Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Beautiful Berlin...

" The world is not a bad place after all" , these were the words that kept on ringing in my head when I was viewing " The Story of Berlin" , a small exhibition depicting the history of Germany, showing us how many innocent lives were taken and how many beautiful wonders were destroyed. Yeah sure, I'd definitly say Berlin was beautiful if you had asked me about my trip, but getting to know the history of Germany in a lot more detail was a little depressing. Of course I did hear about the " Jews getting murdered" , the setting up of the Berlin wall, world war 1 and 2 etc. before hand, but I guess it was the exhibition that actually made me realize how bad the condition of Germany was after the second world war. Then again one may compare this to the situation in Southern Asia , when India got independence or when millions of refugees were left homeless during the 1971 war ( birth of Bangladesh) and say that the situation in Germany was far better, to which even I agree. There was atleast complete employment ( or hidden unemployment rather) during the early 80's and 70's in Germany, but when you come to know the way , one man, expressed his hatred for a particular community by killing more than a million people , a million innocent people who were at fault only because of their religion, it does feel sickening. Yes, Hitler, that's the evil-minded killing machine I was reffering to.
Unsurprisingly today's generation in Germany dont like to talk about the war at all, they see it as a shameful thing and blame their parents for starting the World war on both the occasions.

The second world war ended , Germany had to pay a huge price and got divided amongst 4 countries. The Berlin wall was then erected to prevent people from the Eastern side of Germany to go to the west, which led to the development of Western Germany and created a void gap with their eastern compatriots. According to one of my Proffesors, in 1989 when the Berlin wall was finally broken down and Germany was officialy united, there were long lines at the grocery markets in W.Germany, showing how underdeveloped the Eastern side was as compared to the West. He also said that while the people from W. Germany could buy a car in 7 minutes, it took almost 7 years for a person in E. Germany to own a car. Because of all this, the unification in 1989 was not exactly a smooth one and lots of problems were faced by both sides. So yeah, at the end of it all this is the reason why I felt that the world presently isnt a bad place after all, which is however a very ironic thing to say considering all the wars that took place in the recent past

Apart from getting to know the history of Berlin, we also got to see a number of museums and many other monuments , including some very tall buildings. The view of the city was amazing from the top. Berlin is more of a recently developed city and is termed as a " Mordern City" since it was bombed heavily during the second world war and is now building its way to a new future. There were around 4.5 million people before the war in Berlin, however after the war , that number went down to 3.5 million and as a result Berlin is an unusual metropolitan city with lots of empty spaces inbetween. We also got to see the " reichstag" or the Parliament house, which I have to say was very cleverly designed. Its like a crystal ball with circular flights of stairs inside which could take you to the very top. The parliament room is situated below the spiral staircase, indicating that the people of Germany are higher than its Parliament.

We also got to see a monument which had no name and no meaning but was dedicated to the millions of Jews that got killed during Hitlers regime. According to the monument's architect, one could perceive his own meaning and his own thoughts after viewing it. The monument had around 2700 blocks and below it a Jewish museum type thing was built. We were also taken underground into a nucleur protection chamber, which was built to protect the people of Berlin, incase of any nucleur bomb blast. It seemed pretty funny to me since only around 6 thousand people can be accomodated there , which is like just 1 % of the entire population. Basically all we did was walk , searched for monuments , explored the really beautiful city and most importantly took pictures.

So all in all, a great trip, something that I will remember for a lifetime and yeah for pictures please log on to my facebook profile.

Until next time,

best regards


Sunday, 13 April 2008

Willkommen to Bremen ( Germany)

So, after all the running around, all the trips that I took to the different parts of India, just for a simple visa for Germany, I have finally made it to Bremen( let me take a breather). The first words that I said after reaching the Frankfurt airport was ' Phew, we finally made it', but of course that wasnt to be the case, as God had something else planned for me and my compatriots. Another problem was awaiting us as soon as we reached the Frankfurt airport, no nothing regarding the visa or anything, but it was slightly due to the absence of mind ( to be polite) or in plain simple words, due to our stupidity that we actually kinda got lost, funny ? I dont think so.

See what actually happened was that I had liquids in my hand bag ( all the gel , shampoo and other things to maintain my handsomeness) and since we had like a 3 hour gap till our next flight to Bremen, Gayatri ( one of the other 2 compatriots) and I decided to go back and deposit it as luggage and since we had a lot of hand bags, we gave them to Aparna ( the other one) and asked her to wait right outside the check in and went wherever the person directed us. What we didnt know was that it was going to be impossible to return back to the same place and we had to check in from some other place , leaving aparna with all the handbags to check in alone ! Gayatri and I probably saw the entire airport 4 times in those 3 hours ! Searching for that same place where we left aparna. We actually thought we would miss our flight, but at the end Aparna or I should say Super Aparna, some how managed to carry all the handbags and reached the gate just before the flight was going to depart. Wahhh kya baat hai ! Bharatia naari ki jay!!

Anyway after that ' Adventure At the Airport' we reached Bremen at 2 pm and reached our accomodation. Its pretty good ( has to be , we pay 250 euros for it ) , we have all the necessary things; oven, micrwave, washing machine etc. , everything except a Television and the all important internet. So I have to come all the way to university every day to use the net, anyway its fine at the moment.

Okay so enough of personal details ( as Raaga had once said ' do not display your personal information in your blod ! ) and more of Bremen. Well Bremen is a nice place, its pretty clean and green. Its got one of the best football teams in Germany called Werder Bremen and so there is a lot of security whenever there is a match about to take place. Its just like what you see on TV, the entire place decorated with the team flags and everybody wearing their team's jersy and the pubs filled with people watching the match, lots of fun. Didnt really get to know too much about german culture ( except for the fact that they dont wash their ass after shitting ! they just clean it with a tissue paper and take a bath later ! whoaa isnt that cool ! Later i realized its a European thing!) since almost everything here is more or less globalized ( or Americanized ). Didnt get to taste German food as yet, but I do know that there is a huge variety of German bread and well Bremen is known for its drinks but unfortunately I dont drink ( or dint start as yet hehe) so dont have much idea, but yeah I do see people carrying packs of 'becks' ( a drink incase u illiterates dint know)everywhere here.

There is also this sandwhich called the Döner , which is actually turkish and is a complete rip off of a shawarma, so you can guess, how happy i was when i came here. I ate it 3 times last week , which is a lot considering the amount of money I get from the university. The centre of the city is called Domesheide and then there is another place called the hauptbahnhoff or the main station, these two places are like the main places in Bremen. People go there during the weekends since all the discos and bars are present there.

There is also this river which passes through Bremen and its really beautiful, you can go on boat rides over there, something that I still have to try. Well Bremen, is a small but a beautiful place, I still have to explore a lot more, but I think I have covered the main areas here. For more details log on to my facebook profile and check out the pics!
I will be going to Berlin on the 26th of this month, so I guess that will show a lot more of Germany, the capital after all has to be good!

I guess thats it for now, the four of us live in the same building which has like 6 rooms and we cook and all live happily ever after! heh isnt that how u always like to end ur posts ? a cliche !

Anyway thats all for now, and yeah am also missing manipal a lot ! mainly because of the food, cant wait to go back to Saudi or Manipal and hog like a pig !