Saturday, June 27, 2009

Greetings from Berlin

I'm in Berlin to give a talk at LinuxTag 2009. I've been looking forward to returning to Berlin after my talk at LinuxTag last year, so I've given myself a Saturday to be a tourist here. What follows in the next couple of posts is a series of my observations. (And yes, I think the talk went ok. I'm never terribly confident - and I hate the way my voice gets squeaky when I nervous (Note to self; remember to breath) - but 6+ people came up to me after to ask questions or to simply thank me for the talk and to tell me they enjoyed it, so I'm cautiously optimistic that I didn't completely suck.)

At least half the crows I see are are a kind we don't have in the US, the Hooded Crow. It's always pleasantly disconcerting to see something you know like the back of your hand that is, in fact, something that's new to you. It's one of my favorite things about traveling.

And there are bunnies in the parks :)

It's my last night in Berlin and I've just come from "Bandy Brooks": a small Berlin chain of ice cream stores. They told me as I bought a cone that the "backstory" for the chain is that it was American, like Hagen Daz pretends to be Dutch but is really made in New Jersey - but it wasn't until I was sitting outside, enjoying the mild evening and the foot traffic streaming by that I read the signage more closely and discovered that they aren't pretending to be American, they are pretending to be from "Confederate America", aka our southern states that seceded from the United States over slavery (and other things) resulting in the American Civil War. I think I just bought ice cream made for wanna-be slave owners. In Germany. Call me PC but I am creeped out. I know I should think, "Gone with the Wind", or "Colorful history of ardent support for states rights", but this was after one of my cab drivers went on and on in mercifully obscure English about how "Jews have all money, very rich!" feh I'm going to pack and go to bed.

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