Thursday, September 1, 2016

I am in Berlin for a month to spend some time with The Guy Who Is Taller Than Me. A security scare at Frankfurt cancelled my connection to Berlin, so I had to take a five-hour train ride to arrive here late last night. My luggage, however, is at some airport.

I go to the supermarket to replace toiletries. Toothbrush, check. Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo. No contact lens solution? I ask a clerk.

No, she says. For that you must go to the apotheke.

I find an apotheke, which is a sort of curated drug store, and find contact lens solution. By my calculations I'm about a third of the way to getting presentable. No combs? I ask another clerk.

No, she says. Her English is not as good as the last. I must go to a very specialized store, she says, but she doesn't know the word in English and there are none around here anyway. She looks me straight in the eye, eager to convey the idea. You know, she says, it's that odd kind of establishment that sells soap.

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