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Germany

Kinder Surprises are the surprise I learned about the U.S.

 

Best find in Germany: Kinder Eggs (Kinder Surprises). I was indeed pleasantly surprised that the toy is a Lufthansa plane. And the pieces all fit together nicely. (Remember those horrible experiences with your sobbing, disappointed kid because the cheap toys broke or could not be put together even with Super Glue?) My son said, “Duh. That’s called German engineering!”

You can’t find these in the U.S. because the toys inside pose choking hazards. I just learned of the brouhaha of Kinder Eggs in the U.S. – Not only can you not find them in the stores, the U.S. Customs will confiscate them if they search your luggage and see them. Sometimes even a fine is imposed: My Google search turned up a 2012 story of $2500 fine per egg.

It’s overblown and ridiculous esp. considering how we refuse to even talk about stricter gun laws here in the U.S. The irony is killing me right now.

They say when you are from outside looking in, you learn new insights about yourself. Kinder Surprises. Yup.

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I spent 7 Euro for the privilege of going inside the Berliner Dom. Money so well spent.

 

So… This happened. I walked into the hotel and there’s this giant aquarium about 25 metre tall in the middle of of the lobby.

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Aqua Dom. I found this extremely amusing. Spent $15 Euro so I could get this pic.

 

A room with a view.

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What happens when a German, an Italian, a Dutch, an Asian Indian, an American and a Chinese walk into a traditional German cafe/bar/restaurant?

Have beers, lots of beers of course. Then make fun good-natured of each other’s country and other European countries that were not represented at the table.

#ProTip: For a greater does of fun, shout into the table “How about football?!” when with a European crowd and watch them ribbing each other.

When in Berlin. Muss man Bier und Schweineschnitzel haben.

When in Berlin. Muss man Bier und Schweineschnitzel haben.

We really enjoyed the food and atmosphere at Schwarzwaldstuben, a great, casual bar/restaurant specializing in Swabian food. Rothaus beers are really good. I don’t usually enjoy beer (gasp!) but I happily had 4? 5? I had Schweineschnitzel at almost every meal on this trip and none tasted as good as the gigantic one I had the luxury of polishing off on my own my first night in Berlin at Schwarzwaldstuben.

Of course, I paid the price of having Schweineschnitzel (basically fried porkchop) and beers at every meal for three days…

 

The Berliner Dom at night.

Berliner Dom & the moon

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Flying home from the Berlin airport was a very interesting experience. I marveled at it while at the gate area…

PSA: you’re to find out which gate your flight is departing from on a huge billboard while driving into TXL, ordered by departure time. Each gate has its own custom (2 windows) and there is always a long line. This is when status makes a huge difference. Once you pass custom, you’re in a tiny room with everybody. One pretzel stand. One tiny duty free shop that looks like it’s from the 70s. That’s it. No bathroom. I’m sitting here wondering what do we/they do when someone needs to go?!?!

When boarding came, a shuttle took us on a LONG tour of the airport and deposited us in the middle of the airfield, next to the runaway. My jaw dropped.

 

Thank you for the tour of the runway Air Berlin

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