Today I went on the Revolutionary Berlin walking tour in Kreuzberg, to learn the history of the May Day riots, along with other points of general lefty interest. Thanks be to the Berlin couchsurfing group, without which I wouldn’t have heard about it.
It’s been a pretty good week; I got my work out of the way (I will not be quite so happy about this if months pass before I get any more) and I’ve started to make more contacts.
On Wednesday I took the U-bahn to Prenzlauer Berg for falafel at Babel with my ex-housemate Marc, who I hadn’t seen since 1997 or 1998. You need to have a project if you live here, Marc explained: everybody here is an artist or a musician or something, or else they open a tiny boutique with three items in it and when you go in they immediately jump in front of you and go CAN I HELP YOU and then you look at the prices and go um no I’m just browsing.
I had the bright idea of walking home after meeting him; it took me three hours. I like to avoid public transport as much as possible, not only because I’m a cheapskate but also because walking helps me to get to know a city better. Next time, though? I authorise myself to pay the €2.10.
A couple of delightful things
- Fried plantains and live dixieland at the Turkish market.
- The sparrows! I have always loved the sparrows in Berlin. They’re so goddamn cute. I do not generally pay much attention to birds, but I think they’re my favourite.
- You know when people tell you all the shops are shut in Berlin on Sundays? Listen to them, for they are not lying. The tiny corner shops are open, so if you want alcohol or orange juice or a packet of crisps, you’re in luck, but that’s about it. Not a single vegetable to be seen. I will never be so unprepared for a Sunday again.
- FUCKING GOOGLE MAPS FUCKING LYING BASTARDS could in fact be rephrased as NINE YOU FOOL, YOU TOOK A WRONG TURN AND YOU HAVE NO-ONE TO BLAME BUT YOURSELF.
- Don’t bother mentioning to anyone that you’re a DJ. Everyone here is a fucking DJ.