Lately I have been thinking about the things happening in my life that would probably be very different if I lived in the United States….
1.Just a moment ago, Ana and I registered for two upcoming Corona tests. Here in Berlin, we are allowed up to one free rapid test per day for free as a resident of Berlin. Testing has become a weekly reality for us even though we are double vaccinated. Testing is nothing new for us. In Germany, testing is done really well and has been for the duration of the pandemic. Over time, testing spots have popped up all over the place. At one time I read that there were at least 1200 testing sites all over the city and rapidly growing. That number has gone down a little bit but you can see restaurants and cafes, bars and stores, turning into testing stations with your free rapid tests readily available. We are registered for a test tomorrow because I gave Ana a boat ride and they require testing no matter what. The testing site we signed up for is just down the street from the harbor. We also went ahead and registered for a rapid test before flying (as per the US requirement) on Tuesday in our favorite neighborhood testing site (yes, we have a favorite neighborhood testing site).
It boggles my mind to hear of US friends who have never been tested. On top of the free testing for residents many of us just have self tests in our homes. I test myself usually about once a week to be safe around the little ones I nanny. We have a box of self tests handily located near by.
We went to a spa type of place two weekends ago and I forgot my vaccine card. No problem! In the parking lot, there was a free testing site and 15 minutes later with a negative result in hand, I went right in (masked of course).
2. I was offered a little teaching assistant position yesterday in the literature department of the University where I attend classes! My favorite professor, Dr. Ulla Haselstein, will be teaching a general lit course for the BA students and I got one of the two student jobs alongside her. How great! It is a small job but I think it will be a good thing for my next semester (which runs Oct. 1-March 31 here).
3. I have been having intense dreams lately…..COVID tests, the flight nightmare aka late for travel, and finally wildfire dreams. But in the latter dreams, for some reason, I am with my family except in my dream Mandy Patinkin plays my Dad! I don’t know why in this dream my Dad can’t be played by my Dad but Mandy does a great job. I also don’t think my Dad would really object to such an actor playing him. Maybe its a complement!
4. Elections are coming in the state on Sept. 25th. Just last week election posters starting going up! Do you realize what I just wrote? For elections in a little more than a month we are now seeing the onslaught of posters….not years ago…just a few weeks ago. We have been hearing about the candidates and parties, sure, in the news but our light poles are just now decorated. Its kind of refreshing really to see multiple parties NOT start to really advertise and campaign in this certain way until now. The elections are different over here on multiple levels although politics can be politics still. We shall see what happens. And from the immigrant perspective it is both interesting and a bit frustrating to be present but not able to participate.
5. It is almost coffee and cake time so that is the next big decision to make. Is the weather ok for us to venture out to a cafe and which? I know, HUGE decisions coming my way.
Happy Friday, dear reader!