Feeling better 23.02.14

5 rules for me and me alone

1. Listen to music again, REALLY listen to it.

2. Take off the rose tinted glasses when looking back. Remind self that every single encounter builds on who I am. This should avert any attempts to leap into my ever enchanting well of gloom.

3. Find at least one thing I’m thankful for, everyday. Today I’m going for my Dads encyclopaedic memory, it’s very helpful in deciphering current affairs. Today we discussed the Ukraine. I am also very happy about that delicious peanut butter cup milkshake I devoured earlier.

4. I will stop adding a negative to counteract every positive, it’s as if I’m incapable of using one without the other. It’s stupid and demoralising without reason. So I’m cutting back as of now.

5. Smile at one stranger a day, smug face and vicious smiley scowls may not be included however will not be omitted from my life. As my scowly and cocky nature shapes my very being.

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A guide to the universal etiquette of the London underground

Now we’re known for not being the friendliest bunch on the tube.  Avert all eye contact, do not speak to those beside you, even if you are indeed intimately lodged in their armpit, this does not warrant the closeness of a relationship as it would seem at first glance, off the rails.  Oh and at all costs, NEVER STOP RUNNING.

It’s coming to a year since moving here and at first I found the continual zombie-like zooming rush hour ritual somewhat bizarre and a little cold.  And now?  Well it turns out Londoners are human for the most part (especially so after a glass or three of vino), except they don’t like to talk first thing, and they appreciate the quiet after a day at work, so if anything I think there’s something quite nice in that we’ve all come to a mutual agreement for a bit of peace on our commute.

However, there a few more unwritten rules, that are abided by for the most part, but I’d like to make these quite clear for those unsure of the boundaries.

1) Head’s of relatively small people should not be mistaken as newspaper rests, this is unkind, especially to those with severe short person syndrome.

2) Caressing ones hair, and ridding yourself of those strays that malt, and then proceeding to sprinkle these sparingly across the carriage makes my morning coffee curdle.

3) Clipping the back of feet will one day result in clipping around the ear.

4a) The hogging and quite literal hugging of the poles.  b) The ultimate sin is the meek holding of two, without an attempt of the Earth Song.  If you insist on pissing your carriage off, do it with some conviction.

5) Those not sure whether they’d like to stand or walk down the escalators and instead find their happy medium by dawdling down the left hand side?  Nobody else shares your joy.

And I will leave you there!  I’ve a tonne more but at the risk of sounding a complete anal loon I’ll bid you guten nacht.

Oh for any prospective tourists reading this, for you, a little glimpse…

Happy commuting x

Berlin Gems

Gutentaag

So I told barefaced lies in my last post, Club Der Visonaere was regrettably missed, we got to Prater too late in the day and ran out of time for the Stasi Museum, I did however squeeze in another round on the Segways as well as discovered bars and cafes that still left me all the more awe-stricken.

Determined not to make the error in not taking my camera again I’ve a few trigger happy snaps of the gems I came across.

1) East Side Gallery, Mühlenstraße

Beautiful contrast to the remains of the wall in Mitte, I last saw the crumbling tattered side exposing it’s wired supports and covered in tourist information plaques. The East Side is less tarnished by tourism and more revolutionised by Berliners, images of those trapped and killed in their bid to escape among those of freedom and peace resonate and reminded me of how recently the wall came down and explains much about the blazé nature and refreshing raw air about this city.

2) Yaam, Stralauer Platz 35

A family friendly beach bar by the riverside, does a mean jerk chicken and leaves you feeling ridiculously mellow. A fab find a short walk behind the East Side Gallery.

3) Hakescher Markt

Open air market literally right around the corner from Alexanderplatz, a couple of stops on the tram if I remember rightly but if you ask around I can’t imagine it’d be further than 1/2 mile. Full of fresh fruits and various cuisines among lots of other knick knacks. Great if you’re looking for a gift un-Ampelmännchen related!

I’d dodge the the huge shopping complex and head straight to Who Killed Bambi for a dress to die for.

4) Café Cinema, Rosenthaler Straße 39

Hilariously laid back owner, probably not ideal if it’s a swift half you’re looking for but it’s a great place to soak up a bit of atmosphere and hide away from the hustle of the Hackescher Markt shopping district.

The cluttering of dusty filmmakers paraphernalia in the window tempted me in to find one of the most picturesque beer gardens I’ve ever had the pleasure of mooching in.

5) White Trash, Schönhauser Allee

Having stayed in Mitte this time I found I sorely missed Prenzlauer Berg. If..who am I kidding, WHEN I return I’ll definitely be staying here again, reasonably cheap, a short metro ride away from Mitte and right around the corner from Mr Falafal Man and White Trash. It’s another café/bar that serves fantabulous food of ridiculous portions, it’s pretty americanised but this is easily overlooked when considering the great staff, amaze cocktails, lovely atmosphere and the live bands.

6) Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers, Charlottenstraße 60

Go here. Buy the lemon posset and white chocolate with scrumptious strawberry flakes. This is all. You won’t regret it.

Parting wisdom: Berlin is indeed poor but very very sexy.

Next stop…

Prague, Budapest and Croatia 😀