Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The plans of a English-German girl.

So I've restarted one of my other blogs! It's been revamped as "The Diary of an Apple Waitress." Sounds a bit boring, huh? Maybe it's only me that gets kicks out of other people's oddnesses, but for those who are interested, take a look!

Other news, hmm. Well let's go for... Christmas! Yes, it's not December yet, and usually I don't start feeling Christmassy till at the earliest Decemeber the first, but I've been planning a Christmassy holiday, so it's hard for all that Christmassy planning not to rub off a bit of excitement on me (That's alot of Christmassys). Some of my girlfriends and I are going on our first ever group holiday to Berlin for week, to revel in the German weirdnesses (Man, have I been missing those), to soak in the Berlin sights, and to explore the Weihnachtsmarkte! (That's Christmas Markets to all you British folk.) I haven't been to Berlin for nearly two years, and I have missed it.

Some odd facts about that great city:
- You hardly ever see anyone with an mp3 player. When my sister and I were there last, we spotted only six in the whole week.
- It's populated mostly by people of a Turkish descent (Berlin is one of the biggest Turkish citys in the world), which means that a natural blonde is very, very rare. Which earns me alot of stares.
- It's dirty. In summer, you can run your finger along a centimeter of wall, and your finger will come away literally black. The shower water tends to end up a delightful grey colour. Think of London, then times by two.
- There's a currywurst (spicy sausages) stand on literally every second corner. They give you your currywurst slathered in paprika ketchup, with a white roll, and you can get a black coffee to go with it. Sooo yummy. And there's at least one bakery for every two streets, and at least one kebab shop for every block. Crepe stands are pretty popular too.
- When Germans have a sweet section in a proper supermarket, it's not just half a shelf unit. It's at least one full shelf unit (usually two), floor to ceiling, an aisle long, stacked with chocolates and sweets.
- In Germany (odd fact out, but it's weird), chocolate is primarily a summer thing, rather than a winter thing like in England.
- Berlin isn't half-hearted about its Wiehnachtsmarkte. They'll close off streets if they have to, lining them with dozens of small wooden huts, decorated with fake snow (if it isn't already snowing - sometimes even if it is) and strung with fairy lights. The markets smell of roasted and sugared nuts, which you can buy inn paper cones, caramalised grapes (rather than toffee apples) and mulled wine.
- German's have an awesome tradtional meet-up called Cafe und Kuchen which - instead of afternoon tea - is basically Coffee and Cakes. Germans will invite half a dozen friends over at about three or four o'clock, and they'll sit down for a good few hours of hobnobbing over a table groaning with cakes and pastries (you rememeber I said about all those bakeries..?) and will drink copious amounts of coffee through out. For me, a non-tea-drinker, this is an ultimate afternoon treat.

Ah yes, that wonderful, ridiculous city. And this time, I'm planning on joining my friends in doing the complete tourist thing. When we went before, it was mainly to see family, but this time I'm planning on learning and soaking up my German heritage as much as I can. This will include trips to the Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate, another visit to Checkpoint Charlie, and of course all the markets. But also will include sampling the Berlin nightlife. Which, going by reports from friends, should be interesting... Roll on the 16th!
(That's alot of parentheses too.)

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