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27 August 2011

The Hangover, Sunday Market, and Rainy Goodbyes

Day 79-80: Sunday, 7 August 2011 - Monday, 8 August 2011

I woke up, somehow. I felt significantly better than the day before. There was less poison in my body, that was for sure.

I swore there was a giant bug on the wall. I was afraid to move, so I sat there just staring at it.

Where was I again? Oh yeah, at a friend's place in Kreuzberg. And when was it? It was sometime around mid-day, and the others were already stirring awake.

We needed to get food. Nourishment. We were in the right city for it, and Mika said that he knew of a good place right on the Ufer of the canal. But when we got there, it just didn't seem right for us, more expensive and less of a selection than we wanted. There was a wildly decorated boat right on the canal, though. Very Berlin.

We continued walking, wandering the streets of Kreuzberg. Somewhere along the way Antti and Mika were separated from the rest of us. We sat at a corner cafe and ordered some pizza and omelets. Quietly, we waited. I could hear my inner monologue going fast and sounding peculiarly like Anthony Bourdain. The last few days of debauchery were ones to remember, for sure, but somehow I couldn't remember much.

No need to worry, it was Sunday in Berlin. And Sunday in Berlin means Flohmarkt am Mauerpark, aka the big flea market at the Mauerpark (Berlin Wall park). It's a big outdoor market filled with funky, alternative, vintage, cheap trinkets where you can get some good finds. It is precisely what you would expect in Berlin too: Great, quality, funky apparel and accessories just waiting for the taking.

But that's not all. There's also karaoke! And not just any kind of karaoke, but a huge outdoor karaoke, where an audience of maybe 1000 people watch you sing. It's called bearpit karaoke, and it looks frighteningly intimidating for all but the least stage-frightened. Needless to say I was attracted to it.

One Crazy Weekend

Days 76-79: Thursday, 4 August 2011 - Sunday 7 August 2011
I was feeling a mix of pure awesomeness and misery.

I returned to Berlin on Thursday evening, dropped off in Potsdam, where I took the S-Bahn into the city. It was damp but warm, not exactly pleasant.

Saskia was in town, so we had to meet up! She was out with Stephanie at our Thursday evening spot, Supanova. There was Jojo also. We caught up and chatted amongst the couchsurfing crowd. I was also looking forward to meeting up with Topi, Aaro, and their friends from Finland who were in Berlin for a few days too. I told them to meet us, and they did just as we were walking back to the S-Bahn station.

We circled around on the S-Bahn toward the Ostkreuz, where the train stopped for the night. We had to walk to Warschauer Straße, where we did karaoke for the evening while gulping down beers. It was cramped and uncomfortably hot inside, but fun nonetheless. The girls said bye and I ended up having more Jäger or something back at the Finnish guys' place (which was right by Görlitzer Bahnhof in Kreuzberg by the way). It was half past 6 when I returned home. The early morning commuters were already out as I stumbled home.

It was Friday, and sleeping through the rest of the morning, I awoke in the early afternoon with a strong craving for pho. So I arranged to meet up with Saskia at Alexanderplatz. We then walked to a Vietnamese restaurant that looked good online. The food was good, and really hit the spot, as we sat outside and enjoyed the lack of rain.

There was the Berlin beer festival going on, so we headed over to that to check it out. It stretched on for about a mile, and it was full of many different types of beer and stereotypically German foods (wurst).

We had a nice large beer, though in retrospect, I should have gotten a small glass and tried the many different kinds of beer available. Who cares? The drunk middle-aged Germans dancing in the street certainly didn't.