Days 2 – 5 in the garden

It is not easy being a mass murderer.  In fact, it is very hard work.  It requires planning and an ultimate goal.  However, once one develops a rhythm it is actually quite easy – as long as the conscious is forced into dormancy.  The key is to keep your eye on the prize.  This is how my recent time has been spent.  However, it was not the lives of people that I have taken, rather plants and more than a few innocent bug bystanders who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Weeded garden

But, my overgrown mess of a garden is starting to shape-up.  The backyard is about 50 percent weeded (thanks to the help of some unexpected visitors).  It would be more, but I went bike riding and cleaned the kitchen.  That was quite the adventure because I am more than certain that some of the dreck (filth) had been there since the previous owners moved in 40 years ago.  This assumption is based on the random things that I found, such as toilet paper from the DDR.

DDR Toilet Paper

Luckily, all the hard work is worth it.  Plus, I saw two frogs, a mouse (that looked like a cross between a mouse and a chipmunk) and a deer.  The deer appeared to be an adolescent female with more common sense than any deer I ever encountered in New York.  Her body frame was also much smaller than a typical White-tailed deer that I am used to.  I attribute her instinctual fear of humans to the structure of the German hunting system and the “well-positioned” hunting stand 30 meters from the edge of the nature preserve.  It could also have something to do with the dogs that frequent the walking paths.  I was fortunate enough to pet two of them and one even brought me a ball to play fetch with.  This was wonderful because the dogs in Berlin are extremely well-trained, but not very friendly.

On my bike trip I ate a tasty ice cream and my favorite Boulette baguette in an effort to dodge the shady foreigner who seemed to be following me.  The bugs got a bite out of me – most notably on my ass which is always as much fun as a barrel of monkeys.  It appears that I have also been bitten by a spider on my left arm.  Luckily, there has been no pain or itching involved (yet) I also spotted two job advertisements that I would like to apply for when I go back on Thursday.

The neighbors continue to be incredibly sweet.  It is as if I have a bunch of new grandmas who all want to feed me.  The gesture is very nice, but one can only eat so many pickles and so much apple sauce.  I am secretly hoping that they will decide that I look like I really need to eat some schnitzel with potatoes and asparagus.  Unlikely, but it does not hurt to dream.  They are also incredibly supportive and have so many stories and words of encouragement.

Of course, I missed my guy.  Yet, it was so nice to have something of my own (although it is actually ours).  It is sort of like moving into a new apartment.  Since coming to Germany, everything has been about him.  In the garden I feel like I am really putting down roots and gaining an opportunity to express myself.  I am lucky that he is so supportive and at least tries to understand where I am coming from.  Now I just need to get a damned job.

Sleep on the first night did not come easy.  I had lucid dreams about being consumed by bugs and everything ached from all of the physical activity.  Not to mention the “camp” smell that has permeated almost every surface in the bungalow.  It is certainly from a lack of proper ventilation and perhaps even some mold.  The following day (Sunday), I removed the DISGUSTING old carpets.  I will not touch them again without better gloves, long-sleeves, long pants, and possibly a face mask as they were covered in an unidentified white powder that may or may not be toxic.

After staying in the bungalow and some very intense cleaning, I am pretty sure that I have accepted and strongly support removing the wall between the kitchen and the living room to make the space more open.  It would do wonders for the place.  Therefore, I hope it is not too expensive.

However, the next step in the renovation process is definitely getting rid of the old wallpaper and flooring.  I am hoping to buy those items on Thursday after buying a new computer.  The next step after that is finding a fridge that won’t break the bank (hello Ebay kleinanzeigen) and a means to cook things.  I love salami, bread and cheese as much, if not more, than the next person, but need a bit more variety to please my palate.  I am leaning towards a small grill.

The downside of the weekend was forgetting my glasses and contact solution.  I attempted to rectify this situation by biking to the grocery store to buy contact solution.  They did not have any and the employees looked at me like I had three heads just for asking.  A bystander suggested that I try the Apothek (pharmacy) which was about 2km further away from the dryness of the bungalow.  Of course, I had no luck there which was actually surprising.  The pharmacist suggested that I head into the city, but I elected not to go the additional 6km to the city center in the torrential downpour.  Me eyes were displeased with this choice, but my aching muscles thanked me.  I am still amazed by the things that are not readily available.

A nice sunset

Overall, the time away was amazing.  I loved seeing the sunset and walking around without hearing babies screaming, fearing sudden death by bicyclist, or stepping in dog s!”§$%.  I came back into the city mostly because I wanted to take a shower.  I am seriously considering getting an apartment outside of Berlin.  It would be difficult on my relationship, but we have dealt with more difficult distances before (>6000km to be inexact).  It was just so nice to be in nature and to see a more balanced population, rather than herds of yuppies, hipsters, artists and musicians.  The people were also so nice.  Several people helped me on my journey to the Hauptbahnhof (main train station).  I did not even have to ask some of them – they just did it because they are nice people.

At the start of my journey back to the big city, I ate some sun-warmed “taste of childhood” blackberries and wished that I had eaten some with Frischkäse (like cream cheese) on toast.  That is on my list of things to do this upcoming weekend.

The nature

That and sowing some seeds, so that I can grow some fall crops.  I also got a comfy seat on the train with a desk and one can by the Brandenburg – Berlin ticket directly on the buses/trams in Brandenburg.  This was awesome because it saved me the $2.60 that I would normally have to pay in Berlin just to get to the actual train station.

As for my balcony garden in Berlin…

There are finally plenty of jalapenos growing and most of the cuttings appear to have lived.  I am going to wait another week before I make the final call.  And there is FINALLY one tomato on the Black Krim plant.  It appears as if it has been there all along.  It only made an appearance because I gave the plant a serious trim in hopes that it would increase fruit production.  A few bell peppers are also growing and everything else seems to be pretty happy, although I am pretty sure that the garlic I stuck in a random pot is not going to produce anything other than scapes.  That is okay it is better than nothing.

Other than that I have been exhaustively writing cover letters and trying to perfect my CV.  I hate that I have to put a picture on this document.  It feels like an invasion of privacy.  I am not sure why.  It probably has something to do with the fact that I despise pictures of myself.  They always seem to look like someone else who looks much uglier than the person I think I see in the mirror.  Ah well, when in Rome…

Until next time,

Enthusiastically Yours,

the transplanted gardener(in)

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