Britta's Letters from (and sometimes about) Berlin

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

2012: A Space Odyssey in Berlin

Britta Huegel

Sequel:       5.8.2012 

Dear YOU, 

I write without delay, because you sounded a bit worried about the outcome of my story.
The taxi-driver was a square-built middle-aged Turk. Who evidently disapproved of my entirely un-Turk behaviour: I dared to contradict Husband (a man!), because I wanted to put 'the things' into the trunk (where the driver had some things of his own), while Husband suggested: "Behind the front seats" - but there is my place - I never sit beside the chauffeur, I sit regally on the back seat. Throwing more disapproving looks from big dark eyes through the rearview mirror, the driver asked: "Where  do you want to go?"
Normally I share the taxi with a neighbour, but today she told me in the very last minute that she was at a birthday party at the other end of the town. Normally she tells the driver where to go.
I suddenly had a total blackout, and told Dark-eye: "I have to go to Dahlem. Just drive on - I will remember the adress in time." 
While I tried to remember - ("Something with 'B' - Bader-Straße, Breckenstraße, Bachstraße, no..."), Turk-eye warmed up and remembered that A Man must help a Damsel in Distress. He suggested addresses with 'B', while Husband tried to telephone the lady where we all shall meet. She didn't answer the phone. Our neighbour's husband was not at home.
"Go on, now left", I told the driver."You know, I have BEEN there, and when I have been once there, I find the place even in deepest night." (You, my dear, know that I remember colours and faces and normally also names, but He looked at me as if my second name was Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Nights, lolling on his back seat.) "Ring another neighbour?", he asked.  "Can't - my Smartphone is New - only the number's of Husband and Son are stored." (I felt rising respect: a Galaxy S III AND mother of a son!) "But drive on - now right..." He did. Brooding about the old prejudice that Germans are orderly, correct, meticulously and well organized. 'This one', he thought, 'isn't'.
But I succeeded in melting this iceberg!!
I tipped on his shoulder (very un-German too, to touch an unknown person) and beamed at him: "You know what we'll do if we don't find the address? We'll have a fine picnic - I have enough to eat here!"
That possibility spiritually challenged Husband: he called. Had finally got the address: Bartholomäus Straße 77.
And Miracle!: we were there, that very minute, only one street away, and we had never got lost. In no way whatsoever. Life doesn't serve picnics when you can get to a Literary Circle!

Your aff.


PS: Of course I cooked much too much - it would have fed 12. But it was absolutely delicious.
Though everybody took a second helping from the Mousse :-)


  1. Hello Britta:
    All was, finally, well that ended well and you did not, in the eventuality, have to share the packed dinner as a picnic with the 'Iceberg'! Much, we imagine, to the joy and relief of the literary group.

    Like you, we always travel in the back of a taxi. It would be unthinkable to do otherwise!

    1. Dear Jane and Lance,
      yes, almost a Shakespearian comedy with two actors and a voice from the off!
      I am glad to hear that I am NOT the only person on earth to ride a taxi in a way that other people accused me of being snobbish - though I don't care (THAT is real snobbery, haha).

  2. What a beautiful way to end the adventure, B! So many details in this short but exquisitely clever letter that I find myself filing away. In my heart's eye, you have always radiated affection and warmth so I am not surprised that your actions would come across as atypical and defy any and all 'old prejudices!'

    After this long chase toward arrival, I wonder if Siebeck would have helped himself to a second slice?

    1. Dear Suze,
      thank you - and you really made me smile: Siebeck definitely looks as if he helps himself to more than one portion :-)
      (Though his cookbook is good and very honest: he takes photographs from his dishes that are not photoshopped - quite a difference to the results of the cuisines of other famous cooks).

  3. I would have opted for the picnic!!!

  4. Dear IG,
    that comes as a TOTAL surprise to me! But: convinced!

  5. Good for you that you bridged the cultural divide and shattered some long-held misconceptions! You took the pigeon out of the hole and set it free, so to speak.

  6. Dear Walk2write,
    glad to see you here! The picture of the free pigeon is really interesting - let us see where it will fly to!

  7. I was on the edge of my seat, and I wasn't even in the taxi!

  8. Dear Sue,
    I love to hear that! (And: fasten your seat belt)

  9. WOW! What a great ending phrase; Life doesn't serve picnics when you can get to a Literary Circle! I was also on the edge of my seat during the whole story. I like taxi stories and love this one!! In my country taxi drivers are usually thought to be well-informed. Maybe because they often enjoy chatting with passengers?!

  10. Dear Sapphire,
    thank you! I believe that Japanese taxi-drivers are well-informed, and I guess they are very polite too (sad to say, the Berlin one's are known for the contrary).
    I have never thought of taxi stories as a special section - now I'll look with eyes wide open (as with goldfishes).