Groundhopping II

It has been a while that we went to see a football match. Now, Ingm and I relied on the season’s tickets of some Füchse teammates of mine to see Hertha take on perennial powerhouse BVB Dortmund. One of the attractions here clearly is Berlin’s Olympic stadium. Yes, fascist and always with the sour aftertaste…

You Can Say You to Me

Just like French, German has two forms of the second person singular, Du and Sie. When I was a kid, rules were very clear. Virtually all adults were addressed formally, only relatives were Du. Likewise, almost all adults siezt (yes, there are verbs for both the forms) each other. The most extreme example is surely my…

Craft Beer

Beer has featured before on this blog. Recently, when I was buying coffee beans at was has become my favourite roaster, Tres Cabezas, I gave in to temptation and stopped in at a craft brewery in the über-hipster neighbourhood around Boxhagener Platz, Boxi. Since arriving in Berlin, I don’t think I’ve had a Canadian-style craft…

There are so many… Stolpersteine

One of the many signs of the terrible past in Berlin are the Stolpersteine, tripping stones. As you can see in the photo, these are engraved brass stones to replace the typical paving stones that can be found on Berlin sidewalks. The tripping stone is engraved with the name of a victim of National Socialist…

Geeking out on Berlin Trains

Okay, time for another confessional. Yes, I realize that we used to sneer at people interested in trains when we were kids (this was an interest associated with West Germany for us, since we didn’t have much occasion to observe/ride trains in West Berlin. Even worse were the dads that had basements dedicated to model…

Brocken and Quedlinburg

During the break between the terms, we went to visit the Brocken. That is probably Germany’s most famous medium-sized mountain. It’s famous for hosting the biggest witches’ gathering on May 1, Walpurgisnacht. It was also right on the East-West German border. As a tourist destination it has the additional draw of UNESOC world heritage site,…

Riding to the End of the Line: Bernau

I have already written about why I’ve been wanting to ride some of the downtown S-Bahn lines to their terminus. Next up, the S2 to Bernau, North-Northeast of the city.   Unlike our trip to Strausberg, however, Bernau seems much less remote. The route from downtown goes through Pankow, a part of Berlin that was…

Beer

Okay, have I mentioned that beer in Berlin is delicious and CHEAP? Generally, I like everyone else, buy beer in a 20-bottle case here. You buy the whole case and return it for a deposit with the empties. Each brewery has its own case, but you can also mix-and-match to some extent. Partly out of…

Learning on Vacation: Cards

During the winter vacation in Sweden, the girls gained some very practical real world skills, particularly 2: enjoying the sauna playing Skat and Doppelkopf When I was a kid, we played lots of Skat. This is a three-person card game that is played pretty much all over Germany. Since it is a card game, it…

The Hi-Tech Dungerees

It used to be that members of the trades and lots of manual labourers wore a Blaumann, a dark blue overall. Now, there’s some kind of weird panelled garment that seems to have replaced the Blaumann. It’s not clear to me what the functional advantage of the panels is, and there are of the luminous colours…

Driving through the Countryside

Sometimes it takes a moment to recognize what is different about a region one is driving through. Over the Winter holidays, much struck me about the Swedish countryside. In Mongolia, drives through the countryside always offer the promise of delicious herbal smells during pitstops, but also of the realization some hours into a drive that…