|Berlin - Poppau, Germany/2001.09.19-2001.09.29|
After the wall was eliminated, there were many buildings in eastern Berlin that were standing empty. This gave the green light to anarchists, people who do not believe in private ownership, the homeless, and other radical groups to invade and take control of these buildings (in one word: squat). Supposedly there were hundreds of these squats in the early 90's and today several still exist.
One group of artists chose Kastanienallee 77 as their base, and today it is known as WaWaVox (pronounced 'vavafox'). They received legal status some years ago and a grant from the city to renovate the big building complex. There was a work-exchange deal with the people from Land Rausch, and they both helped each other with the renovation. They interior was beautiful, artsy and ecologically minded, with bare and painted earth plastered walls and blended wooden objects.
Unfortunately our visit was not as involved as in other places. People work outside the community and pay a monthly 'rent', and there was no inside/communal work we could participate in. Instead we had a mattress in the roof floor, where all the guests sleep, and we paid a small fee for the food. Dinner was the communal meal, and it was an opportunity for us to talk to people and get a little more information. The rest of the time we were sightseeing and walking around Berlin.
So this time there won't be the usual comprehensive report with photos. Instead, you can visit their overkill website at http://www.k77.org/ with history, their businesses, and photos (non-german readers can use one of the free web-based translation tools).
Momo's safta and doda (grandma and auntie), took a break from primitive civilization and came to see Momo for several days. We took control over the logistics this time (unlike with Erika's biological tribe), and let them be our guests and join us on our path, first at WaWaVox, and then back at Club99.
|Walking in Berlin (Erika shaved her head)|
Safta will take the keyboard from here:
Shalom everyone everywhere!
Here we are, Elifal and me, having a great time with Momo and her parents in Germany...
We were in Berlin for two days, sleeping in sleeping bags on the 5th floor of a house that was empty for a long time, until young people established a community there. Very nice people, friendly and open minded. Elifal and the others felt really comfortable there
in spite of having to go all the way downstairs for the only communal shower in the building.
The Asian festival had different booths with foods from many countries. It was all served on real plates and utensils (!) which we had to put a refundable deposit on.|
Overpriced (don't go) Buddhist restaurant
We even used a door-less toilet! How about that, no one cares anyway... We had luck with the weather and walked in the city quite a lot. We saw the beautiful churches and buildings, and even made it to two festivals. On Friday there was a Asian festival and on Saturday, we got into an environmental celebration with bicycles, and activities for kids, so I stayed with Momo and the games, and the rest could go and watch all kinds of energy saving and ecological stuff... we didn't plan anything, it just happened that we suddenly ended up at such interesting places... and Momoly is just... I don't have the words to describe her... she is the most beautiful sweet smart baby ever... she talks so funny and understands everything, but is very stubborn and knows exactly what she wants, if she doesn't get it at once - you can hear her from far away... but most of the time she is busy and happy... anyhow, we had a fancy Buddhist vegan organic dinner last night, and this morning left for the country side...
Car-free day at Unter den Leenden street with family-bikes for 5 persons and a mobile solar cafe. Very nice!
|A living roof somewhere in Berlin|
We took the train from Berlin with many switches on the way and it was quite tiring, but we could see Germany, huge fields and rivers, and country houses with clean neat gardens everywhere, until we finally arrived Bandau and then walked 3km to Popau and the ecovillage we are staying now at. OfeK and Erika took Momo and their backpacks on bicycles but we enjoyed walking in the fields, where many apple and plum trees are just dropping their fruits and so many elderberry trees! Sieben Linden is a very nice place, with wooden housing and a beautiful wooden dining room. We now go down for the shower only one story, so we've been upgraded... There are about 40 people here, working in the building and in the fields, and the atmosphere seems very nice. Elifal and OfeK will join the workers tomorrow, while I stay with Momoly, and I rather do that than to watch her in the city. Here she can play and run freely, among the other kids or just in the fields around the place... It is really beautiful and peaceful here...
|Elifal and OfeK installing tiles with a mix of clay, sand and horse-manure|
Our readers probably needed a break from our didactic and militant style...