it could indicate the severe inbreeding of the royal family...

Ah, there's the man again. See? He still has the large nose, ears, lips, and chin... And the woman on the left with hieroglyphs is all wavy, see? Not rigid...

King Akhenaten with his beautiful wife, Nefertiti...

THIS could be argued as one of the most famous pieces of art from the Amarna Period! And is my personal favorite. This is extremely different from all the rest of Egyptian art anywhere. You see the obvious curvy style and hermaphroditic shape of the bodies (not to mention that little bit of a beer belly Akhenaten seems to have put on...tsk tsk). And look as his arms, they're so skinny and not very strong-looking. Not good when one's trying to show off against other kings... AND the children have that funny bulbous head again. But another thing odd about this is, that this is a depiction of the royal family, all together, and proportionally shown. Normally, the pharaoh is the largest figure (seeing as he's the most important...); then his wives are shown, also in size of which one's most important; then the children might be shown. But they are never ever ever depicted in such an intimate setting. One child sits in Nefertiti's lap, holding her hand; while the other sits up near her shoulder and touches her face. Akhenaten himself holds one of his daughters and is actually kissing her. Then for the theological implications: The sun disk of Aten sits above the family, showering down rays of life and favor, with little hands that actually touch them. It's very strange indeed. I love it.

BOO! Oh yea, I totally surprised you all with this one! Ok ok, this might be the most famous piece of art from all the Amarna Period....to non-archaeologists. The beautiful head of Nefertiti! Missing left eye and all!!! Her graceful swan-like neck, the perfect full lips, almond-shaped eyes, high cheek bones, perfectly formed chin. Yep. The ideal woman. Thanks a lot, Egypt. Not even Aphrodite can live up to this one.

Oh! And what have we here? The kind with a CRUTCH? He's actually shown as being WEAK AND SICKLY? No way...

Nefertiti in full form... oh, wait wait...what is this? A bit left over from the old period? Right foot slightly forward, arms at the sides...

Ok ok, I'm done, that's all of the Amarna Period I have for you all. I know, I know, you're all thinking, "Oh thank GOD!" ...or should you say ATEN! hahahaha. Ok, sorry, geek joke... *ahem*

Yea, there's Hathor again...

Ooooh, various Egyptian finds of daily life! Actually...probably from tombs because there is really very very little that has been found about daily life in Egypt...really only the government and religion. But that's what you get when the only things that are found (or searched for) are the gold-filled tombs... Let's see, we've got some pots, which contained foods and water and wine and milk for the afterlife; little people figurines making some more bread and such for the person in the afterlife - just in case he doesn't have enough! Oh! He's even given a cow! Mmmm...more milk! Oh, and knives and such for when the cow stops giving him milk or if he runs out of meat... Hey! There's also a plow way back there! This person was given everything to be self-sufficient in the afterlife! How kind of himself...since he planned out his own tomb...

Yea! Hieroglyphs and some pictures! Everything was drawn on registers, the different levels going top to bottom. That's how the story was told.

Make up pallets! ...and a perfume jug shaped like a fish...alright, whatever floats your boat.

Ow, ok, those horn-shaped thingers are Egyptian pillows. Erm...headrests. When you went to bed, your head went there. Yea...not sure how they were able to sleep like that but... AND THERE'S BES!!! Silly-looking, fat, bearded dwarf god of childbirth, song and dance, and humor!

Yea! Pottery! I need to learn more about pottery because to me, this looks like Cypriot ware... Erm, but upon further research on the internet, it seems I am dead wrong. *ahem* ok. Yea, I need to learn more about pottery...but see that silly looking bird? Yep, we've found some stuff like that Gezer...oh yea.

Haha! Pelicans! Alright, this shows one of the problems with the ancient Egyptian art form of putting things on registers. This is all one scene, don't think it's 3 different ones. They're gathering up pelicans and fishing AND they're showing the fish (and platypi? huh? Alright, maybe otters or beavers...?) and slugs and eels that they're fishing for. One scene, 3 registers.

