Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ich bin ein berliner, or harry potter und die verlorene kerzenhalter

(In English) 'I am a Berliner, or Harry Potter and the Missing Candleholder'  a lengthy post title befitting the agglutinative German language:

Salat Nuuuuudel. Bewirtungsaufwandangaben nach. DINKEL DAS POWERKORN.

Yes, I know EVERY travel blogger who goes to Berlin names their Berlin post 'Ich bin ein Berliner', but I had a vague reason, okay!? All will be explained below ...

The first thing Tilly did on our second visit to Berlin was lose her iPod. HAH. THINKS SHE'S SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME 'CAUSE I LOST MY WALLET BUT SHE LOST HER IPOD AND ALSO HER PASSPORT AT ONE POINT. *Ahem* She'd left it on the plane, never to be seen again. But then when we got back to Australia she got inceptioned by Apple because she never wanted an iPhone until she had a dream she had one and then she wanted one and got it and has no further use for an iPod, so it all worked out in the end.

Anyway, the reason we'd decided to return to Berlin was that we were running out of money and had to kill time before our flights home, and it was the best mix of cheapness and coolness between Greece and London.

'You mustn't kill time, boys, you must cherish it ... Can I have some change to get loaded?'

We spent a week there and, because we'd already done the whole tourist thing on our previous visit, we felt free to just sleep in at our hostel and wander around all day doing nothing (i.e. not spending money). In other words, we weren't acting so much as tourists, but as people living in Berlin: Berliners. Libertine Berliners without jobs or obligations, but Berliners nonetheless! Mostly this took the form of a daily breakfast at Spreegold, our FAVOURITE restaurant in Europe, second only to Broodje Bert in Amsterdam, lazing in parks, and long days of free internet usage in Starbucks.

Seriously, the best pasta we had in Europe, INCLUDING Italy.

We actually started getting embarrassed about going into Spreegold so often, but luckily the staff seemed to rotate quite a bit, so there were usually different waitresses.

The height of our Berliner experience might've been sitting in Alexanderplatz at ten o'clock at night, listening to a very talented busker under the Weltzeituhr ('Worldtime clock') while eating dinner with a bunch of other locals all around. At that point we could've quite happily moved to the city, I think.

We shared our room during the week with two American girls who we ended up going a few places with. They were kind of dumb, but nice. They confused the Germen letter Eszett (ß) with our B, and so comically referred to German streets such as Friedrichstraße and Lindenstraße as 'Friedrichstrabby' and 'Lindenstrabby'. They told us they hadn't seen Tacheles (see previous post), so we took them there, and then to the same bar we'd patronised, X Terrain, after our own visit to Tacheles.

And it was then that the case of the missing candleholder began. I noticed at one point that the group of guys a couple of tables over from us were staying at our hostel. As I detailed in the last Berlin post, X Terrain is a cool little (literally) underground bar which the owner built and decorated himself over a period of four years. It was lit primarily by candles, borne by funny little holders in the shape of wiry men sporting erections. Shortly after the guys from our hostel left, the little owner of the bar showed himself to be in quite a state. It seemed the candleholder from their table had gone missing.

He was quite distraught, furious even, and I told him where the guys were staying. We ended up in a consolatory discussion with him for about twenty minutes, promising to investigate when we got back to the hostel. I had grand visions of returning the next night, the little kerzenhalter hoisted triumphantly aloft, after having knocked on every door in the hostel to hunt it down. But unfortunately that never eventuated ...

Oh yeah, and at some point we went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, which was cool ...


But that was pretty much it for our second Berlin trip. We were broke and burned out, but we'd enjoyed soaking up the coolness that is Berlin for our last week before returning by bus to London to fly home.

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