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MIT student blogger Sam M. '07

Lodger by Sam M. '07

Third in a trilogy of Berlin photo entries, featuring the country of Moldova.

DID YOU KNOW? This World Cup was the first time that a country qualified no longer existed at the time of competition — Serbia-Montenegro split into separate countries a few weeks before the beginning of the event.

One other thing that you can see in Berlin is two-hundred-something bears, each one decorated by one of the countries in the United Nations. Or you could just finish reading this picture entry and see the coolest of the bears.

I’ll be brief, for the sake of wit.


First, Ling ’07, Kendall ’07, and I got a picture in front of the very popular United States bear. We’re right in between the United Kingdom bear, who appears to be some bizarre amalgamation of Austin Powers and John Lennon, and the United Arab Emirates bear.


My roommate Kunal poses with the India bear.


And Ling ’07 and Yue Han ’05 likewise pose with the sassy China bear.


Pascal, from FRANCE (how could you be named Pascal and not from France?) shows some World Cup spirit with the pimped-out France bear. His chest features not one, not two, but at least three Eiffel Towers.


The Spain bear featured this great mosaic-imitating design. The Canada bear, which I inexplicably neglected to get a picture of, featured a real mosaic — made out of broken tea pots, many of which prominently feature the inscription “Made in England.”


For Mitra, here is the Iran bear.


For Ruth, who was once asked to “say something in Georgian” while teaching SAT Prep through ESP, here is the quite vibrant Georgia bear.


For fans of The Arcade Fire, here is the Haiti bear.


The Bolivia bear is kind of creepy.


But the Brazil bear might cheer him up with the village soccer players in his tummy.


The Moldova bear is informative. Notice the Moldovian currency it has stuck in its eyes.


The Ireland bear just bearly edges out the US and UK for “most stereotypical bear.” Nevertheless, it is adorable.


But in the midst of all these whimsical and charming and culture-celebrating bears, we find the Serbia bear… and it makes you think.


As does this memorial placed in the center of the bears, commemorating the site of a Nazi book burning — �the inscription reads, approximately, “That was a prelude, here where one burns books, will one in the end burn people.” Heinrich Heine, 1820.

I should be allowed to think.

4 responses to “Lodger”

  1. Dinyar says:

    great post..

    i ought to really leave it at that, but i’m going to visit germany in september with interrail (germany’s our neighbouring country and i’ve barely seen munich.. ) and i’m certain to stay in berlin for a couple of days.. any sites you can recommend ? or for that matter: generally any cities we should visit?

  2. Ruth 07 says:

    My own dedication! Thanks!

    The Bolivia bear is uber-creepy. Awesome.

    And I feel bad for Moldova. Poor Moldova.

  3. Sanja says:

    Tnx for all these nice pictures…

    God, our bear is the ugliest. Should I mention that I’m from Serbia? :( :( :(

  4. Sam says:

    Dinyar — Well, I really regretted not seeing the Pergamon and the Jewish museum. I absolutely recommend the Kaiser Wilhelm Church above all other things we saw. Also, we went on the English-language walking tour advertised here:

    And it was great for getting the lay of the land downtown and seeing some of the more touristy locations quickly.

    Ruth ’07 — Well, at least now I know where Moldova is.

    Sanja — I don’t know, I thought your bear was the most poignant, actually. I don’t know if you can tell, but it is filled with bullet holes.