A Happy Coincidence

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by

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Maybe it was a happy coincidence, maybe it was fate, maybe it was maybelline; all I know is that something in the stars said that we should visit the German goverment building the day after President Obama makes his State of the Union address. While this didn’t impact our visitation rights, it cast a new perspective on how the worlds goverments run. It is my hope that many will know through social studies about our Senate and Representatives and so forth. But many don’t know what the proceedings are like in another country. In Germany they are something much like our own, as we learned through our tour of the Reichstag building. But unlike ours if a member of the committee doesn’t show up for a vote he can be charged a fee. Something I think would do wonders in our congress. Opinions? Apart from that though there was the fact that you had to declare your religion publicly, and you could be elected in as young as 18. All that aside though, the visit was about the history too. For us in the United States we have a building that is only as old as 200+ years. When you walk in the Reichstag though, you experience the history of the area. After WWII that building was basically destroyed, and then the wall was put up no more than 15 meters away. With bullet holes covering the sides and graffiti of Russian soldiers scribbled along the walls inside; you get to see what the foundation of the goverment is made of. They use it as a symbol with the old influencing and being a rememberance for the new.

Our journey didn’t stop there though. After a break for lunch and some exploring it was on to the DDR museum. A place built on educating about what happened in East Berlin during the seperation. This may or may not be a little biased, but unfortunately we students don’t know that. It was, none the less, enlightening. With many people commenting on the outragous idea of teaching sex ed in kindergarten. Or training children how think socially by having them go to the bathroom together. While these may seem like foreign, and slightly silly, ideas to us. They did have some impact on those living in the DDR. It was especially interesting to go to the museum after having talked to a former East German citizen just a day before. They said that in the DDR you could live well: there wasn’t extra, but you didn’t feel the need to have extra. Then looking at the museum you find out that there were stores dedicated to wasting the large amounts of money everyone seemed to have. Or stores used to collect foreign currency in order to trade for better goods.

With all that rolling around in our heads we left for more light hearted events. Dinner was eaten at a Mexican restaurant, and we were treated to: a salad, a plate of chicken with spanish rice and sauce, then a flan for dessert. Most, if not all of this, was worked off when we went ice skating up on the roof of a shopping center in the zoological garden center of the city. As always we hope you enjoy reading. Please come back to hear more about our travels through Germany.

 


One Comment

  1. Gretchen Bray says:

    I am enjoying your blogs very much, having lived in West Berlin from 1986-91. Berlin is still my favorite city and you have captured very well the many faces of Berlin.