Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Überlin 3: Saturday 25/11

Today Arakin and I were going to the DDR Museum, the museum of everyday life in the former East Germany. We dashed through the rain to the tram stop then queued in the rain for the museum, which turned out to be well worth it.

If, like me, you are interested in both the Cold War and foreign and/or retro consumer goods, this is paradise. Jars of pickles! Plastic egg cups shaped like chickens! Really awful toilet paper!

Much of this will be familiar to fans of Goodbye, Lenin, who will also enjoy watching one of the Sandman stop-motion shorts designed to get children in the right frame of mind for bed.

One section of the museum is a mockup of a flat, so you wander from child's bedroom to kitchen to bathroom, examining the books, cleaning products and shower hoses so specific to this place and time. There's even a Trabant with a built-in driving simulator, so you can experience the thrill of piloting an underpowered car made from PVC around a housing estate.

It's lighthearted, but they don't shy away from telling you the more serious stuff: the rigged elections, the hushed-up pollution, the compulsory military service. (I turned out to be very good at a game where you match East German military slang terms to their meanings. This is because I have a filthy, filthy mind.)

By the time we emerged, it was mid-afternoon and lunch was long overdue. Nurnberger sausages at the Augustiner came just in time to stop me killing anyone.

It was getting dark, and it was still raining, but there was something particular I wanted to do in Berlin and now seemed like a good time.

I was going to the café where James Bond stops for an espresso in the short story The Living Daylights before deciding whether to go for a stroll in the park or visit a brothel.

[Spoiler (click to open)](He chooses the former.)

The internet had told me that Café Marquardt was attached to the Kempinski Hotel and was now called Café Reinhard. We went in rather timidly, because it Looked Posh, but were welcomed and seated in the window.

It was warm and cosy next to the heater, and candles in silver holders burned on the tables. There were even newspapers on a wooden rack, just like in the story.

I had an espresso (Arakin kindly offered me some of his latte too, so I wouldn't have to suffer too much for my art) and a ridiculous slab of raspberry cake Bond would have rejected out of hand but I enjoyed very much.

Coming in from the cold and rainy afternoon, the delicious cake and the feeling of being in a special place whose other customers were probably entirely unaware it was special made for one of the best memories of my trip.

Back at the flat, we asked Amazon for a spy movie and it suggested The Spy Who Came: 48 minutes of sexploitation from 1969 that proved more baffling than shocking. Not recommended.

Here's a song I discovered at the DDR Museum. Enjoy!




Tags: hols, james bond
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