Volkspark Friedrichshain

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Vivo a Prenzlauer Berg. O meglio al confine tra Prenzlauer e  Friedrichshain. La foto che pubblico oggi è del parco dietro casa mia, Volkspark Friedrichshain. Der Park ist in der nahe von meiner Wohnung. In questo mese sto lavorando come freelance per l’Italia, il che significa orari gestibli come si vuole e lavorare, appunto, in pigiama da casa. La mia pausa pranzo quindi la passo qui: nel parco della fontana Märchenbrunnen. Questa fontana, costruita all’inizio del secolo scorso, si trova in una delle entrate del parco, ed è decorata da statue che raffiguranti le favole dei fratelli Grimm. Come la maggior parte delle statue in marmo od in pietra antica di Berlino, d’inverno, le statue vengono incappucciate in box di legno, per il gelo, evitando che crepino a causa delle basse temperature. Non è vero che qui d’inverno piove molto, piove meno che in Italia ma il freddo si fa sentire e se capita qualche briciolo di sole, tutto il parco si riempie di comitive di carrozzine e anzani che cercano di godersi quelle poche ore nella luce che finalmente arriva dall’alto. Il mio quartiere è per famiglie principalmente, non ci sono molti locali, ma basta spostarsi in 5 minuti di tram che si arriva in due punti nevralgici della vita Berlinese. L’M10 infatti porta da qui fino a Warschauer strasse da un lato, o a Eberswalder Strasse dall’atro. A me piace vivere in un quartiere così, anche perchè questa città permette di spostarsi in maniera così comoda che ogni posto non è mai realmente così lontano. La foto che vedete è del laghetto all’interno del parco, scattata in un week-end in cui stavo tornando a Roma, per salutare qualche persona che non vedevo da un pò e approfittare di una pausa da un corso di tedesco all’altro. Nei prossimi articoli vi parlerò anche del mio corso. Domani arriva mia sorella dall’Italia e farò da cicerone in giro per la città, quindi i prossimi due post saranno sulla città in generale.


Il mio arrivo a Berlino

Ciao a tutti, mi chiamo Marco. Sono arrivato a Berlino i primi giorni di Novembre, durante la celebrazione della caduta del muro. Arrivare in quel momento con la città euforica e la preparazione delle celebrazioni è stato veramente un inizio entusiasmante. Ho visto l’installazione fatta con palloncini bianchi luminosi che correva lungo tutta la città, ricostruendo esattamente il percorso del vecchio muro. Ero arrivato da pochissimo e quindi il mix che avevo di eccitazione per la mia nuova avventura in Germania veniva sostenuto anche dai turisti venuti proprio per le celebrazioni. Tutto questo mi ha dato una grandissima energia nei primi giorni faticosi di ricerca di un appartamento. Dopo una settimana mi sono sistemato in un grazioso edificio a Prenzlauerberg, vivo con una giovane coppia di tedeschi che sopportano i miei studi linguistici e anzi sono disponibilissimi ad aiutarmi correggendo il mio tedesco quando faccio gli esercizi o provo a parlare con loro. Sono venuto a Berlino da Roma, sono un grafico, ho lavorato per una agenzia in questi primi tre mesi, lavoravo per una app chiamata iTheme. Disegnavo wallpapers per iphone e ipad. Adesso sto applicando per altri lavori, dita incrociate. Ancora devo scoprire molto della città, anche se non è la prima volta che vengo a Berlino. Questo è il mio primo post del blog, adesso sto seguendo il livello A2.1, aber mein Deutsch ist nicht sehr gut, almeno per ora. 

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Beginning of A2

Monday, February 9th and the new course starts. New teacher, new people, new room! I started my day with opposing feelings. On one hand, I know I will miss our teacher Marie and the people who will not come anymore, but on the other hand I am excited to check what´s new. The group of people is bigger than the previous one, still made up by an international mix. After some embarrassing initial moments due to the new environment, a good climate established among us. Actually half of the people are still coming from the previous course, so there is still a friendly atmosphere.

Kristina is our new teacher and her teaching style is different from Marie´s one. She really cares about our understanding and I like her overall, since she is very patient and she explains twice when we do not understand something (which happens quite often). As first day, I cannot say too much yet, just that I feel like I am the opposite of our teacher. In fact, I am too impatient to learn and see my results as soon as possible. But I know that with German that is not possible. I have to learn how to be patient, to have discipline and see what happens only step by step.

So I will see…step by step!

