#taretravels: Neighbourhood – Tempelhof

I’ve three more papers to go as of today, but I already have friends celebrating the end of Semester 1. Already?? I cry in anguish, but said friends are halfway out the door.

This semester hasn’t been particularly easy, what with the truckload of projects. Also, as with all things I do impulsively, I took German this semester on a whim, and till today I still cannot decide if it was the single most brilliant module I have taken yet, or the most test-every-week-homework-everyday-wake-up-at-8am horrifying module I have taken yet. A bit of both really, and while I sighed with relief when I was finally done with the last class of German (Endlich!! Ich bin müde!), I also have crazy thoughts of taking German 2.

Another semester’s worth of Deutsch Vokabular tests, frustrating listening comprehensions and memorizing foreign words like my life depended on it? NO! My brain says. But the foolish Cheryl has already started looking up German 2 on CORS.

But I digress.

I’m finally back with the first of my many, many, many posts on Berlin!! Today we will be exploring the wonderful Tempelhof, a sprawling area of lush, lush green and long, long runways. Tempelhof used to be the old airport in Berlin, but they decided to close it down – now they’ve got the one at Tegel and are also expanding the one at Schönefeld. Instead of tearing the place down to make space for bigger developments, the government decided to keep it as it is. Lots of urban projects have sprung up since then, and Tempelhof is really the perfect place to do just about anything; biking, gardening, picnicking, running, relaxing…. my summer class headed down for some learning one sunny, windy afternoon.

My teacher is this really cool guy from Cologne. He speaks with an insane German accent and it’s actually quite fun to listen to and imitate (he says German like JERMAHN). He is also damn good at stories and created his summer module (Urban Geography) such that his students would go on excursions around Berlin for every single class! And he took it upon himself to explain to us the backgrounds and stories of each of the neighbourhoods we visit. Did I say German in NUS was the best module I’ve taken yet? Scratch that. Dynamics in Urban Geography in Humboldt Universität was the best module I’ve ever taken. 

Side story. I was actually berated by the lady in pink for taking pictures with the children in them 😦 She was really fierce and it was scary. She demanded I delete all the photos I took… (I kept one. Just because she was yelling. #rebellion)

Tempelhof is incredibly beautiful, and I’m thankful the government didn’t do away with it. It took us close to an hour to walk from one end of the runway to the other, and we got lost a few times trying to find the exit. But because it was so scenic and peaceful, and there were so many families and children and gardeners around, just eating, chatting and having a good time, we didn’t feel particularly lost.

Till we meet again 🙂


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