BERLIN STORY (A Berlin Bookshop)

A couple of weeks ago ago I talked about a book called The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell which, in my opinion, is a must-read for every book lover out there!
Some of my my favourite shops I’ve listed in the mentioned post, and everytime I go somewhere new I take this book with me hoping Jen knows a place for me to go. And she nearly always does. (Isn’t that very lovely of her!)

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In May my mum and I went to Berlin for a short holiday, and it was pure awesomeness! The weather was gorgeous, we went out for brunch everyday and I ate more chocolate than I could digest. The bookshop Jen Campbell mentioned in her book is called BERLIN STORY. It’s a store dedicated to books about or set in Berlin. It is located very close to the Brandenburger Tor, so it’s hard to miss if you’re going along the tourist route.

The store, however does not have a very bookish atmosphere to it; it also sells a big variety of souvenirs, so it’s really more of a tourist shopping attraction. However, it’s definitely a go-to place if you’re looking for literature on Berlin.

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Berlin is one of my favourite places on earth, mainly because so much has happened to and in this city, and it’s still standing strong. It has been the center of German social and political life for centuries now; every important person in history has visited at least once, every story told is unique. There used to be a wall separating families and friends and lovers, and in the end they didn’t tear it down – they used it as a gallery and they sell ist pieces to tourists. There is so much life to Berlin. Like a wallflower desperately blooming in the shade and growing through cement. I don’t know how anyone can not love it.

BERLIN STORY is a fine representation of what the city itself holds. There’s autobiographies from people who had breakfast with Prussian Emperors over Jewish women who tried to hold their families together during the Nazi regime, up to modern-day fathers who describe their everyday life putting up with sodding toddlers in the roaring city of Berlin. There’s crime, romance, YA novels, guide books, photography bibles, history books – it’s everything that makes Berlin. It’s the past and the present, it’s the drug-dealing children at the Bahnhof Zoo and the man who lives with a communist kanguruh – it’s everything, and there’s a lot of it.

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I could tell you endless stories about Berlin – Döner tours, attempting to drown a friend in a fountain and having ice cream at midnight with Anna… but for tonight I’ll leave you with this one. The BERlN STORY, if you so will.

What is your favourite city? And is there a favourite bookshop of yours?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Role Models

Whoohoo, I am so done for this week! In the best possible way. I have literally JUST handed in a spontaneous essay – in which I stopped believing on sunday, but somehow it still turned out okayish. Yay for that! Tomorrow I am off to Lübeck, also quite sopntaneously and the reason I‘m writing a post tonight and not as ususal tomorrow. And I‘m going out tonight to see a photo exhibition that my friend made, more yays for that! (well, he contributed one small part of the exhibition, but that still counts, right?) Frankly, I‘m just happy to be leaving the house for a reason other than to watch my dog poop. Yay Yay Yay!

Something I have been wanting to write about for a while now are role models. I remember that when I was little I had this massive crush on Emma Watson. I wanted to BE her in every way possible, so I would braid my hair at night to have curls the next morning; it helped that I was a huge geek in primary school, so all I had to do was tell others how stupid they were for not basically living in the library. But I also remember that a few years later I read an interview in a magazine, some hot shot singer or what have you, that I would have snogged at any given moment. He said that he had no role models at all because he wanted to follow his own path, blah blah. And I thought, neat! The truth has been spoken! From now on I will only rely on myself and trust my own instincts and Imma rock this! I don‘t really remember how that decision went down. I probably just locked myself in the library and checked my teachers‘ assignments for spelling mistakes (I did that repeatedly – the search for missing commas always proved to be very successful!) But you know, now that I‘m thinking about it, that was such a crappy thought! The truth is that we all have role models, people we look up to. It shouldn‘t get to the point where we compare ourselves to them in everything that we do, of course – but I firmly believe that we need people to look up to in order to believe that something can be done. So here are my own personal role models:

Hermione Granger

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This much has never changed. I sometimes still find myself wondering what Hermione would do in a particular situation and I find great comfort in the fact that she‘s a huge bookworm, and yet that doesn‘t make her any weaker at all.

