Wednesday, 17 September 2008

List 3. Some things I've liked so far about Berlin.

- Riding around on borrowed bikes.
- Coffee at Bonanza, this is the best coffee we’ve found so far in this hemisphere
- Table tennis and beer in just about any park you care to stop in
- The brief week and a half of sun and mild warmth we managed to catch before it turned chilly
- Picnicking in the Grunewald on the last sunny day
- the canals
- The Turkish market by the canal in Kreuzberg
- the bio-wurst from a stand at the Turkish market… I didn’t get what the big deal with wurst was until I ate this
- Ice-cream. Favourite one so far was mango and coconut from a place in Friedrichshain
- Tasty falafels
- The way the streets around here seem so dark and still and mysterious at night but with little lights glimmering here and there off into the distance
- The big comfy apartment we are staying in (but for 11 more days only… I hope we can find somewhere else so nice), these altbaus with central courtyards are lovely
- Eating spätzl with my brother near his place… this is total junkfood, but pleasing.
- the smaller of the two flea markets we’ve been to (see below…)
- big German 'breakfast' last Sunday at 4 in the afternoon... tasty volkenbröt and many types of cheese and ham and fruit and boiled eggs...
- discovering that 'second breakfast' is an actual recognised thing here

Monday, 15 September 2008

List 2: Number of varieties of cheese, ham and coffee I had today

Coffee: Three.
Ham: Two.
Cheese: Five. Yes, Five.

List 1: Things I bought at the flea market today

- A coat. Not quite warm enough for the depths of winter (I have to keep looking for one of those) but excellent, I would say, for the period leading up to it. ie: Now. As soon as I get it some buttons.

- A pink scarf and a red scarf. I had none in my suitcase and the cold today was making this important.

- A white wooly hat, kind've like a bulky, square, beany. See above re. reasons to buy. It looked good when the sweet-talking guy waved a mirror at me for a split second but didn’t look good when I put it on again at home.

- A red wallet. Sold to me by the sweet-talking guy on the basis that it matched my sunglasses.

- A kind've partly floppy partly fitted T-shirt that looks a bit 'fame academy' with what at first looks like the Puma logo on it but then you look closer and it says ‘Punk’. The girl said it was designer clothing she bought in Spain and she went to show me the designer label, only to her surprise she must have removed it.

- A silk and cashmere jumper that feels LOVELY when you put it on.

- My name in metal printing press letters.

- A book called 'Indecision.'

Now you can try guessing which were the silly purchases and which were the sensible ones... It seems hard to manage the sensible without the silly with flea market shopping.

Lists from now on

It’s been 5 weeks since leaving Australia and already I have the sensation of not knowing how to correspond about it in emails and even less so in a blog. My head has been a jumble of four languages and every day has been filled with newness, even trips to the supermarket and street signs are entertaining (sometimes at least). So, how do you choose.

Leaving Melbourne was exhausting so the week in Tokyo was a funny combination of fatigue and sensory overload. Oh, but, I did love it, I think, and I hope I go back. Paris was super-bonne, I had been there twice, no, three times, before, but not lived in Belleville and not in such good company. Being in Berlin, now, for longer (how long?) feels slower-paced, more relaxed but also there are things to get done like getting back to work and finding somewhere to live. We have borrowed bikes and it is good to ride places and let the city take shape. It is turning cold – too soon for my liking! – but maybe it will be warm again just a little? I hope? We start German classes tomorrow, the 4 hours of confusion spent enrolling for the VHS resulted in my getting placed in Beginner’s Level 2, despite not quite passing the entry test, so I have spent this evening trying to remember what little German I ever had and learn some more. I’m nervous about it.

I am going to try writing lists only here for a while, I think, I have still not found my way in to blogging, let along formed a habit, perhaps a restriction will provide some incentive.