ADVENTURES IN BERLIN::DAY 13, A LESSON IN GERMAN CULTURE AND A CAKE

I talk a walk every morning before breakfast and before the family awakens. This morning as I was leaving the apartment, I noticed the beautiful coral colour of the outside hall wall as it nicely complimented the gray pattern of the floor. So, I took a photo of it with my iPad.

Every morning on the way to Thürman's to buy brötchen, I pass a Turkish store. Today I decided to walk in and see what interesting foods they sold. There were many nicely stacked shelves with beans, couscous, rice, pasta, and lots of red lentils. I bought pita read for the children, a small package of Turkish coffee for my husband and me, cow's milk feta, and a large bundle of thyme - lemon thyme to be exact (which I didn't realize until I used it to make Greek salad.

Back at the apartment, I cooked a small pot of Croatian coffee - the one I brought from home. I was determined to eat breakfast outside in the tiny backyard. I buttered one of the sesame brötchen with butter and spread a spoonful of sour cherry jam on top of the butter. My children were awake at this time but not yet out of their pajamas. They wanted to eat breakfast with me in the "garden" but we're not quick enough to get ready...except for Saffron. She had enough time to eat a quarter of her brötchen with me before we needed to walk across the street to Oma's house.

After breakfast, I managed to talk my husband into accompanying me to the farmer's market. I took my DSLR in the hopes of taking photos with something other than my iPad. After taking photos of eggs at the first stand, a lady came after us yelling at us to not photograph her eggs without asking. Ok...

We then passed by the booth of the "resident" farmer's market photographer - the one I've seen every time I've been to the market since we've been in Berlin. The same one who noticed me "playing" with my iPad the first Wednesday. The same one whom I saw walking around with his little almost point-and-shoot on a monopod the following Wednesday.

My husband decided to ask the guy about the rules of photographing at the farmer's market. The guy (I believe his name was Mr. Jones) thought he was asking about how to photograph food. He started talking about lighting and lenses (as much as I understood in German) until we clarified that we wanted simply to know if we need to ask the vendors' permission before photographing.

At one point, I started to show him a couple of my food photos - the first one being the cookie stack photo of the Amethyst Chocolate Chunk Cookies. He didn't like the lighting and then went on to criticize other aspects of the photo - such as the lack of blur and such. After my husband explained to him that we were from Texas visiting Berlin (and not competing with him), he switched to speaking English and tried to get us to leave. Yeah, whatever. Not sure how successful he is in selling his farmer's market photographs for €15 at the farmer's market.

After spending most of yesterday walking, I wanted to stay at the apartment. I did a little housecleaning and baked a chocolate mint cake. It was my fourth experimental "rustic" cake I've made since we've been in Berlin.

At one point, soon after I put the cake into the oven, I noticed a younger man outside the front window light up a cigarette and make a great effort to stare into our apartment through the bars. He kept staring and I thought "what the hell?!". My husband told me that he most likely was not German, but an immigrant. Germans are protective of their space and would not normally invade the space of others. In any case, the guy and situation was creepy.