Emma Watson

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Obviously. She is basically a real life Hermione and I admire her for being super pretty and standing up for women‘s rights and gender equality. She seems to be staying very true to herself and that‘s a hard thing to do.

Sophie Scholl

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Sophie may well be my greatest hero of all time. She was in a resistance movement during the Second World War and was killed by the Nazis. What I admire about her, however, is not that she died, it‘s that she lived. Even in the midst of a horrible war she wrote about spring and about hiking in the alps. To keep believing in something good and pure when everything around you is falling apart is such a strong and wonderful character trait.

My Mum

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My mum‘s just one super cool lady, and if you tell me «you‘re acting just like your mother», then that is a compliment.

David Mitchell

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The comedian, not the writer. Although he has written books as well. Anyway. I‘m not absolutely sure David is actually a role model to me, it may well be that I just identify with him quite a lot. But then I catch myself thinking, hey, he‘s still alive and happy, so there‘s not a bad chance for me!

Carrie Hope Fletcher

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I never realised that I actually see Carrie as someone I idolise with until I watched one of her recent videos on Youtube where she announces that she‘s moving in with her boyfriend. And it got me thinking, I don‘t necessarily crave a boyfriend, but I like to think that I can one day manage to actually grab hold of my life enough to enter that happy place… Oh my, I sound severely depressed! I‘m not, I am a very happy person and there is nothing wrong with me. But you know, I feel like I haven‘t quite grasped the concept of being a grown-up.

Elizabeth Bennet

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She is such an amazing heroine. Every person, male or female, should learn to think for themselves. Elizabeth doesn‘t get married just to secure her future and just because that‘s how it is done. She does what she thinks is best for herself and what she believes to maje her happy.

Roxana Vasquez

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Roxana is a girl I met on Zacate Grande in Honduras. She is working at a radio station where she fights against landowners trying to take away local farmers‘ lands. She‘s very upbeat and actually risking her life in the struggle of keeping her home. She told me that she might get killed, but if she doesn‘t fight at all she will surely die of hunger – so there isn‘t actually another option. I just can‘t help but think that we need way more people like her!

Princess Leia

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Of course Leia‘s on the list! How could she not be! Leia is very badass, she knows how to handle a gun and she rocks a lot of braids. I don‘t know where we get the picture from that strong women can‘t also be pretty or care about their hair – Leia clearly has her priorities set. Even in war time she must spend hours braiding her hair. And she knows how to fly a space ship, no one can argue with that!

Between writing this post and actually publishing it eight hours have passed (the exhibition was great btw) and I have only just realised that there are almost only women on my list. It‘s not that I‘m the sort of hardcore feminist that refuses to look up to men, but they simply stand for things that I feel I am lacking myself. Getting my own mind, standing up for what I believe in, embracing my own weirdness in its full beauty… I think these are the things everyone of us is struggling with all the time. We all want to be a better version of ourselves, and I think that is the best thing we can want. Because we are good the way we are but we can change if we want to to, and if we do want to we should! And it‘s good to have someone to follow, but sometimes we also forget that we can set examples to and that maybe one small person would like to be more like us. Isn‘t that encouraging?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Blogmas (Day 24) – Christmas Eve Celebration

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!

I have just had the loveliest Christmas Dinner with my family. We went to my grandmother‘s house as we do most years because out of all of us she cooks the best. Also, in contrast to my mum and me, she‘s quite well organised. She‘d made a vegetarian lasagna and I brought a butterscotch roulade for dessert. My family loves eating, so dinner was clearly a highlight of the evening. We usually go to church after opening the presents, but this year we took our time singing Christmas carols, my mum read us two stories, then we each took turns opening our presents.

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I feel so blessed having been able to spend another Christmas with the people I hold dearest. It‘s such a privilege to be alive and well and happy. I was also given amazing presents, and I realise that that, too, is not something to be taken for granted. To wish for something and to just get it, that‘s a huge wonder in itself and I‘m amazed to have been so lucky all my life. Even when times were not as good as they are now, my parents always gave my brother and me everything they could.

