Actually, the instant we landed in Berlin's Tegel Airport it was clear we were fully submerged in capital-c Civilization again. But it's somehow more civilized than America, so it's more like all-caps CIVILIZATION. Here are some things that we like about Civilization:
- Running water
- Running HOT water
- Mercedes-Benz taxicabs (with integral seat-warmers) that whisk you – in a leathery, silent, but thrumming embrace – to your hotel
- More specificaly: lights at night. Lights at NIGHT! Like, not from petrochemical lanterns, or battery-powered headlamps, but from hot tungsten filaments connected to a municipal power supply that – if you can believe this – never turns off.
- The produce is huge. Like mutant huge: The Incredible Carrot; The Incredible Fennel; The Incredible Bunch of Cilantro that Ate Cleveland!
Our second hosts, Utz and Silke Schernikau (plus children Jacob and Lara) were also awesome. People are awesome! We have noticed that German kitchens should have three faucets: one for hot water, one for cold water, and one for Nutella, which everyone we've visited has a GIANT jar of Nutella in an easily accessible place in the kitchen. And if you finish the Nutella, in a late-night spoon-snack scenario? You will wake to find it replaced with a full jar, as if by elves, by the time you wake. German morning magic!
- the meat aisle of German supermarkets, which hopefully I will photograph tomorrow.