When we arrived in Berlin back in 1989, the Company put us up at the Intercontinental Hotel. It was okay, but the room was a bit small, and the fridge in the room would tick off if anything was removed from the fridge. Now we would take out their expensive beer and put in our own beer, so we could have the brands we enjoyed.
The Hotel was nice, but since we knew we were going to be there all summer, we started looking for a temporary leave Flat to rent.
The first one we found was on the KuDam. Now for those of you who aren’t familiar with the KuDam, it is the Street that never sleeps! Sort of like New York City. The only problem was that nothing is sound-proofed and after a week of not sleeping I was one grouchy girl.
I should note. Jack can sleep anywhere, so he wasn’t bothered as much. He mentioned this to a friend, who was going Stateside for a couple of weeks and offered us his apartment. We immediately moved out to it in the Zehlendorf section of West Berlin. It was beautiful and quiet, and I loved it there, even if it was pretty far out of the city.
We stayed there, enjoying a local Greek restaurant and Jack would go out running in the morning and bring back fresh rolls and pastries.
But our time there was limited, so we moved to another Flat, that we sublet from another Pilot who was on a vacation, and would be gone for a while.
Thus we moved into One Lietzenburger Strasse. Our apartment was on the eleventh floor of the apartment building, with beautiful views of the city. Best of all, it was quiet!
There is one thing I will never forget about this apartment and that was the decor. On a prominent shelf in the living room was a picture of a beautiful woman. She had obviously wanted to look good in the picture, and her hair and makeup were immaculate. The frame was perfect and sitting right in front of this special picture was a box holding a tube of Preparation-H! Turns out the Pilot we were subletting from had a rather acrimonious divorce from this beautiful woman, and putting a tube of hemorrhoid ointment in front of her picture was his way of making a point, on a daily basis! I laughed each time I looked at it and admired his rather droll sense of humor!
We settled into daily life in West Berlin. Jack would go off flying several mornings a week, doing Charter Flights with vacationers, and I would trek all over Berlin, getting cases of Beer, Groceries, trying new restaurants and different foods, before going back to our Flat and cooking something for dinner.
On Jack’s days off, we would often go for walks to various places around the city, stopping for beer along the way. If you have never had German Beer on Tap, then you have really missed something special in life. I had never been much of a beer drinker before, but my goodness, German Beer is simply magnificent!
I walked everywhere and had a medium size wicker basket that I carried my groceries in. On the days I went to the Beer Store, I used my suitcase wheelies to bring back the Beer, water, and juices.
I also went to museums, Zoo’s and Parks and walked and walked, all in an attempt to keep from gaining too much weight from everything I was eating and drinking. No such luck! That was the summer I gained 25 pounds! Quite happily so!
You might also notice that I dressed every day. That summer I wore skirts every day. No slacks. I was trying to enjoy myself, and I felt so pretty in dresses and skirts. I must also confess that my skirts had elastic waists and expanded while I was there! Ha!
All of this happening in just the first few weeks we were living there. What an adventure I had started, and there was so much more to come!