Stopping by “die Berlinale”

On Sunday I decided to stop by the famous and glamorous Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale just to have a look at it. I wanted to get a general and superficial idea about this popular event. The place was full of tourists from everywhere with a strict plan of activities, movies lovers, reporters, hidden celebrities and big cues for everything. With no plans as usual, I was curious first to taste the atmosphere and eventually decide what to do later. No need to say that my friends from far away were going completely crazy and my whatsapp was just exploding with the weirdest requests, regarding for instance autographs or selfies with Robert Pattinson! Although I took a picture just in front of the red carpet, I was not very attracted by the activity of waiting for celebrities to show up for 2 seconds, and more important, I was freezing! Thus, I told my poor friends from far away to give up the illusion to receive some autographs as next birthday´s present. Instead, the whole atmosphere triggered my interest in knowing the roots of Berlinale and how it developed over the years. My short excursion on Sunday increased my curiosity and desire to get deeper into the topic.

Once at home, I got to know that Berlinale was created by Oscar Martay, an American Film Officer, during the post war period, when Berlin was still “ruined” by the big tragedy of the war. So the first Festival took place in 1951, a year of reconstruction for Berlin, which was still hardly recovering from war wounds. The first director was Dr. Alfred Bauer and the movie opening the first edition was Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rebecca”.

On 5th of February of this year, “Nobody wants the night” of the Spanish Isabel Coixet opened the 65th edition of Berlinale. I read that the movie draws inspiration from the real story of Robert Peary´s travel to reach the North Pole, but from the perspective of his wife. On the way to reach his husband, the woman finds herself in the situation of spending the winter with an Asian woman.

Well, after reading all these insights, I am curious enough to start my plan. Now I am going to pick up the movie I will watch this week.

Don´t worry, if you still do not have a plan, there is enough time.

So, make yours and get ready to enjoy the last days of Berlinale!Berlinale

Unser Stammtisch!

Liebe Teilnehmer,

vergesst nicht: Am kommenden Mittwoch findet um 20 Uhr wieder unser Stammtisch statt! Diesmal geht es wieder ins Hofbräuhaus am Alex. Für weitere Informationen könnt ihr gerne ins Büro kommen oder auf dem Flyer nachschauen.

Wir freuen uns auf euch!
Euer DeutschAkademie Team



I have never been a big fan of flea markets. Where I come from, they are pretty rare, since people usually do not like to buy second-hands things. They rather go to fancy shops. Second-hand is considered to be something negative and often connected to being poor. When I moved to the city, I was quite surprised to see how flea markets are so popular. And the social status has nothing to do with the research of something unusual and unique. The first surprise was in Rome, which has one of the biggest Flea markets of Italy, the famous “Porta Portese”. But in Berlin flea markets are even trendier. Even our book of the course advertisflohmarktes them as something to visit in Berlin. The reasons might be various: the Hipster movement, the economical crisis or just the fact that Germans are very creative in reinventing things and they do not like to throw things away. Berlin counts several Flea Markets, which are usually opened during the weekend and lots of visitors like to dedicate their leisure time in these vintage places. I believe that the most famous is the one at Mauer Park and maybe also the biggest one. At Mauer Park you do not find only old things, but also designers promoting their collections and stands with street food. It is a good combination of past, present and future.

But the one I visited on Sunday was different. It is not well advertized like the cool ones, but the Flea Market at Tiergarten is one of the oldest of the city. This Flea Market is the classic version of the typical Flea Market without any trendy supplements. Peddlers sell mostly vintage objects: from old watches, clothes, old books, old cameras to ancient beer glasses, which by the way I thought they were tea glasses!

Thus, when you are in the mood for a relaxing walk among vintage knick-knacks, you have found the perfect place! The prices are set according to the value of the goods and bargain-hunting can make good deals.

I am still not a big fun of Flea markets, maybe because I do not have a good eye and when I see too many things in a confused order I never know what to buy. However, I appreciate the idea of recycling things. And I will tell you why.

During summer I like to go for a ride in the countryside next to my village and very often I have been so upset to see every kind of good left over on the ground, just because people do not use it anymore. For this reason, I think that there should be a Flea Market a bit everywhere, since what is not valuable for one person anymore, could be very precious for another one.

The end of A 1.2


It is Thursday and finally/sadly we are at the end of our Level A1.2 course. Next Monday the Level 2 will start together with serious issues!

But now it is time to enjoy the last day all together.

We start with the last topic of the book: “Emotionen”, pretty funny! After learning how to express happiness, sadness and anger in German, it comes the test time. The test is a good tool to review what we have studied so far. Afterwards, finally the Breakfast all together! Of course, the social breakfast has been Marie´s idea. A few German friends told me that in Germany it is a common tradition to have breakfast all together the last day of school. I think that it is a nice tradition! Therefore, everybody had the task to bring something typical from their own country. All of us had the chance to discover breakfast traditions from other countries.

For instance, there was some typical food from Venezuela, croissants from Italy, vegan cake, cheesecake and the super delicious spinach muffins that Marie prepared.

In the end, Marie gave us a present: a preview of the topics we will study in A2, since she wanted us to be well prepared and ready for the new course.

