Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some observations...

Since I've been in Berlin, I've noticed a few things I'd like to share. Things that are different from what I know and that surprised me.

1. EBK: stands for einbaukueche which means "installed kitchen". On our apartment search we've realized that we must look for apartments that have EBKs (about 50% have them) otherwise you gotta buy your own kitchen and install it. WTF!? I don't get it. This means that the person living there before took their kitchen with them when they left. Or it means that there are people out there looking for apartments to live in but they have their own kitchen packed up in their boxes. How weird is that?
2. unleashed dogs: Almost everyone in Berlin seems to have a dog. And they all walk obediently beside their owners or just up ahead - unleashed! The dogs wait to cross the street and they seem very aware of the fact that they are walking with their owner. Sometimes I try to get between them to see if I can confuse the dog so that it'll follow me instead. But it never works. The dogs here seem so smart =)
3. credit? : Seems like I live in a cash society now. Plastic is not the most convenient way to pay for things. And credit cards are very different from what I'm used to. A credit card here means that you get to buy things you can't afford but only for 30 days. What ever you put on your credit card during the month you must pay your balance in full when you get your statement! People don't know what a minimum payment is here! I guess it's good ... but it's still weird.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

New Hobby

Beginning a new chapter of your life in another country, I think, is a good opportunity to reflect on the things you like, the things you want and how those affect the person you are. So, I decided I wanted a hobby. I've never really had a hobby that I completely committed to. I think hobbies are important. It's something you do for fun, for yourself. I wanted a challenging and useful hobby, one that would encourage creativity and discipline. I picked sewing. My mother can sew and used to make her own clothes when she was a young lady. My grandmother was also an excellent seamstress and I often think about how she sat at her machine and worked. She made us little dresses, hats and house slippers. I recently found out that she also used to crochet bikinis and sold them to a store down the street from her home. Too cute. So because of some sentimentality and the fact that sewing is useful, creative and requires discipline, I decided to learn how to sew. Pauli's mom had an old portable sewing machine she was willing to lend me. I Googled "learn to sew", bought some fabric and materials and there you go. I've started sewing and finished my first project today - a pillow case! I think it's pretty good and I've discovered that I like to sew and envision this as my future hobby. Cool.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Cafe Sundays

Pauli and I have decided to designate Sundays to sitting around cafes. So far we've been to two around the neighbourhood and would definitely go back to both. Last Sunday we went biking around and found a cute one called Cafe Vienna. They serve coffee and tea and other warm drinks and ice cream! Only ice cream. All kinds of combinations, sizes and types. You can be reserved and get one scoop topped with chocolate or strawberry sauce or you could go all out and get one of their very intricate looking sundaes. We passed on the ice cream that day but we will be going back.

Today we went to Cafe LuLu. We each had a latte machiatto and a cinnamon roll and walnut chocolate brownie to share. Excellent and delicious! They also have a full menu offering soups, sandwiches, salads, Asian tapas and wine and beer.

I love sitting in cafes =)