Friday, December 31, 2010

Guten Rutsch!

The Germans say the equivalent of "Good slide" to wish each other a happy New Year. This seems indicitave of the festivities, not to arrive in the new year safe & sound, but to say good-bye to the last year with a bang and barely make into the next alive.

Tonight should be great. Guten Rutsch!

This is a video from someone else during the 2007/2008 New Years, but is a pretty good depiction of what new Years in Berlin is like.



For more on the crazy Germs and how they do: http://m.thelocal.de/society/20091231-16425.html

UPDATE:

We've now celebrated several New Years in Berlin, with last year possibly the most fun and dangerous. Read some of our blog and want to watch us almost die?

NYE (Almost) Disaster

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Classes of Snow

The sky is falling! Day after day of glorious, fluffy, white snow. Christmas eve, as we sat back in a food coma, we watched enormous flakes flutter down under the gleam of the street lights.

In a city so large and industrious, it only takes a moment for gleaming white to turn to sooty slush. Hence, Ian & I are working out a classification of snow:

Sledge- worst kind of snow. Dingy, wet, and somehow always getting flicked into your boots. This apparently is the word used here for "sledding". What the hell Brits?

True Grit- The snow has begun to pixelate and looks grainy like cream of wheat. It has also taken on that color, a bland taupe. You might as well kiss it good-bye, pretty snow is gone.

Sled- this snow sparkles. Calls from outside your cosy apartment to please, come sled! And you will go, and sled, and forget that the snow has gotten enough packed down to split open your head when you take the inevitable tumble trying to avoid the little Germ & her adorable wood sleigh as she crosses your path.

White Gold- fluffy goodness you wanna roll around in & you aren't afraid to take a bite off the top. This glorious occurrence is rare, but you will know when you get some white gold.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

We're going Sledding in Berlin!

Video of G├Ârlitzer Park



And a little video of us enjoying the snow. Watch out kiddos!




 

 

Update:

Our new apartment in Wedding is near Volkspark Humboldthain with a little known, perfect sledding hill. Should I be worried about exposing our secret spot? Nah. We already introduced some friends and you'll have to locate teh exact hill within the massive park yourself.

Plus-  if you interrupt one of our perfect runs we'll cut a bitch. (Note Ian's killer 80s snow jacket)








Perfect accompaniment to sledding


Box Sledding. It didn't work well


Volkspark Humboldthain in Winter


Where is your go-to Berlin place to sled?

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas Eve!

Ian just had me open the first gift- a French press! I am so happy. (Seriously, we've been missing coffee something fierce).

Love this video. A little Xmas spirit for the masses:



We are about to head out to get some last min groceries, drink a little g
luhwein, and then come home and cook the goose! The sexy little fowl is sitting in the fridge in some herbs right now. Going to finish him off with potatoes, apple, and a little orange. Yum!

At midnight, we will head to the cathedral. They have it open to the public and we can listen to the choir sing "silent night" auf Deutsch. Magic!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Poland the Beautiful

We always expected to make it Poland last time we were in Europe. It was right next door and we traveled as far as Istanbul...but somehow, it was not to be.

We returned to the US in 2008 never having been and thinking we might never reach it. Having returned to Berlin, we sought to correct that error and were in Poland within a month of arriving back in Europe.

IT WAS GORGEOUS. This simply cannot be overstated. We had worries, but the people, unbelievable prices, glorious food, and amazing after amazing experience won us over completely. The History! The Beauty! The Food! Simply loved it.

We did the touristy things like:

the square




the eating


the castle



...and of course the drinking.




What may have been the most impressive is the continual feeling of a proud history. The Polish have a lot to be admired. Despite the rough shake they have been dealt multiple times, the people of Poland, and especially Krakow, appeared to have an enviable future. I can't wait to go back. And eat. And party. And love Poland a little more.

For lots more pics of the lovely, and some of the really seriously sad (Auschwitz), check out

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perfect Strangers

We sat down for a quick meal off the U-Bahn last night and Ian quickly realized we had waited too long. I was becoming bitch ebe. HUNGRY. As I grumpily waited for food to arrive -oh, side note-

(Gorgonzola pasta? I have been seeing it everywhere and finally ordered it here. Served with spinach, it was earthy and creamy but lacking...something. Glad I tried it, but might not oder again )

a family sat next to us. Immeaditly they all plugged into 2 computers, phone, and ipod. Also ordered in English, but not Americans. We can recognize our own whiny pitch 2 U-Bahn cars away. We covertly watched them, and apparently they were watching us too. The husband looked over and asked "how do you spell busy?" We'd been caught out- English speakers!