Finally, I am glad to give a positive feedback to my first experience at DeutscheAkademie  and I am looking forward for the next level!

“Those days”

When you live abroad, sometimes you have “those days”: those moments when something is missing. Precisely you do not know what: you have a good life, good friends and everything is quite alright. But “those days” will eventually come. When you wake up during one of “those days”, you feel like doing something meaningful, whatever could fill what is missing. What is missing cannot be easily translated into one word, indeed it is not simply your country, but it represents something more than that. As well as it is not about material things. Most likely, it is a combination of abstract elements, for instance a smell, some gestures, or the stability of recognizable behaviors. Even the most adventurous people might have those moments.

Everyone would try to fix this emptiness in a different way according to his/her personality, context and resources.

My personal way is to find a place where I feel good, relaxed, where I can organize my thoughts and clear my mind. Usually, my emptiness reveals itself with feelings of anxiety and pressure to act. And the place which would calm me down the most is a bookstore. In Berlin there are several ones, you can find huge and amazing bookstores everywhere. They look like the paradise of books lovers! The luckiest ones of this category are German speakers (the English section is quite small compared to the endless German one). Even though huge book stores are quite appealing, I am more attracted by the old style small book shops, run by a family maybe.

And in Berlin I had the chance to find one! On a very central street in Mitte, you see this small book shop which sells Italian and Portuguese books. When I entered, I had a feeling of intimacy, which recalls home memories. I had a nice chat with the very kind lady who works there. She suggested me a very interesting book and unexpectedly she gave me what I was looking for. That day I was feeling frustrated and confused after a German class. I was thinking that all my efforts to understand the language were not enough to fulfill the goal. I needed something more. And I found it here. The book is about an explanation of the German mindset, which leads you to better understand the complexity and peculiarity of the language.

The nice lady suggested me also to take a look at some paper boxes filled with a big choice of second-hand books. Well, when I left, I somehow felt that my personal gap was filled.

I recommend a visit to this lovely Portuguese/Italian book shop called “Mondo Libro” (Torstraße 159, Mitte)” for all the “small and unique shops” lovers, against the “big shopping stores” types. I believe that they will be very satisfied!books

Unser Kulturprogramm im Februar

Liebe Teilnehmer,

diesen Monat besuchen wir mit euch eine echte Berliner Bier-Brauerei. Denn was ist deutscher als das Getränk aus Hopfen und Malz? Nichts!

Bei einer Führung durch die Anlage und einer kleinen Bierprobe schauen wir mal hinter die Kulissen der Braukunst. Wir würden uns freuen viele von euch dabei begrüßen zu können.

Anmelden könnt ihr euch im Büro bis zum 19.01.2015. Dort erhaltet ihr auch alle Informationen. Gern könnt ihr aber auch auf dem Flyer nachschauen!

Bis bald im Büro!

Euer DeutschAkademie Team

Brauerei Poster_-001

Humans of Deutschkurs

One day a guy called Brandon Stanton had an idea: to follow his passion. After losing his job, he decided to dedicate his time by doing what he liked the most: photography. And he had a project in his mind. He wanted to create a photo book with a collection of images of New Yorkers. By going around the city and collecting pictures of all its inhabitants, he must have realized that all these people were also stories, unknown stories that had to be told. So, he included a short text alongside every picture with a short story about the life of all these people. Thus the blog: Humans of New York was created”. The blog was followed by the book, which became a best seller in NYC. Brandon knew that New York was the perfect city for this experiment: the city with the biggest variety of cultures and stories in the world, the so called Melting Pot.

I like to believe that Berlin is the European version of New York. People could now argue my point of view and they would give this honor to other cities as London or Paris.

Well, this is just my personal opinion. The 2 cities have at least one thing in common: they are places with a continuous immigration of individuals coming from everywhere.  People are attracted by the vibe of these 2 cities. I am sure that the constant move of people coming from everywhere is not only because of the economic situation. It is scientifically proved that most of the times people do not take decisions based on a precise calculations of a list of well-analyzed logical reasons. Ok, maybe only Germans! 😀 the motivation is different from one person to another. Actually, once, at the job center, I have been told that statistically, people move to Berlin for “die Liebe”.

Our course is just a small good example of this phenomenon. In my group, I had the pleasure to meet and exchange opinion with people coming from Australia, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Israel and Russia. I am the only Italian. It is very interesting talking about their motivations and their background. In my life I have done several international experiences (both academic and professional), but every time I approach a new multicultural environment, it always surprises me. I like to get new insights from people who I will never have the chance to meet in a stable and predictable environment.

I am very attracted by the power of Weak relations: those people who just crossed your path of life for a short time, but they leave you something precious.

Greets to all the nice people I met during this month. Some of them will not continue to A2, so I wish you so much luck guys! And for the others, see you on Monday!