SCARAB SEALS! Woop woop! We've got some of these at Gezer, too! But they're not gold...

Here's these have images that are closer to what we have at Gezer... This means Gezer had Egyptian influence, but anyone who knows they're Old Testament would know that King Solomon was given the city of Gezer as part of a dowry for marrying and Egyptian princess. Besides, everyone knows that the Egyptians were rulers of a HUGE chunk of the Mediterranean and Near Eastern part of the world.

SINUHE!!! YEA! Woop! Alright, I'm getting really lazy and hungry now, so you're only getting this in the form of a link for it's story and history...The Story of Sinuhe...

Sweeeeeet, here's the story!!! In it's original form!!! OMG!!!!

GOLDEN SHOOOOOES!! Omg, shoes...

Haha, I found this very amusing. It's the death masks of a bunch of mummies, but I thought it looked like that Andy Warhol painting....wait...that's not Andy Warhol. I don't know who did it, but it's the one where there are four panels and each one's a different color but with the exact same picture...anyway, that's the only reason why I took this picture...

COOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPTTTTTTTTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCCC! This is in Coptic. Erm...Egyptian Greek. AHAHHAHAHA! It's sooooo difficult to read these manuscripts...I need to get better at this...


OMG AND MORE GREEEEEEEEEK!!!!! Only this one's on a piece of stone!

I thought this was super cool because it was a sketch made on the mummy wrappings! How cool is that?!

Oh, apparently for the priest Hor...I don't know who that was...

More mummies!! These are children. :( A bit sad but childhood death was very common in those times. You can also see...DUN DUN DUN - the Greek influence!!!! Instead of the death masks from the interesting picture I showed you above, these have Greek portraits wrapped up with the mummy.

Yea! Look at that king go! Smiting his enemies!!!! Ooooh, he wears the crown of Upper (erm, techincally south) Egypt. Ok, so, there's Upper and Lower Egypt, but it's oriented to the Nile river...which flows NORTH. So, Upper Egypt is actually in the south and Lower Egypt is in the north. Very confusing, but that's how it goes.

Lovely cat worship...

Yea...I don't know who this god/goddess is. Egypt isn't my favorite civilization...so I don't remember or know everything about it...and it's religion....

But now I am SUPER tired and hungry and, oh crap! I forgot to go to the supermarket! Oh wait, no I didn't...it's not open on Sundays. Alright, I'm eating out tonight! Erm...oh man, it's kinda late. Hope something's open. I need to get to bed early tonight, though, because first thing tomorrow, I'm going to the PERGAMON MUSEUM to see it's BABYLONIAN EXHIBIT! Ooooooh yeeeeeaaaa!!!!!! I'm sooo excited! THAT is my favorite civilization. No wait, the Assyrians, wait, Ur...or Ugarit! ARGH! I don't know...they all blend together anyway because they all wanted to copy each other. Anywho's, I'm super excited. It's the only museum not free on Thursdays because of this special exhibit and the last time I tried to get in, it was a three hour wait. So I checked it out online and I saw that I could BOOK my tickets online! AAAAH! So I bought my 6euro ticket for tomorrow morning as soon as it opens! woop woop! And that's what I'm doing before class tomorrow!

I'm quite excited also because I muchly prefer doing these museum things by myself. I get all excited in my head and now I get to share them with people online, so I also think about and plan out how I want to show them to you guys and group them up in different ways so it makes it easier for explaining. Whoa, I'm a total nerd. I've said too much already.

Oh man, and then we're going to a house party after class. Poo, guess tomorrow is a coffee binge day. haha. TIME FOR FOODS!



