Sexism at The Nation

Why did I have to go and read The Nation in the midst of my vacation? Because I’m a sucker for punishment, that’s why.

The magazine decided that yet another uninformed piece on the idiots from the Pussy Riot band was in order. The article contains the following egregious statement : “Even though two of the women are mothers of small children, they are being held in detention.”

Words fail me to describe the anger I feel when a supposedly progressive periodical exhibits the rampant sexism of presenting women who have children (and who have not been deterred from criminal behavior by that fact, mind you) as more valuable than women with no children and men.

Potsdam

We are planning to go to Potsdam tomorrow. Any advice or suggestions are welcome.

Also : I haven’t been able to find any sauerkraut in Berlin.  Where do people go for sauerkraut? But please don’t say KaDeWe because I’ve been there today and I’m not crazy about the place.

Another thing : my friend who’s been living in Berlin says that beer is for shit here. I was going to have my only beer in years as a cultural experience of Germany but if it’s that bad, what’s the point? Please help me with this dilemma : beer or no beer?

More on Berlin

What I like about Berlin :

1. Sausages.
2. Fashion.
3. The cheap and convenient public transportation system.
4. Outdoor cafes.
5. The mild climate.
6. That residential buildings are painted with beautiful pastel colors.
7. That every corner is photographable.
8. That freshly squeezed juices are available everywhere.
9. Cherry pie doesn’t include the vile gelatinous gunk that is always added to American pies.
10. The huge asparagus with phallic appearance.
11. Thick black tights are in and I’m now justified in my love of them.
12. The Turkish quarter.
13. Unlike in London, I’ve seen no women in burqas.
14. Tiny cars that are super cute.

What I don’t like about Berlin :

1. Books are very expensive.
2. There are people who drag children to beg for money. Social services, hello? Isn’t Germany supposed to have the best child protection laws in the world?
3. Garbage bins are fewer than I’m used to seeing.

How Is Anybody Supposed to Know?

An indignant student: One of the questions based on the listening comprehension text was what country Eduardo was from. This information was not in the text!

Me: The text said three times that Eduardo was from Buenos Aires.

Student: And how were we supposed to know what country that is?

Me (having interiorized the lesson that a good academic knows how to sell herself): If you had taken the Hispanic Civilization course with me, you’d know this and more.

Student: Is it too late now?

Me: It is never too late to learn about Buenos Aires.

Funny German

Do you know how contraceptive pills are called in German?

Antibabypillen! Isn’t this beyond cute?

My German is coming back to me here in Berlin. I understand many of the things I see written and I can order food in German. Soon my German will be better than my French. That’s because German people are more hospitable.

Men in Berlin

I find that men in Berlin are a lot more alive to the existence of attractive women in their vicinity than men in London. British men were kind of sleepy in this sense. German men, however, all look admiringly at said attractive women. Men of all ages are very much into non -obnoxious flirting.

I’ve traveled quite a bit and I can say that the German people are the only ones so far who have found a way of maintaining an atmosphere of happy, non -intrusive, non -offensive sexual tension. English -speakers are not good at this at all.

This is one thing I really did not expect.