McClarKinnon Adventures — Doughnuts, A Boat Ride, and Getting Out the Vote
Our Saturday had a little mix of everything.
We started Mitte with Tessa and stopped by a bakery that was on our list to try. We ordered coffee, an original berliner (jelly-filled doughnut), and another delicious treat before heading into Tiergarten.
We enjoyed a lovely walk through Tiergarten and stopped by Siegessäule or Victory Column.
Then we wandered towards one of our favorite spots in Berlin, Café am Neuen See. We’ve written about its significance in our path to settling in Berlin.
After a sausage and pretzel snack, we checked something off Justin’s Berlin To-Do List; we rented a rowboat and got out onto the lake that we’d previously so enjoyed from the cafe.
After signing a piece of paper verifying we wouldn’t take our rowboat into the near-by canal or river (the map had a skull and crossbones death symbol for all of the areas we were not supposed to go), we took to the water. We scooted around the little lake and enjoyed the view from the water.
We went home, fed the pets, and then were out again to another beer garden. But it wasn’t for the beer (alone) that we were spending the evening in BRLO; Democrats Abroad were organizing a “Get out the Vote” event. One of the volunteers had worked with the brewery BRLO to reserve a space to answer as many questions Americans have with their voting needs.
And the questions and help were as complex, simple, and technical as you can imagine. While these Americans are living abroad, voting this November is based on the state in which the individual is from or is registered with. Some states allow people to email their ballot but required that it is printed and signed. Some states require voters to fax their ballot. Other states still require everything is returned through the mail. This event had printers, scanners, fax-capable computers, extra envelopes, a scale for measuring the weight of envelopes, and directions to a near-by postal box. We tried to tackle everything that might be a barrier for someone to cast their vote. We helped voters from all around the US including many swing states. Justin worked with people that had not received their ballots yet. Paige helped folks through all of the technology and mailing instructions. While there were moments that we wished more people came, we also enjoyed time chatting with other Americans and building relationships with new friends.
After a long day, we took the Ubahn back home (later than we’re usually out — we’re so old after all!) and grabbed döner for a late-night snack since we had been too busy at the brewery to eat. It was a productive and relaxing Saturday to begin our October.