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At the Beach

After looking at the forecast earlier in the week we saw that Sunday was going to be quite warm, 85 degrees, so we decided to go to the lake. There are actually a few lakes not far from Berlin and we decided to go to the most popular Wannsee. It took us about an hour to get there via public transportation which wasn’t too bad. Asha was super excited. That girl loves the beach!

When we arrived there was a line to get in. You have to pay to go to the beach here, but it was very clean. The line moved quickly despite a few Germans cutting the line, as they often do. Asha grabbed the sand toys and Karina made a beeline for the water. Thankfully the water was not freezing cold and remained shallow for quite some distance which made it easy for the kids to play.

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You all may be wondering, was there a nude beach? The answer is yes. Here it is called the FKK Strand. FKK stands for Freikörperkultur, which translates to Free Body Culture. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Would we be walking around and bump into some butt naked dude drinking a beer? Turns out no. The FKK beach is clearly marked and there is a privacy fence, so they can be free from the judgy eyes of those in swimsuits. That is unless you are walking on the boardwalk trying to find a shower to clean the sand off your toddler. You see the boardwalk is slightly elevated and while I could not see much detail I saw enough. I can say the nude beach is not sexy. It is not Victoria Secret and Calvin Klein underwear models. Just everyday folks who want to let it all hang out. Now I have no issues with them going nude as long as we aren’t right next to each other, but I still don’t understand why for 2 reasons. 1. Sand. I mean I wear a swimsuit to the beach and I am covered in sand. How do you manage that whole situation? 2. Sun Burn. I hope those people are regularly lathering on the sun screen because ouch. Sun burn on my back and shoulders hurts bad enough. I can’t imagine “other” places.

While there were no nude adults next to us on the beach there were nude children. I wondered if this might happen as I had been warned that Germans let their kids play nude at the playground in the summer, but I didn’t know. There were several kids not more than 3 feet away from us with nothing on. Well one girl had floaties. It was very uncomfortable. I realize that they are just kids, probably about 4 or a little older, but it just felt wrong. I was also worried that Karina might get a little handsy and I really did not want to deal with that. I think it just felt strange because in the US to see a stranger’s child naked usually means you are engaging in inappropriate, likely perverse behavior. Here a naked body is not sexualized it’s just natural. Asha didn’t even seem to notice as she asked no questions about it and we weren’t going to bring it up. I did caution Sanjay to make sure he didn’t get any naked kids in his photos.

We headed home on the hot train then on to a hot tram back to our hot apartment. I know this is very American of me, but AC people please! Even with the windows open it was uncomfortably hot. Maybe that’s really why everyone is running around naked. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the backyard drinking rosé while the kids played. It was a nice relaxing day after all the traveling we’ve been doing.

Hope it starting to get summer-like back home!

Tchüss,

Karla

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