What do you do when you're detained by powerful officials, everything you say is presumed deceptive, arbitrary "evidence" is held against you, and you're treated like a moral deviant? And what if its 2013, you're a woman, and the "evidence" is that you possess condoms?
It happened three times in two weeks -- being detained by U.S. border officials on my way to or through the States.
Love and destruction -- not exactly a romantic pairing on Valentine's Day or any other time of the year. Unfortunately they are indeed an item. The question is whether the two can be separated without ruining the romance.
For starters, flowers are considered a particularly strong expression of love -- but what about the insecticides, fungicides and herbicides used to make them so flawlessly beautiful? And what about the fact that the flowers have been chopped from their roots? "Here my sweetheart --- as a sign of my love --- some cut and poisoned roses." The destruction doesn't end with the harvest. The roses have traveled long distances by air from countries like Ecuador causing air pollution and climate change.
This is no ordinary romp through Berlin. A transplanted Californian called Summer Banks, a stand-up comic by night and city tour guide by day, leads curious and slightly adventuresome tourists on a search for the finer examples of graffiti art and alternative living in the squats of the trendy and, in some ways, still-divided German capital.
Summer's stand-up routine is called "Comedy Gone Wild" and she's making them laugh every third Saturday at the Comedy Club Kookaburra. After a five-minute introduction there is little doubt that her tour will also be pretty wild. Her show's brochure says the comedy will be "uncensored." Ditto her tour commentary.