Berlin’s curious bars

How cool is Berlin’s night life? Well, strange too. I’m loving how people like to make their business unique and one of a kind, from the niche, the kitsch, the regular, and the other worldly. There’s always something for everyone’s taste. You can really be yourself here in Berlin. Check out the board below with the week’s special events at a bar just down the street from us. It opened up late last year and it always surprises us. Sadly I’ve only walked past it,  one of these days I’ll have to go in, perhaps to the ”Trash Party” this weekend lol.

Let it snow!

It was snowing in Berlin a couple of weeks ago. We were sitting in class when suddenly we all notice big clumps of snow going past the window. The whole class got so excited! There were people in our class who had never seen snow before, so it was extra special for them. I thought it would be more snowy in Berlin but it’s actually quite rare, and when it does snow it melts away pretty quick. Apparently Berlin use to be much more cooler and it had snowed more often. I’m kinda glad we haven’t had much minus degree weather here, but I also want more snow!!

Berlin’s foodie scene

Have you participated in Berlin’s feedie scene? By participate, I mean been victim to. The other week I found out that a cafe in Prezlauer Berg would be serving spicy schezwan noodles on Saturday in January. I got really excited. So I dragged my partner along (seen in the middle of the picture below, looking very impressed). The cafe only opened for lunch so we thought 1pm would be a safe bet. There were so many people huddled inside with looks of hungry anticipation, which later I found out were actually looks of hungry desperation. We were told all the food had sold out. For reals. We planned to try again the next Saturday.

So the next Saturday, we rocked up at the opening hour. The cafe was full already inside, not a good sign. My partner joined the line to order, 30 long minutes later he finally got to order. Then another 30 hungry minutes later we finally receive our two bowls of noodles. We were ravenous, we looked at our bowls with glee. And then I took the first bite, wow I was underwhelmed. Terrible. Now I understood why everyone was taking so  long to finish their food.

Ok I’m done with my complaining. I hope your foodie adventures in Berlin have been more satisfying, there’s so much good food to be discovered here.

Sorry for the creepy faces below, I tried to obscure them a little since apparently it’s a BIG no-no here to use people’s images without their permission.

Golden tiles, lest we forget

Have you seen these golden tiles in front of some buildings? I actually first noticed them in Turin, Italy, and my brother in law explained that they are a record and a reminder of the people who  lived in the building and were the victims of the Nazi regime.

As you bend down to look at these golden tiles, you notice how precious they look amongst grey and grime stones that surround them. As you begin to read each golden tile, you start to understand the gravity of what has happened to each person, you begin to calculate how old they were, you realise the tiles are people from one family; a mother, a father, their child. A sense of uneasy falls over you. Then, as you look at the building they had lived in, someone walks through and you get a glimpse of the the apartments inside, your imagination tries too place where the people on the golden tiles had lived. As you step away you mourn the loss of them.

Keep an eye out for these golden tiles as you explore Berlin. Please take the time to read them and absorb the gravity of what happened to the people mention on them.

You may wonder what ”lest we forget” in the title of this post means. It’s something we say in Australia on war remembrance day, it means we should not forget.

The below picture was taken outside a building, close by 44  Schonhauser Allee, Prezlauer Berg.

It’s always ok at Tk!

Have you been to Tk Maxx yet? I have a love – hate relationship with this store. I love it because I’ve brought some stuff there that were really useful and reasonably priced (well it’s a outlet store, so everything is discounted), and I hate it because I always end up buying something even when I hadn’t planned on buying anything. Now my love-hate feelings have been intensified because TK Maxx is right across from class. It takes strong determination to not walk in.

It’s pretty awesome that Berlin has an outlet right in the middle of the city, usually outlets are on the fringes of city so it can be a bit of a trek to buy discounted brands. So if you need a new jacket, shoes or even socks, have a look in  TK Maxx. Be weary though, you’ll most likely walk out with at least one purchase.

Are you sugar?

Are you sugar? ”Du bist zucker”, is what the poster says but perhaps I’m translating too literally? Well anyways, the question posed by Rewe is kind of exciting – ”how much sugar do you need?”

I’m not sure what product the poster is implying, a chocolate pudding? But the concept is pretty cool. Usually the sugar levels in products are dictated for us, so Rewe’s new marketing strategy seems like a winning concept. Will check it out when I go grocery shopping next.

Also, I understand 99% of the poster. A sign that my Deutsch is definitely improving!

Berlin beer

When you have German friends over make sure you always have Beer in the Fridge, well my friends anyways 🙂

Have you cracked into some Berlin beers? My taste-buds are still adjusting to the local beers here, I have a soft spot for Australian pale ales and sometimes I miss them sorely. And gosh, its so amazingly convenient to buy beer along with my grocery shopping and the bottles are cheap as chips (literally!). In Australia all alcohol can only be brought at Liquor shops, they can not be sold anywhere else, and there’s a hefty tax on all Alcohol too which makes them a bit of a luxury. So cheers!

Handy phrases for your next shopping trip

I don’t know about you, but I end up using Deutsch (well my broken and cringe-worthy Deutsch) the most at the supermarket – when I’m looking for something or at the cash register. When I first landed in Berlin, going to the supermarket was such a scary, anxiety inducing ordeal because of the Deutsch I’d be confronted with, from the products to the communication with staff. So when we did an exercise in class which required us to create sentences as supermarket customers and staff, I listened eagerly and greedily kept the chits of paper. Very useful!

German Humour?

Have you seen the posters from the Berlin Police? The theme is a reminder that they are there for Berlin. I wonder what has prompted these posters, perhaps elections are close or reassurance around key public holidays that we’re being kept safe? Regardless, the posters mix in some humour. Perhaps the funniness is lost in translation because I found the humour more cute than funny. In the below poster it says ”There for 1282695 emergency calls in the year, and not for asking about the weather. There for Berlin”. I think I’ll check this with our teacher tomorrow to see if I can get the ”funny” part.

A bonus, I understood 95% of the Deutsch in this poster. My Deutsch is definitely improving!

Panorama Strasse

Did you know that there are two Alexander Platz locations for Deutsch Akademie? I thought there was only one, the one nearest to the shop Saturn. I completed my A1.1 and A1.2 there. I assumed that my A2.1 would also be there, but turns out it’s at the Panorama Strasse location. I felt a bit anxious, because what if it’s hard to find or not so pleasant? Well I found it easily enough, 1 Panorama Strasse was clearly written on the building and the receptionist inside kindly pointed out where I should go.

Beside being easily to find, it’s right next to the Berlin tower, easy peasy and pretty cool. See the building on the right of the picture below, that’s where the classrooms are. And the rooms are just as pleasant as the other location in Alexander Platz, though perhaps less busy. It’s kinda nice to change up the locations.