Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sprouting toward spring

It's starting to look a lot like spring in our kitchen! Unfortunately January is still a little early for all the icy pots of dirt on our balcony to melt and let us start planting courgettes... But at least we can enjoy the little bit of green that these yummy pea shoots bring to the table. They are he only fresh and nutritious option around: the pale tomatoes and the tasteless cucumbers in the supermarket this time of the year are just too depressing!

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Berlin moments, 29.1.2011

K and I had a walk around Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg and stumbled upon this cool community in a corner of Bethanien: everything is built from old vans and trailors. Not sure who lives here and why.

The sun was shining today, but it still sets early, around 4pm.

All the ugly makes Berlin beautiful. Every time I pass this lot on Revaler Straße I feel I should go to RAW, Cassiopeia, Suicide Circus and the Sunday fleamarket here more often...

Friday, 28 January 2011

...finally, the time for Vietnamese coffee

It was really bad at work the last few weeks. Really bad. I didn't have time to reply to my best friends email until 12 days after she sent it to me – that's how busy and tired I was. Now the deadline has been reached and I get to exhale.

The weather is getting colder again, and there was even a thin layer of powdery, white snow on the ground today when I left the house. Still, when I left the office after a long meeting followed by a nice lunch, I felt carefree and happy. I rang A, who also just finished his work day, and I talked him into going out for lunch so that I could go for coffee – he doesn't drink coffee and therefore does not see the point in hanging out in cafés, so I make up excuses.

We met outside Chi Ly on Niederbarnimstraße because I wanted to lure A into a Vietnamese restaurant. I have read about special Vietnamese coffee a while back in the Friedrichshain blog, and wanted to finally try it. It wasn't really that amazing: filtered coffee with sweet condensed milk – it was to sweet for my liking and grains of coffee floated around in it. But I've tried. And I did something else besides work and sit in front of the computer today!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Work - someone has to do it

Sometimes my job really sucks. Like now. I've been working until late and have to work on Sunday, but not because I'm behind, but because everyone else is. That means that I can't do my job well; I have to do it in a hurry and don't have enough time to think about what I want from the end-product. I'm thinking that I should start language classes again to see what the chances are for me to work in German and get paid properly :)

Rant over. Had a lovely day of doing nothing today, really, except for having a nice cup of coffee with friends. And sushi for dinner!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Funny Germans

Sometimes English and German get mixed up and I'm not sure which is which... I almost laughed out loud when I spotted this ad from the U-bahn!

Unlucky visitor

We had a very unlucky guest last weekend. L was here from Ireland just as both A and I both were at the hight of a nasty flu; I had a fever for two days and A was home from work still on Monday. Miraculously we still managed to make it a decent weekend; on Friday we had Korean dinner at our F'hain favourite, Maru, A took her sightseeing and we went to a dinner party on Saturday, we were shopping in Mauerpark on Sunday and later managed to meet up with mutual friends for dinner and then finished the visit with some girly gossip at Kptn. A.Müller's. On Monday we said our goodbyes over a lovely organic breakfast in Café Tasso on Frankfurter Allee... Maybe it wasn't the worst trip of L's life!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

22-Pistepirkko in Berlin

22-Pistepirkko – one of my favourite Finnish bands that I haven't listened to in years, is playing at Festsaal Kreuzberg tomorrow! And I'm ON THE LIST, haha!

Monday, 10 January 2011


On Friday we visited Exberliner magazines 24 hour bed-in party in the Noodles Noodles & Noodles shop on Schönhauser Allee. It was really cool: really cheap drinks and people lounging in bed. Unfortunately we missed the stand-up comedy, but we did get to see a few minutes of "political trash burlesque". Maybe the most memorable part was the mass pillow fight that broke loose just before we left: the whole bar was slinging pillows across the room at each other!

After that the whole weekend has been quite the hibernation. Today we haven't even left the house, but instead have been eating tons of Finnish candy and watched a bunch of CSI episodes... and I don't even feel guilty. Hooray to winter!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Berlin, January 8th, +8°C.

Incredible weather; we had our first outdoors coffee in the sun today. Well, to be honest, the sun disappeared behind a building before I got my coffee, but still. As the optimist I am it feels like spring is already here; as a realist I know that there's still over a month left of winter...

Back in Berlin

We flew home on December 23rd and had to have all our presents with us.
Anticipating Christmas dinner.
There was a record amount of snow in Southern Finland: there's a plastic terrace table somewhere under there...
It made for beautiful scenery, if nothing else.
The Berlin-style brunch trend has now spread to Helsinki where all the hipsters find it the most important meal of the week. This was our New Year's brunch at Siltanen, a reasonable €12 including drinks and free refills of coffee, tea, juice and bread.

Fine, we've been back for three days already... we landed in Berlin on Wednesday after spending almost two weeks in Finland. We are now very well fed, not-so-well rested, and slightly nostalgic about home. People who think expats get long, nice holidays when they visit their home countries are dead wrong; we run around trying to meet as many friends and family members as we can while we try to not offend anyone by not having enough time to see them. This leads to too many cups of coffee per day, too many missed phone calls and too many polite pieces of cake forced down. The only time we had to ourselves was in the evenings, and so we staid up until 4 or 5am most nights... But it's still all nice: these are the people we miss and wish we could see more, anyway.

It's nice to be back in Berlin, though, and back to reasonable prices for drinks :)
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