Portia Placino

Repository of my thoughts and images of art, literature, travel, and life.

Snow in Berlin

(I worked on this post some time ago. It went to my blog folder and I wasn’t able to work on it since then. Now, it’s St. Patricks’s Day, the day I arrived in Berlin two years ago. Time goes by so fast, I still feel like I was just there. It was one of the best moments of my life. Let me reminisce today. It’s the beginning of summer here in Manila, but ever since Berlin, I always remember the snow falling when summertime rolls in. There’s always a bit of sadness mixed in with the joy of that memory.)

I’ve talked about my first snow. It’s been two years, yet the memories are still so vivid in my head. I don’t want to let it go. At least it is not so painful to remember now. It is still there. In my mind, I still have not given up hope that I shall be back.


View from my window, Main Station Hotel and Hostel, Quitzow Strasse

We first realized that it is snow when it suddenly grew cold. Our first reaction was that it was raining, until it dawned on us that it was in fact, snow fall. It was my first. And it was beautiful. We had hot apple cider in a café near the TV Tower, wondering if the TV Tower would indeed turn green for St. Patrick’s day. But as we’re in Europe, darkness takes a while. We head back to the hostel before darkness fully consumed us.


Street of Berlin

The next day brought forth more snow. It was supposed to be early spring but the snow decided to stay. In my mind, I think it was for me. I’ve always dreamed of snow after all. It was freezing cold but everything looked so bright.I breathed in the air, sharp and clean, taking in Berlin. I was afraid at first, afraid of getting too cold, afraid of getting lost. But I’ll get over that. After all, I did believe that the snow was summoned for me.


Berlin Cathedral and TV Tower

I was afraid to enter the forest until someone took me. I still remember the crunch of the snow under my boots. My boots are warm, but not exactly built to walk through thick snow. I was shown where to walk, how to walk. I was taught not to be so afraid of getting lost. One can see the movement between the trees, that is where they main road would be.


Walking Tiergarten

We even saw rabbits popping out of the snow. Yes, rabbits. Or maybe hares. I really don’t know the difference. But they are adorable. Maybe they are trying to find something to eat. Or maybe they just need exercise. I wouldn’t know. I think they just popped in to say hi. It is for my remembrance. Have I grown so vain? Forgive me, I am letting my mind and my fingers loose, so that I can unearth these memories. Part of which, to share.


Walking Tiergarten

I will spend a lot of my days exploring the forests of Tiergarten, each one as memorable as the last. I planned to go to a lot of places but I felt so drawn here. It was magical. It resonated in my spirit. A month later after my snowy travails, I shall see Tiergarten again, in early spring. I saw memorials that I’ve seen before. I will see a closed garden open itself up to the public. In there I felt my heart soar. I felt my spirit freed.


View of Siegessäule at Tiergarten

For once, I am alone, in a strange place, with just a few people and no map to speak of, and yet, I felt free. I was unafraid. I listened to music and felt my heart soar. I felt like I belonged in a place where I barely knew anyone. I wish to go back. And the best I can imagine is that maybe someday.


Frozen lake at Tiergarten

What if that someday never comes? As my disquiet heart asks me sometimes. Well, at least I have these memories. I think this memory will last me a lifetime. Altered as it is, as memories go, but the best part is that there is something wonderful to remember.


Garden inside Tiergarten


2 comments on “Snow in Berlin

  1. It’s so nice to hear someone who enjoys the snow. I think because everything usually grinds to a halt in England we dread it coming, but it’s nice to be reminded that actually it is really pretty and fun!

    • Portia Placino
      March 17, 2015

      Hi Becky! Thanks. I live in a tropical country, if its not hot, its raining. Snow held a certain fascination for most of us. It’s difficult to cope with but it’s really a magical experience. I hope I get to visit England someday as well. I didn’t get to the first time I went to Europe because England requires a different Visa. Well, someday soon I hope. Thanks for reading the blog! 🙂

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This entry was posted on March 17, 2015 by in Conference, Diary of a Grad student, Travel Writing and tagged , , , .



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Love talking about modern art. We started with theoretical essays, now we're discussing the -isms. The story of art that eventually lead to The Fountain is very interesting--world wars, development of capitalism, institutionalization, and rise of market industry. This class takes me on a journey, from the classroom to New York and Paris. I still remember seeing these works in the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay and Pomidou. Building the student's canonical knowledge of art, at the same time teaching them to challenge the canon and canon-building, is difficult. I don't know if I will ever strike the right balance. Rewards of being in the teaching profession despite of all the challenges it presents. #art #artstud #modernart Let me lead the story with baby and I are just fine. But it didn't feel like it when I felt sharp pains at 2 am today. I woke my doctor and #gamerchef up, to ask and decide if we should go to the ER. Then the pain started subsiding. Doctor said I can just have a regular check-up later, as I was scheduled to have a check-up in a few days anyway. But if the pain returns, I should call. Everything was ok, except I felt exhausted. My weight and blood pressure are fine. Doctor listened to baby's heartbeat and it is strong. Apparently, baby is horizontal right now and probably jammed her feet on my rib cage, thus the sharp pains. As I am small and baby is getting bigger and stronger, kicks and movements are bound to cause me pain, lots of it. As long as the pain subsides, it is fine. One of those false alarms that rather scared me. To cap things off, we shopped for some necessities, saw some friends, and had a nice dinner. The coming weeks are gonna be challenging. Rest is essential. #babynarratives Sleepy baby girl keeping me company this Sunday afternoon. Been feeling exhausted the entire day, I think she shares the sentiment. Cute baby Bunny really loves the comforter. #bunny #toypoodle #dogsofinstagram Baby shower and house warming. We missed you Raquel! Next time just bring Alex. Catching up over pizza, donuts, and our first tikoy gift. Lol. Can't believe we've been friends for about two decades! Part 2 should definitely happen. #shower If there was any doubt to a new phase in our lives, there isn't anymore. We received brown tikoy for Lunar New Year. Lol. Singing 'we are family'.... #cny #newyear #2018 #gamerchef One of the awesome things we bought in Myanmar. Love it. Hope we can find this here also. #lentils #travel #myanmar
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