So the sun came out yesterday! It was warm! Really warm actually, probably like 20 degrees (that's 68ºF for my Celsius-impaired friends). My jacket stayed at home, I only wore ONE pair of socks, and moisture known as perspiration emerged from my pores. As it has been quite cold here since we arrived two weeks ago, this turn of events was very exciting. The vitamin D was certainly appreciated as the entire city felt like a completely different place; cafes with outdoor patios were full of folks enjoying food under the sun, boats full of tourists floated the rivers, there were lines going out the door at at least three ice cream shops I passed, groups of friends were sitting in parks drinking beers until late into the evening, and everyone everywhere was riding their bike or Fahrrad (just Rad for short). We've been pretty good about riding our bikes since we arrived, rain or shine. Or snow...
But yesterday everyone who wasn't riding in the snow like me, dusted off their trusty Rad, and was out riding, squeaky brakes and all. I was thoroughly impressed at the lines of cyclists, myself among them, lined up at the intersections waiting for the lights to turn green. It makes sense, Berlin is a great city for Fahrradfahren (bicycle riding): It's flat, there are bike lanes on every street and most are completely separated from the cars, the bike lanes have their own traffic lights, and it's simply more a part of the culture here. I've never lived in a flat city so this has been a real treat for me and my hamstrings. The warmth yesterday also revealed to me that drinking in public is not much of a concern here. Young people walk around with beers in their hands like they're sodas or coffee. Apparently drinking alcohol in public is illegal, like the open container laws in the USA, but it appears that no one really cares and I can attest that violators are definitely not pursued. It's not like everyone is staggering around the Straßes (streets) drunk as skunks (probably when I'm asleep, yes), but people do congregate in parks and enjoy eachother's company with beers. Yesterday I thought I would do as the locals do so I bought a tasty Radler to enjoy on my walk home from the grocery store. A Radler is a sweet and refreshing beverage that is basically half fizzy lemonade and half beer. They're on most menus here, at every corner store, great for sunny days, and hardly alcoholic (maybe 3%). I'm no psychic but I see more Radlers in my future.
Alas the warm weather didn't last too long as today it cooled down again and rained a bit but there's more sun in the forecast for this weekend. I imagine we will do as the locals do and take to the streets on our Rads to enjoy our Radlers in the park, which sounds totally rad to me!
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