Delicious Bagels

Took my teenager and his girlfriend to go see Wallace & Gromit, what a laugh with all the Dr. Jeykell & Mr. Hyde and King Kong references. We went out to have bagels at Salomon Bagels in the Arkaden at Potsdamer Platz to kill time before the movie started.

My pumpkin seed bagel with cream cheese and guacamole was delicious (his sounded revolting - Nutella, jam and cheese on a sesame seed bagel, but the *German* lady made it for him with a smile for just a slight extra cost), but as I sat there eating it, it struck me that this whole area was completely Americanized. Multiplex theater, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks, Soloman's, a shopping mall, skyscrapers - pretty much the only German thing was that we took public transport to get here. Here the Germans are railing against the "foreign cultures" (read Islamic culture) that are invading Germany, but they left the porch door open and invited in all sorts of American "culture". Where did Germany go? No, I really don't want women wearing dirndls to wander about, dancing polkas to an umpahpah band. But how did Modern Germany end up looking so much like the US?

Der Schwarm

Finished! I started the German best-seller the middle of November when I was sick. 960+ pages looked just the treat when you are forced to stay in bed... althought the paperback was so unwieldly to hold that it was hard to read. Anyway, I started in.

And kept on reading bit by bit, and hit halfway, when the book disappeared. I had been toting it everywhere with me in a little blue bag, and the bag was nowhere to be found. The week before Christmas I ransacked the house - no blue bag. I retraced my steps from the week before, asking everyone if they had seen my little blue bag. No one had seen it. In desperation - the Christmas vacation was looming - I ran to Nicolaische Buchhandlung on the morning we were leaving for Sweden and bought another copy!

I throughly enjoyed it, although it was kind of strange, reading about the tsunami on Dec. 26, the anniversary of the real tsunami in Thailand and Indonesia. The author, Frank Schätzing, really managed to describe it accurately! I loved the scientific details, although towards the end he seemed to be repeating himself and I just skimmed the stuff, anxious to see if the guy and the gal would survive and get each other!

Day before yesterday at handball practice one of the women asked, if I had left a blue bag at the Christmas party.... (see Julklapp 2005). Seems with all the nice stuff we were drinking and all of my bags full of crap, I forgot to take the blue bag with me. The bag will be returned to me next week, so then I will have two, I shall hand on both, because I *loved* it. Finished it this evening, even if I am sad that my favorite character got killed, a fate that happened to rather a lot of folks in the book. If they ever film this, it will be rated X, not for sex (not really much in the book, just a whiff here and there) but for all the death and violence.

Anyway. Seems Schätzing published a book on an airplane flying into a skyscraper in 2000 and this book on a tsunami in 2003. He won't tell what he is writing on now.... They say that the English translation is almost done - a must read, even if there are 960 pages!