I had a really nice time celebrating my birthday with my Berlin friends yesterday. We had a big picnic in Humboltdhain Park. I was very impressed by all the food people brought, a lot of it made from scratch and really delicious. Everyone was extremely generous and contributed something so we had a giant feast that went on for hours.
Although I had specified no gifts, many people brought them anyway and I was really touched by their thoughtfulness. Clearly, my friends here already have a sense of who I am. It’s easy to underestimate the culture shock of being in a city where I have lived before, in a country not so culturally different than the US. But I am a foreigner so it’s great to feel understood.
After a break for the Spain v. France game, the party continued at a karaoke bar on Warschauer Str. In a tiny, stuffy private room we sang until four o’clock in the morning. There were so many good moments, but I think the highlight may have been a duet that Dennis and Simon sang from the soundtrack to Watership Down. It was heartbreakingly beautiful!