The Quarantine Diaries, Day 50: Loosening up

There’s a war waging worldwide, and it’s between those people who want to re-open society and those who advocate for more caution to prevent a second wave of the virus. States such as Washington, California and New York as well as German chancellor Angela Merkel are on one side. Most of the Deep South, the Midwest, the individual German states, and US President Donald Trump are on the other.

which states are reopening may 6 2020
The New York Times is publishing an interactive map of which states are re-opening and which aren’t. This is the status from 6. May 2020.

Continue reading “The Quarantine Diaries, Day 50: Loosening up”

The Quarantine Diaries, Day 29: The New Normal

I had to check the calendar to see how many days it’s been. Working from home, staying in, and seeing nobody but my boyfriend has become the new normal. Streets are quiet, shops are closed, and going to the supermarket is a rare and dangerous undertaking. Despite the dark circumstances for human society, spring is relentless. The days grow absurdly longer, birds and plants and flowers are out in full force, and the ridiculously sunny weather belies the darkness of the situation. It is hard to feel too sad, or take the situation too gravely, when the sun is shining. Continue reading “The Quarantine Diaries, Day 29: The New Normal”

My first German sauna experience

Saunas are a popular winter pasttime in northern Europe. The steam and heat are the perfect antidote to the darkness and the cold, which sap your energy and leave you tense and shivering all the time. Though many of my friends spoke fondly of their sauna experiences, I had somehow never been invited to one, and I was too nervous to go on my own. But when a dear friend from the U.S., Kel, came to visit me in Hamburg in November, it was the perfect opportunity to try.

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The sauna called “Kaffeestube” (coffee shop) at Holthusenbad.

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There’s got to be a better way to stop the Nazis

Thousands  of counter-protestors successfully halted a neo-Nazi march on the anniversary of Rudolf Hess’s death on the outskirts of Berlin last Saturday. International media is largely hailing this as a victory for the left and praising the efforts of the brave protestors. What they’re not talking about, however, is how the counter-demonstrators accomplished this feat.

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500 right-wing extremists march towards Berlin Spandau. Photo: dpa
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Workers survey the damage to a train signal outside of Berlin after protestors set fire to it in order to stop a train of Nazis from entering Berlin. Photo: DPA

Anti-Nazi counter-protestors set fire to a train signal outside of Berlin last Saturday morning in order to prevent a train full of neo-Nazis who came to participate in the march from reaching its destination. The fire was successful in stopping that train – and all of the trains that were scheduled on that route for the next three days. This included two of the most highly traveled routes in Germany: Berlin-Hamburg and Berlin-Hannover.

Why do I care? Because me and my parents were scheduled to take one of those trains. And because the fire resulted in canceled trains and massive delays, my parents missed their flight home. Overall, this little stunt cost my family about $500. Continue reading “There’s got to be a better way to stop the Nazis”