Day 15 – Black Velvet

1 Oct

My first full week of school is under my belt. I have to say it feels good. The people in my class are great. I’m meeting some of them tonight at Belushi’s to watch the first game of the Rangers-Rays series. I get there at 23:00 and the game has just started and the kitchen is closed. Alex (from France/England) and Miel (Seattle) arrive about half an hour later. Finn (from Sweden?) never shows. After about 4 innings we’re all starving so we go grab a doner at the Alexander Platz. Hard Target is playing on the TV. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

We return to the bar to watch the end of the game. Miel really wants to see the Yankees but they’re not on until 02:30. We grab a beer for last call and finish watching the Rangers lose (big time). I take off when the Yankees and Tigers are tied one all.

Making your way through a German city early on a Saturday morning is an interesting experience. Compare this to my first night in Tunisia almost one year ago

In Germany you can purchase alcohol (beer) at any time of the day and you are permitted to drink it anywhere (even in a moving car). So on your walk home on a typical Friday night you will see people out drinking beer in public, on the trams, busses, and subways. In Kanada this is incredibly verboten. I don’t think I will ever get used to seeing it. In Tunisia it was very different. I arrived in Tozeur and while alcohol was not illegal it was pretty difficult to find. There were lot of people (all men) out on the streets but none of them were drunk.

In Tunisia I felt safe because everyone was sober (but they were drinking lots of coffee) and beforehand I had read that the police don’t look too kindly on locals who mess with the tourists. In Germany it’s my familiarly with the city, the culture, and the language that keeps me at ease.

I jump on the tram to get home. I exit at Antonplatz and the local doner shop is playing Black Velvet by Alannah Myles on the radio. I haven’t heard this song in years and here here it is playing in a Turkish diner in Berlin at 03:30 on a Saturday morning. A little piece of Kanada. Surreal.

3 Responses to “Day 15 – Black Velvet”

  1. Uncle Ross October 1, 2011 at 16:48 #

    There are little bits of Canada all over the place. We’re here in Annapolis cheering on a Canadian Women’s sailing team competing for the Santa Maria Cup.

    • Allison October 2, 2011 at 04:07 #

      Hi J. Your story of hearing Black Velvet reminds me of hearing Gangster’s Paradise sung in Korean when I was shopping downtown Kwang-ju… and of the time I used American Sign Language to communicate with a group of deaf Thai vendors (they had been taught ASL by American missionaries) at a night market in Bangkok at 2 in the morning… strange connections…

  2. Nina October 3, 2011 at 15:31 #

    I suggest that you ask your german teacher at school to teach the difference between an o and an ö – it’s Döner! It really is important to learn the Umlaute of our language if you want to succeed in learning german.

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