• Berlins and Outs,  The Great European Adventure

    Berlin, Revisited

    As you (probably) know, I did a lot of traveling around Europe 6 years ago. Gosh, it pains me to realize that trip was 6 years ago. This feeling is only going to get worse as I get older, isn’t it? Sometimes when I travel, I have to assume I’ll be back again someday. Otherwise I drive myself mad trying to fit in as many experiences as possible and lamenting all the things I don’t have time for. Three years ago, E and I took a vacation to Barcelona and a couple days into the trip, I was in tears because I realized there wasn’t time to show him everything…

  • We made a second episode of our dubbed Star Trek podcast!

    Good news! After an overwhelming audience response of “… wow, you really didn’t know much about Star Trek, huh?”, Emma and Ian are back with a brand new, very exciting episode where we struggle to understand the plot of an episode of television older than we are that’s been dubbed into a language we don’t speak! Admittedly, this episode is slightly more straightforward than the wonderfully mystifying Farpoint Station duology that we covered in the first episode … or maybe it’s that Emma’s German skills are improving! Will the crew cure the mysterious horny illness that’s going around? Will Emma’s German class pay off and will she laugh at a bunch of…

  • Berlins and Outs,  Feeeeelings

    Let’s talk about depression and bicycles

    I was biking home from the doctor’s office yesterday when I heard church bells loud and clear in an otherwise secular neighborhood full of restaurants and bars. I turned a corner and saw the church. It was a cathedral with a small courtyard containing a statue and two tall stone bell towers. As I pedaled past, I saw a child, no more than 6, back to the street, staring up at the church, entranced. The adult standing beside them waited nonchalantly, eyes on the cell phone in their hands. I continued down the street and a small dog with auburn and white fur and a curled tail turned from the store…

  • Berlins and Outs,  Close to Home

    What makes a new city feel like home?

    A couple of weeks ago, I said to E, “I don’t miss Boston, not exactly, but I do miss knowing a place well.” It was a weekend evening and we were trying to figure out what to do with ourselves. I ended up saying, “what I really want to do is go to Aeronaut.” Aeronaut is a brewery in Somerville, MA that was a 5-minute walk from our old apartment. Their beer is good, but that’s not what I was missing. What I was missing was knowing where to go. There are plenty of breweries in Berlin, but we don’t have “our place” yet. I had a level of familiarity…

  • Berlins and Outs

    Mundane Cultural Differences – Berlin vs. Boston (Part 1)

    Emma and I moved from Boston to Berlin almost exactly 4 months ago, and there have been a lot of huge changes. We’re far away from family and friends, I’ve started a software development job, Emma’s just finished the second draft of her book, we’re both working on learning a new language … it can be a bit overwhelming when we think about it all. That’s not what I’m going to talk about in this post, though. In this post, I want to talk about the strange minutia that we’re already starting to take for granted, the little things that make us pause and go, “Huh. I guess that’s not…

  • Berlins and Outs

    100 Days of Learning German!

    We’ve been in Germany for more than 100 days now! I know because last week I finished The 100 Day Project! The 100 Day Project is an online global art project where people commit to doing something every day for 100 days and sharing the results on instagram. Typically people make visual art, because instagram is a visual medium, but you can really do anything you want for 100 days and there’s no need to share your work. E and I first heard about The 100 Day Project when our friend, Megan, did it in 2016 and used watercolors to paint a different plant every day. Megan makes whimsical art…

  • Berlins and Outs,  Feeeeelings

    Keine Familie ist illegal

    People from the US are allowed into the Schengen Zone (of which Germany is a part) for 90 days at a time. If you want to stay longer, you need a visa or a residence permit. June 25th was my 90th day in Germany, and, on June 28th, I got a residence permit that allows me to live here through March 2019. So, technically, on June 26th and June 27th, you could have called me an “illegal immigrant.” I mention this because immigration is complicated, and it’s a helluva lot more complicated for people who don’t look like me and/or don’t have the money I have. I mention this because…

  • We watched Star Trek dubbed into German so you don’t have to

    E and I have wanted to start a podcast for over a year now. We have several ideas, but this was the one that finally inspired us to sit down and record: “What We Think Happened” is a show where we watch a piece of media in a language we don’t speak and then attempt to recap it. Hopefully, we’re funny about it. For our inaugural episode, we watched the pilot of Star Trek: The Next Generation dubbed into German, without subtitles. A month ago, we recorded an hour and a half of audio trying to make sense of this bizarre tv show. It’s taken us a while to finally…

  • Berlins and Outs

    The Egg Cups of Berlin

    I have eaten exactly 1/4 of a hard-boiled egg in my life, and it was in a salad on the plane on the way to Berlin. It was … fine.  At the time, I didn’t realize how appropriate this experience was. Eggs that have been boiled are quite popular in Germany. At least, they are judging by the popularity of cups to hold them in. How popular are egg cups, you ask? Well, the cupboard in the furnished apartment we’re renting contains (among other things) three coffee cups… and four egg cups. Egg cups, as far as my research has taught me, are best for soft-boiled eggs, which I’ve never eaten. I’ve only…

  • Berlins and Outs

    Spring in Berlin: A Video and A Love Letter

    I try to take a couple seconds of video footage on my phone every day. I’ve been doing this on and off for a few years. My intention is always to compile the footage on the 1 Second Everyday app, but I don’t get around to it consistently. Last week though, I was feeling inspired to do something a little more complicated with all the snippets of life in Berlin that I’ve filmed since March. The result is this short video, which I hope will appeal to the visual learners among you. There are several shots in and around our apartment, but there are also snippets we filmed in other places…