Euro04: Berlin + Prague

Humboldt University Protest Signs

Sunday, March 7th, 2:24PM

Roughly: "More teachers through fewer places of study?"

We finally got our act together and took off to go eat at a Russian restaurant Brenna knew of (though I forget the name). We took the S-Bahn into the central part of town and found the place situated in a dense, concrete building underneath one of the S-Bahn tracks. It had the feel of a dark, smoky, elegant hangout in which obtuse philosophies are discussed over good food and underneath the deep cerulian frescoes painted across the arching ceiling. (I should write tourist brochures or advertisements for condos.) Brenna and I didn't discuss too much philosophy, but we did finally get a real meal.

(I couldn't take photos due to the low light in the place and my total aversion to using a flash in public spaces.)

I didn't have much German food while in Germany, by the way. Berlin's very cosmopolitain, with heavy Russian and Turkish populations in addition to the numerous western Europeans who now flood through to work and live after the removal of all Visa and work restrictions within the EU. (Yeah, I know: What a dream situation if you happen to be from one of those countries and not some poor American sod.) Berlin's economy has been depressed (relative to other western European cities) for the obvious reasons and so housing and food can be relatively inexpensive. More so than in Austin, at any rate.

I should also note that the Economist claims that the inclusion of ten new countries into the EU this May (including the Czech Republic and Poland) has some of the western countries worried enough to consider halting this free work and free travel (for fear than a million poor Hungarians may, for example, migrate to London and disrupt the economy). So if you're EU, enjoy it now.


This sign at Humboldt University (the big Uni in the former downtown of East Berlin) is one of many hanging out of windows protesting what I believe have been budget cutbacks at the University. Or the raising of teachers' wages. Or something. I'm not entirely sure. A large number of people are clearly pissed, though.