So I just got a phone call from my super talented younger brothers Matt and Paul and I am so excited and so proud of them. This is now the 4th place I've written this because I'm so proud of them. While on vacation at the beach, some guy at a hoagie shop asked them to play their bagpipes and drum for a few days...and they were paid. Nothing better than making money on vacation! haha. WELL, these boys are well on their way to becoming the most famous mini bagpipe band in the world, I think. Just wait, someday you'll see them on tour... But while playing there one day, (simplified story) this guy came up and was like, we were hoping to have someone play the bagpipes at this news castor's birthday party in Avalon at his super awesome mansion! Would you like to do it?

Hmm...lemme think for a minute...YES. The guy came around to the beach house earlier today to drop off the pay and said to my dad, "Oh yea, and the Eagles players are also going to be at this party." *jaw drops* First, they get a gig for a rich dude at the beach, then they find out that they could meet the Eagles. These boys, I tell ya. Ok, I was just so excited and so proud that I had to run an update on this news.

That is all. Oh, and I want pictures and video of this.

Das Wetter...

Whoa, I checked the weather for back home today for the first time, like, for the entire time I've been here. Man, you guys have sun and heat and sun and few clouds and sun. Know what we've had here in Berlin for the past week and a half? Rain...chilly...rain...oh, only dark, grey, and cloudy today...windy with some rain...rain...whoa, the sun, but chilly...rain. haha. Yay for north north European weather! You should hear the Spanish, Greek, and Brazilians complaining. It's pretty funny. BUT I found out that I'm actually tanner than the Brazilians...which I thought was super funny. Today I actually slept in really late because the weather was so grey, I thought it was still early. Then when I was like, NO, I JUST CAN'T SLEEP ANYMORE! WHAT TIME IS IT? I saw that it was actually 1pm. haha. oops. Well I hope that means I shall have lots of energy for the Salsa dance party they're having tonight.

I was supposed to meet up with people this weekend from my term back in May (whoa, almost wrote Mai...but that's Deutsch) but half the people canceled because of work and the other half didn't realize we were still planning it. :( Oh wells, I plan on returning to wonderful wonderful Berlin in the near future and to continue coming here and maybe one day live here for a bit. I think that would be fantastic. It's really not that expensive in Berlin...or really Germany. And the French and Spanish and Greek people think so, too. They're impressed by the cheap foods in the super markets and cheap prices for restaurants with GOOD food (Vietnamese for 5euro plates FULL of food and rice and noodles....*drools*; pizza and coke 3euro; of course kebab 2 to 4 euro; Middle Eastern 6euro). It's only when you want the "fancy" cuisines that you have to pay a lot (Italian 12euro; French 24euro; Japanese 10euro). And German foods span the entire price range, depending on where you're eating: Biergarten 5 to 10euro; "nice" restaurant 12 to 20euro. This really is quite an amazing city with a HUGE range of cultures and things to do and see and eat. Living can be cheap or expensive (50 to 80 cubic meter apartments in Potsdamer Platz I hear go for 1000euro a month...damn). But that's Postdamer Platz. My host family pays I think only 300euro (?) a month for a nice sized apartment for a young couple, especially for it's location, which is only a 10 to 15 minute UBahn ride from Berlin Mitte - sehr gut!

But anyways. Countdown to home: 6 days; Countdown to Lyco: 8 days. Ooooooh mmaaaaaaaan!

My flight from Berlin is 11:05am, which means I need to be there at least by 8am. Then it's a two hour flight to London Heathrow (I still have to figure out which terminal I LEAVE from... hopefully it stays the same and doesn't decide to change on me AGAIN. Oh wait...I have a two and a half hour layover. Ach, Gott sei Dank! *passes out* Last time I only had one hour and I almost didn't make it. Phew, I can take my time this time around...that'll make things superbly easier. Yea, and then it's only a 2 hour flight to the states! haha, I'm just kidding, that's giving local times. It's actually 8 hours. Whoa, cool, I found an awesome picture of the world time zones! Just in case anyone's interested. lol.

