Tuesday, May 06, 2003

Well, I really have a hard time staying in any one place for more than a month; three months is the absolute max. I had been in Mongolia for almost three months so it was definitely time to wander. Yesterday I took the plane to Berlin, Germany. I thought I might head south and do a little hiking in the Black Forest around Freiburg. It’s about a six hour flight to Moscow, where the plane makes a stop-over. Not much new at the airport, although I did notice that now you can buy vodka in three-foot long bottles shaped like rifles. You pour out of the barrel. These might impress somebody, perhaps Chechen warlords. From Moscow to Berlin is 2 hours 18 minutes. Beautiful spring day, gorgeous blue skies in downtown Berlin. Strolled down the Ku Damm (the main shopping street, although in Germany almost all stores are closed on Sundays) and checked out what may be the world’s biggest internet café - over 350 computers, open 24 hours a day, seven days week, and with its own in-house Dunkin Donuts outlet. Is this Heaven or what? Signs at each computer terminal say, in English, “Your mother does not work here. Clean up after yourself.” By then I was suffering from jet lag – seven hours time difference between UB and Berlin, so at four in the afternoon it was eleven at night by my watch, and I had gotten up at four in the morning UB time. So I was bushed. Sat in a sidewalk café watching the crowds for a couple of hours and then hit the hay.