I don‘t care if I get a laser sword next year or if somebody buys me an Around-the-World ticket, all I‘ll ever want is this: my family gathered around the tree and laughing until tears flow.

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Tomorrow Tobias and I will be spending Christmas with our dad and our adopted patchwork family which will probably include even more eating. I can‘t wait!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Autumn Favourites

It‘s officially autumn! Yaaay! I know it‘s been officially autumn for over a month now, but only now the weather has realised it, too. I love getting all wrapped up in the morning when I leave for uni. I love drinking hot tea and curling up under a blanket to read or watch Doctor Who (I know there‘s other TV shows, but why bother?!). I love the cold air and the sunshine and the red leaves that cover the bycicle track and the icy blue of the river.
When I was in Honduras there were many things that I loved about the country, like the fact that there‘s actual rain forests, but autumn is something that I wouldn‘t want to miss out on. It‘s just so wonderful how everything changes.
Of course just like every other blogger right now I have my personal so called autumn favourites. But I would like to differ just a bit here, because my autumn favourites this year are not limited to autumn. Let‘s call them favourite autumn memories!

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I think number one would be hanging out with my niece. She‘s fifteen months now and I get to babysit her more and more now that she‘s gotten used to me again. I‘ve actually stolen a pacifier from my sister to keep at my house. So everytime little Anastasia comes over, I‘m ready! I don‘t really want to blab on about the miracle of life, but having a baby around is really fun. It‘s such a tiny person and everytime I see her she‘s a little bit closer to the lady she‘s some day going to be! I‘m just so bedazzled! On saturday I took her for a walk through the woods – she fell asleep straight away, but everything smelled of autumn and the trees were all red and orange and I had this little human with me that gets the silliest giggles out of me.

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My favouritest place to go!

Number two, I‘d have to say hanging out at the Brasserie. It‘s a small café in Bern where I used to go to a lot last autumn when we performed the play about Sophie Scholl that I‘d written. It‘s definitely one of my favourite places. I went there recently with friends to play card games. I remember that it rained and that I kind of worried about my bike getting all wet but that at the same time I kind of didn‘t care. I really missed the Brasserie in Honduras, because of all the happy memories I have of it. Walking in there just means that everything is okay.
Oh, and did I mention that there‘s a demon haunting the bathroom? Yuuup! Sitting right behind you, ready to attack. Or that‘s what it feels like, anyway!

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And finally, number three – it‘s birthday season! My mum turned young this October (the perks of having a baby while you‘re still at uni!) and she usually hosts a huge party. I think I have a really cool mum, one that is very annoying at times, but one that also doesn‘t judge me for getting home drunk, having silly boyfriends or failing exams. In return I don‘t judge her for having more pictures of our dog on her phone than she does of her children. No, seriously, she‘s the bestest mum!
Also, a lot of my friends celebrate their birthdays. I made a piñata for the first time in my life (I sooo wanted one in Honduras, but there just wasn‘t enough time… reason to go back!) – guys, only do this for people you really love, because it‘s so much work!
And, oh, it was also my stepmum‘s birthday, but she‘s still waiting for her present and hug. She deserves one, because she makes my dad really happy and I don‘t want her out of my life any more. She‘s not going to read this, I don‘t think. Unless I send it to her. HI ELVIRA!!! Ooh, she‘ll love this!

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I‘m so happy to have my patchwork family and my warm Babuschka socks and the ability to play Tichu and that my dog rolls onto her back when I come downstairs and that James Blunt keeps reminding me how beautiful I am and that there‘s tea and that I have friends in Honduras and New Zealand who haven‘t forgotten about me and friends here who put up with me. I‘m happy I manage to put up with me!

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Cheers!
xxx

Infowww.restaurantbern.ch
Brasserie Lorraine
Quartierstrasse 17,
3013 Bern