Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Schloßstraße shopping is the best shopping

I've been spending too much time at home.   Sophie has used this time to empty the contents of items in our pantry whenever I am momentarily distracted.  This and several other stressful things resulted in a severe case of parental burnout.  Not how I wanted to spend our last weeks together before she starts Kita.  I needed to get out.

I haven't been doing much because I don't know where anything is and I still don't know many people. I felt like I should take the train instead of driving when we go to the city.   Public transportation is one of the great things about Europe, yeah?  Just thinking about the train would make me tired but staying home was driving me crazy.

Today I saw the silliness and decided to embrace the idea that I will continue to drive everywhere because it's easy and because I can.   No switching lines, no buses, no tantrums.  No carrying the stroller up and down stairs or across that huge gap at the platform.  No searching for elevators or getting lost trying to use the GPS on my phone.

Our first stop was to get a library card.  I found some recommendations from other expats that said the JFK library at the FU was good and free.  Total rubbish.  Why do I listen to recommendations?  Clearly those people had never checked out books there because it was three floors of ancient hardcover academic type stuff.  And not even the good academic books.  These were the old dry kind that people only read because they have to.  Their sociology section had over fifty Introduction to Sociology books from different eras and not much else.  In the literature section I found a copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin that could easily have been at least thirty years old.   I read that one in middle school and have no desire for another go.   University libraries are for research and that's it.  As soon as I get a couple of free hours I'm going to the Zentralbibliothek.  I should have done that in the first place.

 After the big fat library flop we went to check out Schloßstraße, the main shopping street in Zehlendorf.  Someone told me there was a Starbucks there and a parking garage.  Actually there were a bunch of parking garages and two Starbucks and the best shopping I've seen in Berlin so far.  It wasn't crowded at all.  Primark, which magically appeared in front of us as soon as we exited our randomly chosen parking garage, was not the nightmare I had anticipated.  Many of the stores were almost totally empty.  There was a Zara Home which I didn't get a chance to look into but made me very happy.  The children's section of Zara had Sophie's size and I ended up buying her some cute outfits.  Getting her dressed in the morning is almost depressing due to my buying ultra cheap ugly jeans when the weather turned cold.   I only did that because I couldn't face taking the train to the city, lessons learned I suppose.
cute, cute, cute
Our shopping was mission had a serious goal.  Sophie needed a somber dress for her first formal social event on Saturday.  She also needed all the things that go with a dress: shoes, tights and a sweater.  We normally don't need formal clothes so she doesn't have any.  I got lucky and found everything between H&M and Zara.  I snagged the only pair of black mary janes and a black cardigan with kitten faces printed on it and a gray wool dress with a glittery star print.  Sophie is going to be the most adorable somber toddler.  I was so happy to find black shoes because the only alternative were leopard print flats.  While I think they are great but I'm pretty sure my husband would have hated them.  When H hates something he generally will not stop talking about how much he hates it until the offending object has been removed from our home.

On the way back we popped into Starbucks, there was no line so I got my chai latte.  The first one I've had since before we moved.  When the Kassenautomat wouldn't take my cash but a nice guy broke my fiver and gave me change.  We got home in time to burn the turkey roast for dinner.   From now on Schloßstraße is my go to place for shopping and coffee.  It couldn't be any better.


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