Hahaha...Soeren keeps saying, "RED RUM!" in the scary little voice that kid makes in The Shining. haha, "Danny's not here Mrs. Torrence..." haha, that's such a good movie, I love Jack Nicholson...

Ok, but now I must get moving. I took my time eating breakfast...at 1:30pm. haha. Folded and put away my clean laundry, checked all my email and internet stuffs, checked my flight times, updated, and now it's 3pm. I guess it's time I took a shower. Yep...definitely shower time. Then I think I'll start packing up some of my clothes and stuff that I know I won't need (mostly clothes for HOT summer weather and not chilly rainy summer weather), and maybe work on my practice test a bit. Oh man...I'm really nervous for this practice test. But I want to work on it this weekend so that any questions I have about grammar or something, I can ask my Lehrerin about on Monday and work on it some more before my first part on Wednesday morning. There are two parts: Reading comprehension, Listening comprehension, and Grammar are on Wednesday morning; Writing and Speaking on Thursday morning. Uuuugh! And it's for the entire B1 section, not just B1,1...which means I need to quickly brush up on B1,2. But then the next time I go to study German, I get to take C1!!! And if I complete C1, then I am a qualified international translator of German!!! wooooo! That's my goal!!!

Ok, but really now...shower...I don't know what it is about Europe, but it just makes you smell. Seriously guys, it's not the people...all the time. Because I shower everyday and use deodorant everyday, and when I wake up in the mornings or before I go to bed at night, I'm like, "Hey! I DID shower today..." It's the land, man...wasn't like that in Israel. I smelled in Israel only during the week when we were sweating away up on the Tel...never smelled on the weekends, even if we were sweating just sitting in one place. No stench. It's Europe...hahaha.


Less aggravation in this post...

You'll all be happy to know that nothing more came about from the racism. Mostly because he didn't really have the guts to show up to class on Wednesday...or Thursday. But he was there today and was awfully cranky. Yea, well, whatever. He can think and do what he wants.

But anyways, tonight I had breakfast for dinner! I made myself French toast! And because there's no maple syrup in Germany, I used nutella. Oh yea, super healthy dinner! But that's what I wanted, so back off!!! haha. Wednesday night a few of us tried to go to a Sigur Ros concert (oh man, I loooove that Icelandic band!!!), but they were all sold out...entirely! I was so upset. Before then we had yummy cheap Middle Eastern cuisine and then for a drink at this nifty nifty cafe/bar/movie theatre place. We're planning on going to the movies there at some point, I think. It was really cool. But when we couldn't get in to the concert we ended up making our way down to this international boat party. It was ok...too many English speaking people, or people who wanted to practice their English, so I just stuck with the people I already knew so I would be forced to speak Deutsch. It wasn't that great, really. It was really late when we left, too, but thank God it was just a few blocks away from my apartment, so I didn't have to figure out how to get home. Though I did have to help everyone else figure out how to get back home. So I ended up walking Angelika 15 minutes to the night bus that led to Alexander Platz...oy, too much. I was soooo tired.

Last night I had no plans, but ran into Luiz on the UBahn and he said he was going to a photography museum, so I decided to go with him, having nothing else to do. It was super cool. It was paparazzi photography! It was entitled: "Helmut Newton Foundation presents Pigozzi and the Paparazzi". Helmut Newton is a famous photographer for many magazines about celebrities, and also photographed, I think, for Maxim and other various magazines. Beware, there may be some nudity in the photos I have linked. But it was really awesome. Unfortunately we couldn't take pictures in the museum. Otherwise I'd have an awesome awesome awesome awesome picture of David Bowie and John Lennon TOGETHER in the same photograph. *drooooools* Never thought so much beauty could be captured in one photograph. hahaha.

