Friday, July 13, 2012
The steepest hill in Berlin is a 2% grade that flows north from Hauptstrasse down Akazien to Belziger. At the southwest corner is a small, warm-walled joint called Cafe Sur, where I stop for beer or coffee, depending on the time of day.
Yesterday I arrived at around three and had two Beck's; the first on my own, the second with a young Korean student who had arrived in Berlin the day before ("for three years") to learn English and German so that she might learn Arabic and become a translator back home.
Our conversation started well, with the student in charge. However, it soon became apparent that she had run out of rehearsed content and was resorting to stock phrases from a businessman's travel guide. "Know any good bars?" she asked, and I told her about Slumberland. "Do you play golf?" But before I could answer, she added quickly, "I do not."