Now one of my go-to places across from Kramers is Diego's hair cuttery. You can drop in - as I did today. Even though sometimes it is crazy crowded with people popping in and out to chat in Italian, Spanish and French with Diego and all his crew. Men, women, toddlers, interns, journalists, diplomats and lots of politicians come by. The walls look like a Congressman's office -- filled with signed photos of the famous and used-to-bes. And everyone talks politics... the delicious part. Today as I had my hair cut, my hair dressers eagerly questioned me about the Saudi King's five day stay at the Four Seasons a few weeks ago, where I go every day to swim. I think I passed right by him one afternoon as I was escorted to the spa; like everyone he was talking on a cell phone. There were dozens of men all around in dark suits and white robes in the lobby; I never saw any women, just men. The entrance was secured by U.S. Secret Service. They had replaced much of the furniture and carpets with those of the king for his four days there. Diego had been asked to go to cut hair but he refused; "they paid well but you could sit waiting for hours." We talked about the Pope and immigration. Only when I was finished did I find out the gentleman in the barbers chair next to mine was the Ambassador from Guatemala.
Then I had to run to get my car and drive to the ultra modern residence of the German Ambassador Peter Wittig. It was raining hard and only about 20 members of the National Press Club were there so it was very intimate. We were hosted in the ultimate home "bier keller" -- the Ambassador residence's large basement black, white and red bar, couches, tables and modern lamps. Ambassador Wittig spoke perfect English with only a hint of an accent; he had been the German Ambassador in Lebannon and knew well their challenges taking care of over 1 million refugees there. So he spoke passionately at length about Germany's challenge now. "I was surprised but proud of German citizens outpouring of welcome to Syrian refugees these past weeks," he said. "Polls show most citizens support Chancellor Angela Merkels offer to host up to one million refugees. But there is a limit. Already some local communities are stretched thin; are running out of emergency shelters and supplies. We can't take everybody who wants to come." He said they now strongly urge all countries in the area to commit to helping not only house refugees, but help border countries like Jordon, Lebannon and Turkey- EU and nonEU and especially Associate EU countries like Kosovo and Albania. And he urges that every diplomatic effort be made to broker a cease fire. But now, in Germany, it has been made especially clear that no "refugees" will be accepted from safe countries, especially the associate EU ones. And he made it clear that unlike in the U.S., those applying for refugee and asylum status would be quickly vetted - within weeks; those who did not qualify would be required to immediately remove themselves from Germany -- even some with help from Germany. It sounded just and fair. Even in the US the official word is "removal" not deportation; but in Germany they do it quickly.