Thread: Dca txl nue
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Old Jun 16, 09, 11:39 am
  #3  
violist
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: IAD, BOS, PVD
Programs: UA, US, AS, Marriott, Radisson, Hilton
Posts: 7,203
The airport looked chilly and grim, but at least we didn't
end up at a bus gate.

The Tower Lounge is enormous, has nice views, and a good
spread, equal to that of the Senator lounges. Also showers.

Soon it was time to go through passport control, which took
a few seconds, so I had time to check out the Schengen area
Senator lounge - very crowded and stuffy, food not
replenished promptly (one almost understands, because of
the demands on the place), on the whole a mediocre
experience. Fortified with a plate of cold cuts (mostly
that bologna-like stuff, which goes last) and a Beck's or
two, I went off to the gate, where pandemonium reigned.
How the staff put up with the German businessmen and the
American tourists I don't know.

LH 176 FRA TXL 1020 1125 ABA 3A

I must say that everyone, from lounge guardian to gate
agent, was far less anal and, shall we say, Germanic than
the Philadelphia brethren, and my ratty black-and-white US
Air boarding pass was accepted without a quibble.

This flight was okay and short, the A300 as comfy as, say,
domestic F on UA. Hot odd-smelling perhaps mildewy towels,
Guylian chockies.

My friend Hans was at the gate to meet me, but we had to
wait for a whopping ten minutes before my bag, sporting a
jaunty red priority tag, came out. He presented me with a
Tageskarte, and we went off sightseeing on the excellent
Berlin buses before lunch, which was at Culinartis, a deli
and lunchtime bistro near his apartment.

Encountered his tax accountant there; we accepted her offer
to share her table. She tried to convince me to order the
beef tips in cream, but Hans wanted to prove to me the
excellence of the local white asparagus from Beelitz: so I
had a lovely little pork schnitzel with new potatoes and the
aforesaid vegetable, which was nice, but I still don't see
what the big deal is.

A rather fancy dessert was available for an E2 or so
supplement: it consisted of good strawberry ice cream
surrounded with fried elderflowers, stewed rhubarb, and a
creme anglaise. Fried elderflowers are apparently a
Bavarian specialty, but I don't recall having had them
before.

Off to see our friend Paule, who has been confined to a
nursing facility since a catastrophic stroke late last year.
I was prepared for a sad sight, but it turns out that most
of his linguistic facilities have returned, though he has
balance problems and can't walk much. Still, not bad for 85.
We had a pleasant and inconsequential conversation, during
which it came clear that he vaguely remembered me but wasn't
quite sure who I was.

Back home for dinner: 4 kinds of liver sausage - a
fine-ground Berliner, a medium one from Halle, peasant-style
in a small casing, and a smoked one that probably had blood
in it as well and that reminded me of lop cheong made with
liver. The reason for this was Hans remembered that I like
liver sausage. He offered some other stuff for his wife, who
is not quite the carnivore we are.

A bottle of Us de la Meng went nicely with the sausages -
it's a fairly full-bodied French-style mixture of I think
Blauburgunder and Spatburgunder. Quite nice.

And then it turns out that a patient of Hans had given him
some sushi for supper, so we had that as a sort of healthy
second course: four kinds: what was described to me as
butterfish but which seemed to be cooked sole; and salmon,
tuna, and ttoro, all good.

After dinner, drinks, and conversation, I went up to my
apartment (owned by the downstairs guy but used as a guest
room by several of the neighbors). Very convenient, and
the price was right, although there was one notable issue
later on (not Hans's nor the owner's fault).

Bed was welcome.
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