But anyways, that's enough of that, here are some photos from one of my earlier tours: Berlin Mitte! Berlin Mitte is a city district...erm, in the middle of the city. It's the oldest part of Berlin and was mostly in East Berlin. It also happens to be one of the most expensive areas of Berlin. haha. Berlin has been in existence since 1700's something, not sure exactly when, but it was originally two little villages (one of which had lots and lots of Czechs and Poles, so the names of many areas in Berlin are very Eastern European sounding: ex. Pankow, Jannowitzbrücke, Hönow). Berlin Mitte includes these oldest villages.

Ah, the Marienkirche...with the most famous and ugliest Soviet symbol of the Deutsches Demokratik Republik (GDR - East Berlin - for you Americans, lol): the Fernsehturm (TV tower)!! Of course the church was there first...and the tour never actually really worked... But it's an excellent example of Socialism! The only tower higher than this is the one in Moscow. Tja, there's Soviet Russia for you. haha. It's just super funny to see a famous religious building and a famous Soviet Socialist symbol in the same area.

Ah, you can't really see it too well, but inside the Marienkirche is a wall painting depicting "The Dance of Death". Our guide didn't really talk much about it because he was more interested in showing us the Kommunismus vs. Kapitalismus in Berlin Mitte. haha. But the church was very pretty. It was originally Catholic but now it's Anglican.

The pulpit...very pretty...

Ah, the alter! Sehr schön!!!
It's Jesus!

And of course the organ. I can't go into any church without taking a picture of the organ...

The church is pretty much in constant renovation. Here's a mosaic they're fixing up, but to do that, they have it set up as such: you can "buy" one of the little mosaic ceramic pieces for like 1euro and they put it up. At least that's how I understood our tour guide...

Aha! Berlin's water system (sorry...the link leads to a page that is only auf Deutsch...I can't figure out how to get it in English!) is celebrating like 50 years or something, I don't know. So they have these severely interesting advertisements for them all over the place that say things like, "Eau wie gut!" with a flower grabbing a watering can or something. Click on the large picture and you can see all of them. It's a word play (I LOVE when I understand word plays in German!!!): "eau" is actually French and means "water", but it's pronounced like "oh". And "wie gut" means "how good". SO the whole thing is "Oh, how good!", referring to the wonderful water system in Berlin. haha. Yea! Anywho, this is what the new man hole covers look like...it has all the famous places in Berlin: Brandenburger Tor, Fernsehturm, Hoppel des Reichstag, Gedächtniskirche, erm...can't remember, can't remember, and Viktoria!

Woot! Das rotes Rathaus! "The Red City Hall!" It was actually used in East Berlin. Now the Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel works there! Whoa, she has her own website! woop! Go, woman, go! Erm, in case no one knew, she's the Prime Minister/President of Germany... haha, our tour guide told us that she worked there, but that we unfortunately couldn't meet her because she was on vacation, otherwise we would have met her. haha...he was joking, of course. AND OBAMA WAS THERE!!! I tooootally got to see what he wrote in their little bookie thing inside. That was super cool.

Ah, Socialist architecture...so, erm...cheap and economical?

Ah, Nikolaikirche, the oldest church in Berlin. Located in Nikolaiviertel, the oldest part of Berlin! And super beautiful. Mostly destroyed in the wars, however...but the Soviets actually sort of rebuilt it...

Here is one of the only places they actually tried to rebuild...it's a pub! haha, typical German food here...

The front of Nikolaikirche. We unfortunately didn't go into it. It no longer has services...it's a total tourist attraction now. How sad.

haha, this picture is for Kristina and Lesley. It's Saint Georg und der Drachen (St. George and the Dragon)
Oh yea, who wouldn't want their picture taken with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, the fathers of Socialism?!?! haha, this used to be a serious area of Socialist Berlin, located dead center and in the area of the Fernsehturm and the rotes Rathaus. Now it's a huge photo opportunity. haha. Super awesome.

Ok, and now I must be off to meet some people for drinks or something, I don't know what. I just know that I have to be at Postdamer Platz. So, ich gehe jetzt! Tschüss und bis gleich!