This weekend I spent strolling the streets of Berlin, Paris, and New York and I did not even leave my sofa. You know when you have found a great book when everything is piling up -laundry, dishes, housework- and you are engrossed in pages of words and not really caring about those piles. That happens to me a lot. I always say I will read for only one hour. I even set my alarm. Then the alarm goes off and I’m wanting to know more and more. So I set it again, 30 minutes. I should just accept the fact that when I’m ready a really good book I’m down for the count!
I started this book Saturday afternoon.
I could not put it down. That fact that I have been to basically all of the places that the author talks about made this book real to me. Ms. Weiss was born in West Berlin in the mid 1970s. Her father is American and mom is Italian. She describes what it was like growing up in Berlin and when her parents divorce about growing up shuttling back and forth from Boston to Germany. Each chapter is intertwined with her love of food and cooking.
Why does this resonate so much to me? Of course, I live in Europe. I realize a lot of people do not understand that I really consider this my home. This is where I became an adult. Our daughter was basically raised here. When I’m visiting the states, even though I’m excited to be there, I long for the relaxed slower pace of Europe. I love that in the spring I can stop on the side of the road and cut my own flowers and that I can be trusted to pay. I love walking the downtown streets and venturing into shops- not malls. I love traveling by subways and trains. I am able to view the country side. I love watching the ladies hop on their bicycles to go into town every single morning during the summer for the day’s food supplies. They are always dressed nicely with their hair done. I want to be like that when I grow up.
I love that fact that Hubby and I can go for a walk and hear nothing at all except for our voices. For me, Christmas is about gluwein, Christmas markets, and advent candles. Easter is about braided bread and hand painted eggs. Walking along cobblestone streets looking at century old buildings is how I want to spend a Saturday afternoon.
I totally understood this author as she followed her heart and gut and moved from New York back to her home of Berlin. I did a lot of “Amen sister!” as I was reading. Her home is mine.
I am torn also because I’m a very proud American. I miss things about the states- Whole Foods, HEB Central Market, football. However, I have come to realize this is my true north. This is where I belong.
The book is fabulous! The recipes are interesting. I will be trying out a few before long. But now, it is time to really look at those piles….