Janna, Mladen, & son Elliot turned out to be Swedish and exceptionaly interesting. They are a theatre family and live in their theatre in Southern Sweden. The building is gorgeous, apparently an old school house. They claim it is the southern most theatre in Sweden. They are down for the weekend enjoying Berlin & having some meetings with theatre folk. They have travelled to such far-off places as Timbuktu. Seriously- Timbuktu with sand and camels. Janna said they had to chase camels off the space so they could perform "The Little Prince". And Elliot goes with them everywhere- lucky kid.


If you are ever in Sweden, Ian & I are already scheming, take the time to find them and their theatre, Teater Kapija.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's Cooking in Berlin

Our third week in Europe and it is starting to look like we are getting a life together.

Ian & I are both easing back into work. The expat guide to Taipei has been turned in & is waiting for approval. I am working on some articles in the meantime (if you ever see an article concerning an issue with expats- let me know!). Ian has also started morning classes this week and has only knocked over one toddler with his butt....so far. He should pick up a full schedule in Jan.


 


And cooking!
With more time, we have been cooking. Turkish pizza, chicken Parmesan (I know- an interesting pick), spaghetti, leek /potato soup, chicken wings, Brats! Def some good eats.


We are starting to search for our next, more permanent apartment as well as attending to the serious business of insurance, visas, and registering. Luckily, there are lots of distractions. Tonight we are going to a Yelp elite event at a brewery- Privatbrauerei Am Rollberg. A brewery tour and free beer & food is guaranteed to make us happy.

(Update from the future: This little brewery is part of a comeback for independent breweries in Berlin. Clean flavors in beer brewed on the premise and a great tasting room makes this a lovely place to get a brew in Neuk├Âlln. Plus - large window into the brewing room means dinner AND a show )

Tomorrow we are going to a free show in this cafe near us, Hubertuslounge. We wandered in here a bit ago and loved its funky vibe. The menus are in old photo albums, complete with random pictures. While we were sipping some coffee, several people entered what looked like a wardrobe next to us. Literally looked like a coat closet and people were entering it, shutting the door, and disappearing for minutes at a time! Ian was the first to be brave and enetered. He wouldn't tell me what was there so I had to venture myself. opened the door to the narrowest little staircase, almost a ladder. I climbed down into..........an underground club. Two casually decorated rooms with several couches, a DJ area, and room to dance. We saw a poster for The Beez and said "Let's go". Can't wait to see what is going to happen.

And- big news!- next week we are finally going to Krakow! We always thought we would go last time and just never worked out. It is supposed to be cold, but beautiful. And of course we will head out to Auschwitz, perfect for holiday cheer. Really- it should be quite a trip.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Kindergarten: AGAIN?!?!?

Well boys and girls, it was my first day back to school, and it was damn near a snow day!  I awoke this morning to nice dusting of snow and a pleasant amount of flakes in the air.  The snow really brings out the beauty of Berlin.

In any case I met up with Geraldine, who would be showing me the ropes, at the school while freezing my marbles off.  If everything goes according to plan, I'll be heading to this Kita (which as children ranging from 2-6) every weekday from 9-12.  It's actually quite a sweet gig.  I will be working with about two German Erziehern (teachers of little kids), which makes things much easier should I have any little bastards in my class, which is sure to happen being in Germany.

We started off the day singing some songs, both in German and English.  We then taught them Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer (not about Rudolf Barbie you history buffs) and then Geraldine took me on a quick tour of the Kita.  There are about 4 other classes in this particular building, each one with its own English teacher.

After some coloring, it was time to head outside and play in the snow.  Now, when I was a kid I remember playing in the snow with soaking wet pants, chilly shoes, and no hat or scarf.  These kids were decked out to the core, snow pants and all.  And guess who had to help them put all that shiz on?  Me.  I pretty much helped dress these kids head to toe, but the thing I noticed that needed the most help were the gloves.  One kid kept balling up his fists when trying to put his gloves on.  If the glove don't fit you must acquit...

Finally they were all dressed and we made our way down the treacherous stairs, but not before I noticed little Achmed walking around with a look of disbelief on his face as he held up his had, glove all twisted and turned.  A simple readjustment got him back to normal and out into the snow.

It was fun watching this little kids waddle around in the snow.  Something tells me I'm gonna be doing this a bit more often in the following months...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome to December

It's apparently going to be a cold one. The guy we are renting the place from, Jannis, is traveling SouthEast Asia this winter. He must be looking at the weather report and laughing.

Ah well, we do love a good snow. And walking around it today has just felt otherworldly. Dreaming of a white Christmas...


Happy December!


We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008