Berlin, part 2.

Here’s part 2. I should probably come up with a better introduction. It’s late.

Food: Veganz Berlin-Friedrichshain

Apart from the supermarket around the corner, where I bought pasta, spinach and pasta sauce for dinner, I was also addicted to Currywursts. I know, WHAT A TOURIST. What can I say? There was this really great stand nearby and I’m lazy.

When I wasn’t having either of those things for meals, I made my way to Veganz (yes, with a z), down the road from my toothbrush. I had the best dinner there. By this point, I had been craving for something healthy and their vegan bowls really hit the spot.

They’ve also got a deli downstairs where you can buy kaffee, juices, pre-packed salads and other vegan goodies. I enjoyed them all. Burp.

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Art: East Side Gallery

Just a heads up, this is not your typical indoor gallery. It’s outdoors. And was previously known as the Berlin Wall. Yes, that Berlin Wall. It’s madly profound statements like this, turning something once oppressive and divisive into art that continues to draw me to Berlin.

It blows my mind how they embrace their history.

I walked along this part of the Berlin Wall in continuous awe. I also walked along the wall in the rain with nothing but my coat and beanie. I’m hardcore like that.

What a silly thing to say.

Market: Sunday market in Mauerpark

Remember that friend who told me to “shut up and be cool”? Yeah, he told me about this market and boy am I glad I went. It was a little far out but it was completely worth it. I arrived at a park, where the stalls were arranged on one side of the park; and performers, musicians and 4 or 5 or 6 member bands played on the grassy part of the park. It felt like a festival, but no, that’s just your typical Sunday afternoon flea market in Berlin.

There were food stalls, craft stalls, hipster antique stalls, hipster clothing stalls, basically, anything and everything hipster you could ever want, could be found there. It was brilliant. I queued for the longest time to get a Currywurst with fries and chomped that down as I sat on the grass watching a band play some incredible music.

I then got a cup of gluwine. I made my way to the noisiest part of the park and found a seat. Gulping down my wine to stay warm, I watched Berliners karaoke. It was so much fun. Members of the audience would line up and tell the host what they wanted to sing. Only none of them just sang it, they performed the life out of these songs.

At the end of the evening, apart from letting the audience know he wasn’t going to be back next week but the week after, he also did this: “Look at the floor. Do you see a beer can or an empty cup? Pick it up. Now, take it to the nearest bin. Thank you.”

What a champ.

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This is how to karaoke in Berlin.

As I left the park after sunset, I heard some really good beats coming from one of the entrances to the park. Being on my own with no plans for the evening, I walked over to satisfy my curiosity. There was a guy with a saxophone, a microphone, and one of those paddle-y things that let you record and play your recording on loop. Strangers went up and performed with him, including the artist to a famous song called “fuck you stupid ex-boyfriend”.

It was incredible and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day. I stayed till he stopped playing and thanked us for being such a great crowd. I danced till my feet hurt, till I was tired. I laughed. And I danced some more. With strangers and their children. At an entrance to a park. At night.

Protest: TTIP protest

What trip would be complete without a protest? To be honest, I slept in that day and by the time I got to the site of the protest, the beer trucks were packing up and so were the other 20 Currywurst trucks. Yup, Berliners know how to stage a protest alright.

I walked past the Brandenburg Gate and found groups of people just gathering and dancing to awesome beats in the park nearby. Police officers were present, eyeing them but not stopping them. I had no idea what I walked into until I asked a couple of friendly looking guys. I learned that they had taken a 10 hour bus ride from the south of Germany just to attend the protest and were going to hop on it again in a couple of hours.

I continued walking to the Victory Column and found the remnants of a stage and bright lights and fancy displays. It looked more like a party if you ask me.

A sign left behind from the protest. "Diversity is made by FREEDOM, NOT TTIP"

Getting around: Get a multi-day pass

Definitely get a weekly pass, or a three day pass. It saves you so much time getting around, Berlin is a huge place. I ended up paying way too much for train fares because I thought I wasn’t going to need a pass. How stupid.

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The Victory Monument lit up in the night. It was the Festival of Lights when I was there, so all the iconic buildings were decorated with fancy lights.

It’s been months since I made my trip to Berlin but it still feels like I was only there yesterday. I remember the Berlin air too vividly. I remember dancing till my feet hurt in Watergate (another club that actually let me in, YAY) as I watched the sun rise. I remember the many friends I made there. I remember the kisses and the smiles and the hugs. But most of all, I remember the music.

Oh my God, I remember the beats that vibrated through my bones.

That, I think, is what I miss most about Berlin.

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