Berlin is sunny and warm at the moment, 22 degrees Celsius, 72 Fahrenheit. Shorts and sandals have made an appearance, and young Goths in black t-shirts are exceptionally pale in the sun. Berlin is old and fat and young and stylish, dirty and clean, East and West smashed up together. Although I love Copenhagen, it definitely lacks the energy or vibrancy of a city like Berlin. Note to self: more travels around Europe to get out of the Copenhagen bubble.
I spent the past two days with public health experts from various Ministries of Health in the EU, listening avidly to their tales of infectious disease control: putting suspect cases in quarantine, managing the risk of polonium contamination in London during the Litvenenko poisoning, dealing with mysterious-sounding diseases like EHEC (toxin-producing E. coli) or Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (a tick-borne disease that can be transmitted through blood or bodily fluids like Ebola). Communicable disease control is fascinating, and in another life I would perhaps like to be an epidemiologist working for the CDC or another national public health institute.
Sadly, I think I'm now too old to consider alternative careers in this life. It would just take too frigging long and I'd be 50 before getting anywhere. I suspect I may have entered that age where I need to stop choosing the road less traveled and set down on the well-lit paved road that goes somewhere sensible.
From the German colleagues, I heard the story of the ill-fated Berlin Brandenburg airport, the "new" airport planned soon after reunification to replace the three tiny existing airports, Tegel, Schönefeld, and Tempelhof. Due to poor planning, financial mismanagement, unforeseen problems, the airport is still unfinished despite starting construction in 2006. If you've ever flown into the capital of Europe's biggest economy and marveled at how much the airports look like glorified bus stations, I guess you can blame poor project management. I guess Copenhagen's infamous "kissing bridge," a 600-ft bridge that took only 5 years to build, looks pretty good comparatively.