yesterday i visited the biggest department store in europe- KaDeWe. i never really buy clothes from department stores because they are too expensive for me, and somehow seem a little boring, but i would go everyday to the gourmet food floor of this department store if i could. it’s an entire floor devoted to gourmet (and less gourmet if you count the american products haha) food from all over the world. there are food sections where you can buy almost any kind of oil or spice you could think of, typical packaged products from various cuisines, millions of teas and coffees, and even food counters where you can buy stuff for home or eat right there. and it’s not like a normal mall food court at all. it’s very fancy and sophisticated looking. a lot of high-class business men and women and wealthier looking couples always seem to be enjoying lunch breaks there when i visit. i would like someday to be able to afford lunch there everyday. there is so much you can choose from. seriously, i could get lost. i was so happy and excited and overwhelmed i wanted to run around like a little kid. it puts your senses in overload for real. i like the bakery counters, and there is a french one that has so many beautiful pastries and desserts. they have macarons! AND, pain au chocolat… which is my most favorite pastry of all time. there are chocolate croissants in many places i’ve visited and a lot here in germany, but the french pain au chocolat is perfect and it beats all the rest. the ones i saw at the counter were as authentic as i could get without actually going to france i think. so i bought one of course. i also bought some italian espresso beans which was more of an impulse buy, but i couldn’t help but buy some. i somehow saved my french pastry until this morning and enjoyed it with a cup of my italian espresso which has truly started my day off perfectly. another counter i noticed yesterday was the tea counter. they had these huge chinese porcelain-looking vases with more types of tea leaves than you could ever imagine. each vase had a little bowl in front of it so you could smell it. i only sniffed a few because i was too excited to stay at one counter for too long, but they were such beautiful scents. i don’t know much about tea, but i can imagine any one i picked would be amazing. the american section is entertaining to me. everything is very overpriced, and the selections are things that i do miss very much from home, but they somehow make american cuisine look tacky. you can buy poptarts at 8 euros ($10) a box, piecrusts, marshamallows, swiss miss hot cocoa mix, bbq sauce, pepperidge farm cookies, peanut butter, fluff, and expensive single cans of soda. don’t get me wrong though, i can’t wait to eat all of these once i’m home, but for a much cheaper price. maybe these foods all look too processed and fatty to foreigners, but i’m sure there are other expat americans in berlin like me who are longingly eyeing the brown sugar frosted poptarts and duncan hines funfetti cake mixes.