I haven´t had a tamal since leaving Boston, over three years ago. I certainly haven´t had a good tamal since my last visit to Utah. I love tamales to death. With all due respect to the Middle Eastern Kubbe, there´s something about having your polenta dumpling arrive wrapped in a tropical leaf that turns it from a dish into a party.
Last night I needed a party. I was moody in the afternoon, done with work and completely alone in a city that knows how to to seem elianating. My friend Bianca was staying the night in Wittenberg, my friend Anna is vacationing in Austria. My parents are actually in Berlin at the moment, but I wanted to give them a sense of honeymoon peace and let them be.
So I went to Prenzlauerberg and walked off the street to an art opening (unique and exquisite video works by Belorussian Alexander Komorov), Had some red wine and got talking to a young Colombian named Juan. He invited me to a farewell party, thrown for a friend of his who is traveling back to Latin America, where exactly - I forgot. We walked through streets alight with Saturday night crowds and jittery with the impact of passing el-trains, to buy a cake for the bash and drop Juan´s bike by his place, then headed to the shabbier streets of Neukölln, to an old apartment building topped with a flat full of Nicaraguans, of Colombians, of Uruguayans, of Brazilians and of Germans from all parts of the country. The music was pure south of the Panama Canal fare and there was so much beer in the fridge that people were taking photos of it. On the table were two tamales, their flavour - utter heaven. Life tasted good too at that moment. I was in love with Berlin, in Berlove, if you will, enamorado con la geist der stadt, y la geist der welt, and not at all hungry anymore.