May 7th 2017

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alone
····in the city—the moon in the street-lit
········sky
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This haiku perhaps captures my mood, a little. For all my fondness of Berlin, I feel very bitter-sweet sadness while being here. Everyone I’ve known (or knew as a child) is gone or has moved on. I tried visiting the parents of a friend, but they are either away or no longer live in the flat (though their name remains on the list of tenants). The Berlin of my childhood is gone and there is no one who invites me to visit. I first wrote “alone/in Berlin”, but maybe the version above is a little more universal.
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The photo above is of the spiral staircase leading to the second floor of a double decker bus. And another photo below left.
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I’ve always loved double decker buses, and still have a drawing I made of a London bus when I was 4 or 5 years old.
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I didn’t have as much chance to explore Berlin to today, my last full day, but managed to do a little. Sunday mornings are quiet and the air less filled by fumes—the best time to take walk. The picture below is from Schillerstraße, I think.
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And one last photo. The store front of a store selling Amplemann trinkets. The story behind Amplemann is especially nice. When West Germany was still West Germany, the wait and walk signs for pedestrians were fairly mundate, almost stick figures. In East Germany, however, the green walking man wears a brimmed hat, in profile, and walks gamely. When you’re meant to wait, the red Amplemann stands with his hands out, but with his hat still on. After unification, the Germans found the Amplemann so humorous and endearing, that he’s become ubiquitous in West Berlin. Not only in Berlin, but there are now Amplefrauen, so I’m told, in Stuttgart (and elsewhere)—a girl in dress and pigtales, because why should it only be men who cross streets?
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I come home bearing gifts.
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AmpleFrau127 May 7th 2017 | bottlecap
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One response

  1. “I feel very bitter-sweet sadness while being here. Everyone I’ve known or knew as a child is gone or has moved on.”

    The foremost philosophical problem of our time, any time. Or, as Frost put it, “Nothing gold can stay.”

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