Thursday, October 11, 2012

Re-conceptualizing Rizal and Viola in Berlin, 1886.

Reconceptualizing Rizal's Berlin's Experience.

We're now in Berlin.  During Rizal's time, it was the capital city of the powerful Prussian region of Germany.

 However,  let's take a little Rizal history walk.

Rizal arrived in this city in 1886 in the middle of winter.  He looked for the cheapest lodging.  He settled down on the 3rd foor of 71 Jägerstrasse tucked in an out of way area.  To us in the Philippines and US, the 3rd foor level is plain.  One goes up three flights of stairs.  

Nein, nein!  

The first floor is always ground Zero.  Their first floor is our second floor.  So Rizal was going up four flight of stairs to go to his 3rd floor room.

I heard from our the tour guide describing the ritzy apartments along the Unter den Linden, that the lower  the social class, the higher they live on apartment floors. 

Rizal, at this time was so low with funds.  He was only eating once a day with a very meager portions.  In order to fortify himself, he went to the gym nearby and lifted weights.  Well, this regimen soon took a drastic toll.

He began to cough miserably, sweaty, and had high fever in the afternoons. He self-diagnosed himself.  

      "Alas! I have sympoms of Tuberculosis!"

Then he heard a knock on the door.  His best friend from Barcelona days, Dr. Maximo Viola came in.

       "Hola, Chico, Como esta?  Komusta ka na?"

Maximo Viola, like Rizal, recently gained his MD degree. They both agreed to meet in Berlin and travel together through Europe.  

Well, Dr. Viola (my grand uncle) put on his physician's bedside manners.  He examined his sickly patient--- wheezing,  coughing, feverish, nursing a cold and enduring a miserable time.

The result of his medical evaluation was classic--- correct, generous,  diplomatic and expressed in a sort of kind concerned diagnostic way.

       "You don't have TB.  You are in fact suffering from extreme physiological misery (poverty) coupled with physical strain complications (improper hurtful gymnastics)." 

In plain language, Rizal was suffering from  malnutrition, exacerbated by deadbeat exercise.

Then the friends went out to a restaurant to eat a decent meal. 

The word restaurant came from the French language meaning  a restful restorative health repast.


Don't go away.  Tomorrow, my subject is about Rizal and Viola's trip to Postdam and Sans Souci, and the lesson the two friends learned about the German justice system.

I took lots of pictures, but these will come later.  So bear with me.

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