Right after the war Einstein proved mathematically the theory of entanglement, although he didn’t truly believe it and argued about it with Bohr who did. I tell everyone I can find about this because it blows my mind. Simply put, take two photons (which as everyone knows are particles of light and so travel at the speed of light), collide them just right (say through a prism) and they will become entangled.
I know, you’re aghast… incredulous… but its actually pretty important.
Traveling at 300,000,000 meters a second these photons are at opposite ends of the universe pretty quickly. According to entanglement, if you could twist one the other, wherever and WHEN ever the other is, twists TOO! Not at the speed of light but immediately. No delay. This discovery has dumbfounded physicists since.
About the same time, in 1949, Herta Heuwer here in Berlin got some ketchup, some Worcestershire sauce, and some curry powder from a British soldier, put them together over the stove, poured the sauce on top of a sausage, and invented Currywurst.
She put up a stand for workers rebuilding this devastated city and at its height she was selling 10,000 Currywursts a week. Today it is the quintessential Berlin street food. It is not in any way a touristy thing. I asked many Berliners and they absolutely love it, eyes glazing over. I looked it up. An estimated 800 million servings are sold in Germany each year. It is proudly on the menu of this five star hotel de Rome I am at.
As I toured the city I came across a small cafe, of many, proudly advertising their unique take on this special Berlin speciality. I decided to try it. He asked me if I wanted it spicy and with or without potatoes. I told him spicy and as I was in a hurry, no potatoes.
There is simply no reason to eat this at all. Take it from me. The gastronomical nuances come down to some warm ketchup, a hotdog, and curry powder sprinkled on top. I stopped thinking of entanglement and pondered the 800 million annual subscribers of this delicacy and got back on the bus.
I continued my tour around the city of Berlin over the next few hours and got back to the hotel and asked for a recommendation for lunch. The concierge raved about this Bavarian restaurant a few short blocks away and when I hesitated, thinking it might be a bit heavy, she manhandled me, threw me to my knees, put an armlock around my neck and marched me down the cobblestoned street in sight of the restaurant doors and told me with tightened jaw to get in there, I’ll like it. I went in.
Sure enough, looking at the menu, everything DID look kinda heavy. I dunno, living now in Texas I know a lot of southerners that would love the menu.
There is beef goulash with Rugustiner dark beer and Swabian noodles with sour cream; Master brewer’s rump steak with herb butter, roasted onions and fried potatoes; and the specialty of the house.. potatoes, bread dumplings, sauerkraut and potato salad, roast pork, meatballs, meatloaf and fried sausage all on the same plate (its for two.)
I opted for the original crispy knuckle of pork with Bavarian cabbage and a lager as the menu entry had that little green pro-heart logo next to it.
OK, this was actually pretty good, all fourteen pounds of it. The skin was crunchy, salty, and fatty on the underside and meat was slow cooked and tender. But if this was just a knuckle this pig could star in Japanese monster movies.
After a nap I went to go see the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernstrasse, not the touristy Checkpoint Charlie where the they reenact the American to USSR crossing. Seriously, if you do get here go here.
There is not much left of the wall anywhere. Do not think you’re going to see it other than a few neighborhoods they protect. This neighborhood was special because the wall was erected right through it. It was no-man’s land. Friends, family, and lovers were suddenly divided. In desperation, people jumped out of the windows of apartments bordering West Berlin and were subsequently shot. There is a photo gallery that they did very well with images that the sunlight goes through of the 183 people that died trying to cross the wall in the 60’s and 70’s. I was in junior high school then in corduroys looking in the mirror before going to see Star Wars and stressed out about a pimple on my chin.
this is what it looks like today (above).
This is the photo gallery of victims trying to cross the wall.
Can you imagine trying to get your son or daughter over the wall for a better life and watching…
Later that evening, after a few cocktails and re-reading history on the internet that I had forgotten I decided to do something that I couldn’t do in the U.S. I went to the Berliner Philharmonie and listen to the german Frank Zimmerman on his 1710 Stradivarius — named the Lady Inshiquin — playing Beethoven with the entire renowned Philharmonic behind him under the direction of conductor Paavo Järvi.
I mean hey, why not?
It is on the edge of the city’s Tiergarten (like central park only during the summer there’s a bunch of nude people laying around) and just west of the former Berlin Wall. This was the first hall constructed after the war and built to replace the old Philharmonie destroyed by British bombers in 1944 on the anniversary of Hitler becoming Chancellor. I was the only guy not wearing a tie and I will admit that my head bobbed a few times. But it was an awesome night and Zimmerman really did blow my mind (although I didn’t pick up the $10 CD his girlfriend was selling in the basket.)
I really like Berlin. I had a meal close to the hotel, they kept it open for me, ate at the bar talking to the waiter, and went to bed afterwards.