Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Jet Lag, BIg Data and Hair Cuts

Jet lag is a brutal condition. Our first night at my dad’s house I woke up at 3:15 am. I sat up and looked at Lucy (who, along with Benny, had spent our first day collapsing into sleep on the ground anywhere we stopped). Now, in the middle of the night, she was sitting quietly on the floor, wide awake, staring into the dark. Benny’s jet lag manifests itself in him sleeping ALL the time, day and night.

We learned that there are three types of haircuts to be purchased in Kreuzberg: The €10 haircut, the Hipster haircut and the Turkish haircut. This one is Turkish ($12 Euro on Oppelner Strasse):

Best coffee in Berlin: a few steps down the street at Passenger.

Staying true to our Silver City manners here, we don’t run over pedestrians who try to cross the street. We also stubbornly smile at people we pass and we say good morning or something equally civilized. We get puzzled looks in exchange, which just sometimes do change into a smile. But most people have that perpetual stern German look on their faces. Maybe they are angry that the US secret service is collecting data about their communication habits?

Certainly, people and media here are very critical of the NSA gathering data from phone and internet communications. The US Government, no doubt in order to appease US citizens, stated that the information is mostly just collected about foreign nationals. Don’t worry if you are a lawful US citizen.  Germans, however, think this is totally NOT cool. That the NSA issue has severe international implications seems not to be part of the American media coverage…. and the US public remains unconcerned with our international relations as usual. Obama is going to get an earful from Merkel this week! Meanwhile, security personnel are soldering shut the manhole covers all over Berlin in preparation for his visit, so nobody can spy on him.

Benny to Maddy: “You smell like Germany. I still smell like America.”

No comments: