You can come to Berlin for it's history,
its Brandenburg Tur,
or its museums...
...or you can come for its kebab and currywurst stands. Really, you have no choice; they're everywhere. A few days before coming to Europe I read an article in the New York Times about"currywurst," and I honestly thought that it was quite an over-exaggeration. I was wrong. Currywurst (supposedly) was invented after WWII when the German people in Berlin saw Americans eating steak with ketchup and created their own version using sausage, then adding a bit of curry powder on top just for fun. Now, Berliners swear by it and the stand are everywhere. Cheaper, and only slightly less pervasive, are the Doner Kebabs, a messy meal which my cousin Berni nicely ordered for me today for my inauguration as an official Berliner. These are basically what we know as Gyros in the states, only slightly less classy, brought here by Turkish people who moved to Berlin. I'm sure there is a much more sophisticated side of Berlin gastronomica, but kebabs and currywurst are the culinary pop culture here. And now I can officially say I'm part of it.
I went around the city with my cousin Berni today, walking a lot again and enjoying more historical sights like the Brandenburg Tur (Gate), official government buildings, andAlexanderplatz (which he informed me is the setting for one of Jason Bourne's many exciting escapes in the first Bourne film). Run ins with grumpy bus drivers, confusing streets, and the search for a perfect cafe also colored our day. It turns out that McDonalds' "McCafe"s here actually have the most comfortable seats! From McCafes to Checkpoint Charlie to Doner Kebabs, I now feel like I know the ins and outs of Berlin much better, and I had a marvellous day enjoy my cousins' company