After only 2.5 months of work, I've wracked up more than 70 hours of overtime and am therefore taking 5 days off after this competition ends on Friday. Jed's not working right now so we're going to staycation together. That means: being tourists in Berlin with the advantage of knowing where all the crappy places are and having bikes and knowing where the trains go and suchlike.
Armed with a recent copy of exberliner (English ex-pat magazine) I'm scoping out events that sound like they might not involve mountains of drugs, bondage gay bars or techno, as many events in Berlin tend to do.
My picks so far:
1. Cupcakes and coffee at Cupcake Berlin:
"Anybody who thinks I'm not a punk because I sell little cute cakes can really fuck off," says Daniel Bader, who opened Cupcake Berlin, Germany's first cupcakery, with Florida native Dawn Nelson after the two met in the city's punk scene. "Selling cupcakes is actually the most punk rock thing I could do. I didn't sell my soul; I didn't start working at a bank or selling insurance. We did our own thing,' explains the heavily tatooed German in his mid-thirties.
2. Sugafari, Berlin's new international candy store:
...the shop stocks 400 different types of candy, chocolate, drinks and snacks from 49 countries, including English Wagon Wheels, French Carambars and GDR candy such as Mokka Bohnen and Ghokis. These childhood treets neighbour new and fascinating sweets such as Mexican Flycatcher lollipops, Taiwanese Chin Hwa Cookies, the humorously named Spunk Liquorice wine gums from Denmark and (sadly cannabis-free) Dutch Space Cookies.
[Having had Dutch Space Cookies while living in Amsterdam, I can fully attest to their deliciousness.]
3. "Textilfrei" swimming at Stadtbad Neukoelln (still trying to convince Jed on this one... Probably won't succeed)
"The question is: How FKK [sidenote: FKK = "Freikörperkultur" or, 'free body culture'] should you go? On the one hand, the Easties are right, aren't they? Swimming naked is natural, healthy and normal... It's a tricky dilemma. My solution is to take my glasses off as quickly as possible, so that all those loose ball sacks and penises just blur into an inoffensive mountain of general flesh.
4. Swimming and drinks at Badeschiff
5. Coffee at Filter Kaffeebar in the new Supermarkt Wedding and at Five Elephant Coffee in Kreuzberg
7. Neues National Gallerie
8. Shakespeare & Sons English / French bookstore in Prenzlauer Berg
9. Brunch at the place whose name I forget on the canal near Jed's old office.
10. A climb at either T-Hall or Ostbloc followed by Sudanische Falafel
11. Going up the TV tower if we can afford it
12. Maybe a short train trip to the outer regions of Brandenburg, and a nice bike ride around the country.
13. Templehofer Feld, just to see it how it is now.
I stopped posting links because my internet is too slow to handle all those megabits.
Today.. I have to work from home. Narg, photoshop and autoCAD.