three weeks in the world of Cass: Berlin edition

Shalom wonderful people!

Okay, let’s hop to it: Berlin is sick. The city is as international as it gets. The food scene is freaking on point. The public transportation system is easily accessible and almost always on time (I’m giving you the evil eye, Israel Railways). The combination of different architectural styles and large public murals is the shizzzz. The network of museums is so extensive it’s overwhelming. And people speak the most perfect English you will ever hear. Even the icky parts of the city (muddy slush, cold rain and vomit in the subway station) have been sort of fun. As we say in Israel— it’s all for “the havaya!” “The Experience!”

Most of my mornings here begin with the ultimate trio: eggs, avocados (yes, plural) and a healthy dose of international news. After I’ve adequately informed myself on the latest of our nation’s demise, I hop on the Ubahn for my daily hot yoga class while listening to my recent favorite podcast— Bulletproof from Dave Asprey. I swear I am turning more into Pete Sullivan every day! By the time I’ve arrived at yoga, I’ve clocked a good half an hour of listening to the latest health and wellness info. EMFs, sleep cycles, food intolerances, and meditation, the list goes on and on. Oui, sometimes I disgust myself with how interesting I find it all.

Anyways, back to yoga. In the past three weeks, I’ve been reminded that hot yoga is truly one of the most humbling experiences ever. Slip out of practice for a week or a month (not to mention six months), and you come back to find yourself teetering on the edge of death, sweating your brains out and almost positive you’re about to faint. Fine, so it sounds horrible, but after three classes you get back in the groove and it’s actually fantastic. I can’t tell you how good it is to have (almost) shed the weird chubs that come from eating too many falafel, have my skin finally feeling normal and have daily meditation back in my life. Okay, this officially marks the end of my rant on health and yoga, so if you’ve been unengaged in the post thus far, wake up.

Let’s change topics. Berlin is quickly becoming the art scene of Europe (just ask Grandma Carol, she can recommend you about a trillion modern art galleries). Thus, my post-yoga and post-lunch plan typically involve some sort of museum excursion— Pergamon, Nues Museum, Jewish Museum, National Art Gallery, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Topography of Terrors exhibit— you name it, I’ve been there. Usually, I roll up to whichever one I’ve chosen for the day, drop my stuff in the coat room, put on a mood-appropriate Spotify playlist and start walking. Sometimes I get lucky and the museum has lots of unique German memorabilia, modern art, photographs or an exhibition on the Holocaust or Berlin wall. Other times I get stuck with endless floors of Jesus paintings and marble statues (Sorry to all you Jesus-painting-lovers out there. That sh*t is too repetitive.). The only saving grace in museums like these is if the museum itself has an epic layout and architectural design. In general, I’ve been far more fascinated with the buildings than the art itself. More often than not, I find myself taking pictures of lighting angles and window panes versus hieroglyphics and sixteenth-century sketches. Oops!

All of this to-and-from yoga and museums also requires A LOT of walking. Walking this much has had some interesting consequences. Predominantly, because the sidewalks are slippery and the streets are slushy, walking leads to frequent almost-eating-it-in-public-with-everyone-staring episodes. Let’s just say my lack of bodily coordination skills has been serving me especially poor thus far. And yet, I remain unbroken and unbruised! Walking also provides for extensive people watching. Three weeks in, the Berliner fashion style still perplexes me. People somehow make themselves look entirely put-together and not at all homeless (channeling their inner Casey Vanneman) while wearing clothes that would make me look like a total scum or 1990s-hipster-wannabe. Ugh. Maybe in my next life.

Of course, my daily routine has been heavily interspersed with a variety of awesome excursions, meals and meetups. Marion and Lucki have been the #ultimate weekend warrior tour guides. One Saturday we spent walking around a picturesque lake outside of Berlin, complete with a stop at the homiest boathouse restaurant you ever did see. Another Saturday we spent at Markethalle Neun, a food market in central Berlin (think Off the Grid), eating Nepalese curry and fresh German meats. Other highlights include a day at Potsdam, the first sushi I’ve had in six months, meeting up with my good friend Sam who’s studying in Berlin for the quarter, navigating German supermarkets and finding tacos (again, the first time in six months) at the international food hall.

Whew! What a good life! Other minor updates:

I miss Israel more than humanly possible. Homesickness has a whole new meaning when you feel it for two places.

My Accutane medication (for skin) is absolutely destroying my digestive system, my hair and my ability to consume alcohol. Good news is my skin is on the uphill climb. Crazy drug. My Israeli dermatologist gently reminded me over email (in ALL CAPS) to be avoiding dairy, gluten, and beer. I feel like I am sinning every. single. day. living in Germany and avoiding these German staples.

And, finally, the most exciting event of 2017 will occur this coming Tuesday. I won’t spoil it for those of you who don’t know what it is— you’ll have to tune into the next post to find out. (And no, it’s not a reelection for our beloved United States of America.)

Love you all,




  1. Gretchen · February 3, 2017

    Best posting yet!
    Love, mom


  2. Marion Ziegert · February 3, 2017

    Friday, 3 Feb, just having a nice eying with Cass, Lücki and some good wine and now reading the posting. It is always so funny and yes, Lücki and I are also so exciting about next Tuesday. Can’ t wait – and sure it will be just so fantastic.
    Always so “feeling alive” reading all your “a year from here”, love it, like it and will follow you 🙂
    Hugs Marion


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