It seems I only update my blog when I’m on the train. I’m typing this entry from my cozy seat en route from Munich to Cologne. After many adventures in Prague, Salzburg, and all around the Bavarian country side, I can finally catch a breather and update my entry on Berlin, where I think I left my heart at. Can someone send it to Cologne please?

I was in Munich for a week, and already I can feel the huge difference between the city and Berlin. Berlin, I feel, is the cooler, hipper, more artsy cousin to the very mainstream, popular, jock-like Munich. People I’ve met in Berlin will usually tell me they don’t like Munich. I’m beginning to understand why. I like Munich, but I love Berlin. Here’s my attempt to write about my one month experience in Berlin, broken into parts because if I try to write about everything, it’ll be a whole book and we’ll be here all day.

Photobombed by Marx & Engels

Photobombed by Marx & Engels

Living in a city for a month, you’ll either grow attach to it, or just want to get the hell out of there as fast as humanly possible. For the first 3 days, I didn’t like it much, and was counting the days till I could leave. I have to admit, I was homesick. I missed my pets, I missed my family, I missed my friends, I missed the familiarity of home, and most of all, I missed spicy Malaysian street food to death, I could cry. Not kidding. The term spicy over at this part of the world is a joke. But I digress.

My feelings towards Berlin changed as the days past by and I went around town, met new people, ate different food, and went on mini adventures. The Berlin charm started to work on not just me, but my husband too. I think my husband and I sort of fell in love with the city, and fell hard.

The Berliner Dome

At the Altes Museum

At the Altes Museum

I’m a history junkie, and Berlin, like the rest of Europe, will not disappoint with its amazing art galleries, museums and landmarks. So, I was like a little kid in a really cool playground.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

Behind Brandenburg Gate

Behind Brandenburg Gate #taitailife

My husband and I cycled all around the place. We even made it all the way to Charlottenburg Palace from Alexander Platz, which wasn’t the most amazing palace in Germany, but the journey there, through Tiergarten, was really enjoyable. If you’re in town, I highly recommend you take the road less taken near the river. Especially if you’re lucky enough to have perfect weather.

Like majority of Europe, Berlin’s public transport makes it easy to get around from point A to point B. It can be confusing at first, but you’ll get used to it. Also, if you have Google Maps and data on your phone, it’ll tell you exactly which bus/tram/train to take, so the chances of you getting lost is very slim. As an added bonus, plenty of Berliners speak English. I’ve met foreigners who’ve stayed in Berlin for more than 5 years and barely know the language and still got by just fine. It’s really easy, but I try to pick up some German along the way. Its getting easier to follow now.

Asians and an Algerian waiting for the tram. #fam

Asians and an Algerian waiting for the tram. #fam

There are other ways to go around the city. Like I mentioned above, you can really cycle pretty much everywhere in Berlin. And heck, I think there are more cyclist than there are cars. And as far as I can tell, very little motorcyclist. Also, if you’re feeling lazy to cycle back, you can take your bicycle on the train.

If you’re in the touristy area, there are weirder options to travel. You can opt for this ‘beca‘ or rickshaw. Yep, they have it here too. Not as flowery and full of decorations as ours though. I didn’t go in them, so I’m not sure if they blast out loud pop music too, but I hear they give you a mini tour around the city centre if you ask.

Then there are these monstrosities:

Ugh. That last one, you have a bartender in the middle serving you beer as you cycle down Museum Island and hope you don’t get run over by a bus.

You can also take the boat and go around the river. Its actually quite a lovely ride, and you get to see a lot while you sit back and relax.

Berlin is very artistic. Its full of graffiti and art installations, especially in the Neukölln and Kreuzberg areas. They also have a lot of speakeasy bars and cafes where people of the art and film community get together. I mentioned in one of my previous Berlin post that I went to a florist’s backyard party and a start-up party. The start-up community in Berlin looks like a fun bunch, with their sometime parties at warehouses, and their weekly hack-a-thons.

Some of these events are located in hidden, unsuspecting, small corners all around the city. Usually, if you see an abandoned looking building or apartment, chances are, those are the places you’re looking for.

Shopping is fun here. From KaDeWe to flea markets, there’s just too many places you could possibly go. If you’re into high fashion (Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Acne, Ann Demeulemeester etc), KaDeWe is for you. I drool every time I pass by Tom Ford.

I like to wander around Hackescher Markt mainly because its home to my favourite shop ever: Maskworld. While shopping for props for my short film, I found this place and wanted everything inside. They have cool geeky stuff that’s hard to find back home (like a Legend of Zelda Hyrulian Shield backpack that I absolutely needed in my life because reasons), and as you can imagine, I did a lot of damage to my bank account there. The wound I got for my short was a The Walking Dead product, and it was awesome. More on that in a later post.

I want my wall at home to look exactly like this.

I want my wall in my new apartment to look exactly like this.

When my husband forgot to shave.

That one time my husband forgot to shave for a week.

I bumped into Jim Root.

I bumped into Jim Root.

Around Hackescher Markt, there are plenty of local designer boutiques, big brand stores and hidden vintage stores where you can find gems like a vintage Chanel dress (and yes, it will cost you 1 kidney).

My splurge, which is so pretty.

A splurge, which is a pretty splurge.

Yes, we bought matching Harry Potter socks. Its a no brainer that I'm Slytherin.

Yes, we bought matching Harry Potter socks. Its a no brainer that I’m the Slytherin.

Bought sorta matching shoes to go with our matching Harry Potter socks. This is as far as I go when it comes to matchy-matchy icky-ness.

Bought sorta matching Superstars to go with our matching Harry Potter socks. This is as far as I go when it comes to matchy-matchy icky-ness.

There are also plenty of art and flea markets happening all around the city during the weekends. Local designers and graphic artist would usually sell their things here. It’ll give you something to do on Sundays, where most shops (including super markets) are closed. Also, if you love vintage stuff (clothes, bags, records, furniture, what have yous), you’ll love them. And there are plenty of vintage stores all around the city. Just do a quick google search and some talking to the locals, and you’ll find them. Prices ranges between €1 to €200 depending on which stores you go to.

One market I went to, Boxhagener Platz, a vendor was selling old video games and consoles. His collection was insane, everything from the Super NES era to the Gamecube era. I wanted everything he owned. I did buy a NES controller and an old Super Mario cartridge to use as deco for my apartment. Yep, I’m slowly building my own collection.

I’ll stop here for this post. Hopefully, for those of you who have never been, you’re already planning your trip to visit this awesome city. There’s plenty more of Berlin for me to write, so sit tight and wait till I click the post button. It won’t take more than a week, I promise!

x larxy