Finally, a decent night of sleep. When I woke up, I was quite chipper and bounced my way to the plenary hall, consciously keeping myself from hugging strangers along the way. See what a good night's sleep can do?!
Since I was primarily here for work, work I did until 5 pm when my head could no longer absorb all the information. My tushie hurt from all the sitting at the lectures, so I was raring to go for a stroll. Going to museum island was out of the question because it was too late in the day, so I gave in and decided to do some shopping. This might restore my sister's fate in me again. It's time to get pasalubong anyway. Pasalubong is a part of the Filipino culture heavily ingrained in me, which means to bring back presents to your family when you travel and to share a little bit of the experience you've had. It could be food, clothing, tokens, etc.
I jumped on the S41 tube to Heidelberger Platz and changed to S7 headed to Wittenbergplatz. As a side, platz means square and straBe (with a beta symbol in the middle; pronounced stras-suh) is street in deutsch. I stepped out the street and saw my destination KaDeWe, an abbreviation of Kaufhaus de Western to mean department store of the west. It is supposedly the 2nd biggest mall in Europe after Harrod's in London. Personally, it didn't seem as intimidating as SM City in Manila, or even Gallery Lafayette in Paris... but I could be wrong. Nonetheless, I had a mission, which is to not blow my budget, and a plan: 3rd floor for kids clothing, 5th floor for souvenir, 6th for chocolates and cervesa, take a peek at the winter garden restaurant on the 7th floor - then leave before I get tempted by anything else.
Holy cannoli! 179 Euros for a kid's dress? Let's see.. that's about the same price as my business suit BUT with much, MUCH, less fabric! ...granted it's really cute... Hmmm.... think. think. think. Then think backwards, Jen. Now, slowly walk away and run towards the toy department!
That was close!
My daughter loves little things - something she got from me - and so I decided to get some collectibles instead of another doll or stuffed animal. After a few souvenirs, chocolates, marzipans, and beers, my bulging backpack was threatening to burst, which reminded me that I needed to fit all of it in my suitcase. That was my cue to head to the winter garden. This was a bit of a disappointment for me. I was expecting something grand, but I concede - in the winter, I imagine this could be a magical place as you dine sitting surrounded by all-glass window and watch as the snow fall, covering the city in a blanket of white. It was also a buffet - mostly of meat - no surprise there. I could have gotten something vegetarian, but after day after day of being served buffet style at breakfast and lunch at the conference, I could no longer even look at that much spread of food. Instead, I ordered pasta and soup to go at an italian place, ordered a slice of german chocolate cake to satisfy my sweet tooth, and headed back for a relaxing evening. With a plate on my lap, a fork in one hand, and a book in another, I couldn't ask for a better night in Berlin.