Monday, July 25, 2011

Uwe & I in Berlin

Hello again Berlin - here we come ;)

My cousin Uwe and I drove - through Austria's Alps - to Vienna last Tuesday and after completing a "secret mission" we strolled around in quaint Schwechat - the town closest to the airport. 

When we check in our luggage, the Austrian Airlines officer proposes a wonderful offer: we might need some people to stay in Vienna and take the next airplane tormorrow morning. If you volunteer you'll receive EUR 250,- per person! 
Yes of course -  don't look a gift horse in the mouth [geschenkter Gaul und so ;) ... ] we don't need to think twice - if they need two people to stay it's US :)
At they gate we're told nobody needs to stay but since we proposed to stay in Vienna we are upgraded for free in the business class!!! Wohooo - how awesome is that ... we're served a delicious 3-course meal by master chefs of Do+Co not to speak of special service, lotsa space and a variety of magazines for this 1h15min flight :))

*congratulations Uwe+Mika - what a great deal*

Leaving behind my passport I now KNOW - yesss, you can travel by plane through the Schengen area without being asked to identify yourself at any time during the trip ... 

I didn't think that Berlin has so much more to offer than what I've seen during these 3+ months living here. But that's Berlin - surprising again and again and ... 
Uwe and I discovered some squatter places - amongst it a tree house in the middle of da city ... supposedly a Turkish man built it for his family back in the days of the seperated city. So, it was in Western Berlin but the SED-regime was patrolling there. After the German reunification the Church (owner of the land) found it such a great project that it allowed the Turkish Muslim to stay :)

Tacheles - the famous house of art ... everything creative is allowed in there ~stimulus satiation~ young artists, old hands, a crowded sculputure garden, color color and more graffiti color - photo montages and collages, stories for kids and abor vitae of Belorussian farmers ... you can find just about anything in there!!!

FALAFEL, haloumi, shawarma, houmous and other oriental / middle-eastern food ... one of my most favourite cuisines!!

This burger booth used to be a .... yesss, the signpost on the left side of the corner is correct: men's toilet ;)
Boah, their cheeseburgers are delicious and I indeed never had such amazing French fries!!
*enjoy your meal*

Seen before - Berlin's bears Maxi & Schnute :-)

for sure the hippest, most creative and alternative beach bar in Berlin: "YAAAM" *we love it*

Berlin in the early wee hours - biking back home ... what a great night out - shaking the night away in an old train depot, hearing to the sounds of the typical Berlin "Minimüll" music and observing the city's clubbing scene - totally opposite of cities like London (and probably Moscow, etc.)
By the way, in case you didn't notice: "Berliners don't go out for sex but to party", to quote my friend Sven :-))
And this is the old train depot by day - it was destroyed in WW II and then squatters occupied it ... as was and to a certain extent still is quite common in Berlin. 
We were so excited that we decided to come back during the day and stroll around the flea market, skating hall, climbing wall, lil coffee shops and bars that attract so many - well, let's say ALTERNATIVE - people :-)), sometimes you just can't stop staring!!!

Taking lunch in a Russian restaurant ... this is what you get ;))

These five days were passing by - as usual - wayyyy to fast ... and I'm glad we wrote down our well-tried "highlights list" - here are some of them:

First and most important for human beings - food: we tried a wide selection of different cuisines, from Turkish, Sudanese, Lebanese, Moroccan to Sri Lankan, Indian, Russian, Italian and American + Mexican beer :)

Let's stay with the drinks: we went to some nice 70's-Style bars, drinking cocktails 2for1 and discovered an amazing venue ... we actually thought we're at a private garden party, that's how personal it was there *nice*

History: we went to the place were Hitler's bunker used to be - he and his wife Eva Braun committed suicide right there on April 30, 1945. 
We have also attended a guided tour though a gasometer and its 130-years-history from energy distribution to bunker to home for the elderly to doss house to depot for goods during the times of the Berlin airlift and finally, these days you can rent a modern glass-fronted apartment on top of the gasometer building :-))

Last but definitely not least one somewhat "sad highlight" was to talk to a drug addict who sells the magazine "Straßenfeger" in order to earn some money "I'm for sure not spending it on drugs", so he assured. 
The clue is, he participates in the state's substitution program meaning that he receives some pills from the doctor every morning so he doesn't need to steal money or prostitute himself, use syringe that are not clean, etc. He pays EUR 10,- four times a year for the doctor's office and an addition EUR 6,- (if I remember correctly) per month for the medical treatment.

 *a highly interesting conversation for sure*

Thank you UWE, I had a great time and look forward to our next trip ... very sooooon!!!


Well, I have to write two assignments for uni and by mid of August I wanna be done with it - fingers crossed!!!
Good bye and see ya in the libray ;)))

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