Also, Alter, was macht ein mega-Dominicano in Berlin? So wie so, arbeiten!

First time for everything, even to repeat the same night in a new city. And Berlin does offer some perks for the repetitive Caribbeanist. Number one on the list has to be the 24/7 access to willig dunkel beer at a suitable seedy chinchorro. Scanning from library to library around the urban sausage on the hunt for the rare lucubrations of the dead can dig quite the gargantuan thirst in the young scholar, and there it is with a loaner from English, everywhere: BAR. And now that the young Indiana Jones de biblioteca has satisfied his parched lips, what should he do with all the extra spit but yap til the sun hits high-noon and the libraries ring a new round. A vicious circle with an empty center, a European donut, that is Berlin for the dominican letter-man.

It doesn’t help that he is surrounded by an intrepid cast of pre-doctoral fiends pinched from the least likely academic burrows: El Gallo, the diplomatic historian from Popayan, a genius of romance, intrigue and Capoeira. Gracias por la cama, mon vieux. Der Max, the introverted artist-scholar from the hollers of Switzerland, a specialist of… what was the name of that poet again?… who can improvise the jazz trumpet with a bumbling and a-thumping when silence falls on the drunken. El Alemán, a shady analytical philosopher from Oxford whose only dream in life is to make bad 5 minute short films and sleep with 7 different women every week. Dennizio, the secretive and brutally erudite philosopher of science who does not allow me to reveal any more details about his identity or whereabouts (he’s probably shining at the Mini Bar on Kreutzberg East as you read), and last but not least: Obi, the nemesis. I wish you could have seen his haughty bearing as he guaranteed victory on the battlefield! Needless to say, he was thoroughly thrashed by my superior wit and dexterity.

Despite these obstacles, by the end of the 10 days, my work in Berlin was done. This improbable outcome was due in no small part to the angelic intervention of two other doctorantes: the ironically white Anja Schwarz (African Studies, bien sûr) and the deus-ex-machina appearance of my never-before-met primita Carolina Malagón, a sprite of 18th Century German Philology. And so, the tired Hispaniolo returns home to his angelito and the work ahead…

bis bald, bis bald.