Berlin, Germany

First, impressions of Berlin. It’s huge! Maybe I’m just used to tight, packed cities, but Berlin was sprawling. I think that’s a good word for it. It took a good amount of time to go to different areas, at least 30 to 40 minutes a trip were spent on the public transportation. Speaking of public transpo, there is a lot in Berlin. You have underground, overground, trains, trams, buses … did I miss anything? And I thought Brussels had a lot already. Berlin is also COLD. I have to say, definitely colder than Belgium (specifically, Leuven and Brussels). It snowed the second day I was there, and we spent a decent amount of time outside during my time there. I was wearing four or five layers and still it was cold.

So what did we do?

First night I arrived, we went to a Christmas Market, which is an entirely new concept for me. Taiwanese people don’t really put that much emphasis on Christmas, there was no such thing in the States (at least not where I was), and I don’t ever remember hearing of it in the other countries I’ve lived in. So, JC took me, and it’s awesome! So festive, so happy, so holiday-spirity. We had sausage with mustard and ketchup, SO GOOD. Then met up with JC’s friends in a white tent. They had a little heating stove in the middle. After that we went and had some spiced wine. That was fantastic especially in the cold since it was a hot drink with alcohol. Definitely warmed my extremities up. After that, went our separate ways from his friends and since JC was still hungry, went to a Kebab place. So big, so much food, could not finish. Then we called it a night and I played with his iPod Touch (looooove it).

Did not get a good night’s rest due to me being in a strange place. >.< I think I have problems with that. Sigh.

Woke up and headed to Bill’s to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Well, they cooked, I just helped in some preparation. Honestly though, coffee and alcohol on an empty stomach is a bad idea. I was super jittery, I think mostly from the caffeine and had trouble focusing on anything and everything. Despite some stress outs during the cooking process, dinner turned out fantastic. Mashed potatoes, turkey, corn souffle, corn bread, sweet potato pie, spinach dip, and wine … yum!!!! Now I really want to make some mashed potatoes. 😛 And if I had an oven, I’d make the corn souffle as well. The only potential problem with Thanksgiving dinner is the amount of butter and cream used. Man, too many meals like that will give you a coronary.

Anyway, after dinner, we went to a theater for a showing of Felix the Cat with live music accompaniment. It was actually pretty awesome. I’ve never seen shorts of Felix the Cat, mostly just see pictures of Felix the Cat. But the shorts were in black and white, pretty funny, and the music fit in pretty well with what was happening. Talented artists. Sigh. There was a reception afterwards with open bar. Chilled around for a little bit, and after some deliberation, we went to a gay Turkish club with a couple of JC’s friends. It was an interesting experience. Nothing like Tiger Heat or Rage in LA. They played Turkish/Arabic music. Yup. 😛

After that, it was late, we were all exhausted, so it was bed time.

Day three started late. People *ahem* were unable to get up until it was 1 pm. We rushed to eat all you can eat brunch that ended at 2 pm. Pretty yum. They have good bread there as well. 🙂 Then we headed back to Bill’s apartment to do some cleaning since we left all the dishes and such in the sink the night before. Oh! During brunch I asked JC if I was actually going to be able to see the sights in Berlin. So, after cleaning we headed out to do some night sightseeing. I wish I could remember all the places and buildings and locations, but right now my mind is drawing a blank. 😛 I just have pictures to prove that I was in Berlin. Also had my first Starbucks in a whiles (since my dad left Brussels, actually). It was fantastic. I don’t know why I love Starbucks so much, but I do, and I’m still very sad they don’t have any in Belgium (except at the airport, but who wants to go to the airport just to drink Starbucks?!). I also had a German dinner – we ate schnitzel! I got the mushroom cream schnitzel, and it was YUM! but so big that I couldn’t finish it. They really don’t skimp on their portions. After that, we all went back to our respective homes and just chilled around some more before bed.

Last day! Woke up somewhat early and headed to JC’s language school for him to deal with some business. That didn’t work out too well, so then we went to American Apparel. Yup, American Apparel in Berlin. Aieeeeeeee. And it’s so much more expensive there than in the States (ripoff!). After buying some briefs for JC’s friend, we went to Harrod’s of Berlin (forgot the name), but yah, after milling around the lobby for a little bit, we left. I figured, after seeing Chanel, Dior, etc. that we couldn’t afford anything there. There were also too many people in there just milling around as well. >.< Walked down the street to the memorial church. Inside, there are millions of square blue-hued stain glasses. It was so beautiful and magnificent and awesome. It gives a feeling of peace.

After that we went to an Apple Store (of course). I saw Guitar Hero for Mac there! I really want to get it. Hahahaha. It’d be so fun!!! I could neglect school work even more! Just kidding, of course. Then we went to Taiwanese restaurant to grab some beef noodles, pig ears, and dumplings. SO GOOD. Ahhhhhhhh. Seriously, any food not cooked by yourself tastes infinitely better. Sigh. Then we took a long train ride to the airport, and that concluded my Berlin trip.

As usual, more pictures are up on Flickr. 🙂