My dinner with Berlin

12 December 2008

Life caught up to me since the last post, I’ve started my work at ***, and up until know it’s been quite gem├╝tlich. Currently I’m working on a terrain editor, and it feels good to have solid ground at work and home since our extensive gypsying experiences. I also made the mistake of asking the Mitarbeiters to speak German, so it’s off in the deep end from know. We had a bit more luck at the Turkish market (Yorkstrasse):

Cultural Collision

19 November 2008

We took a last good look at the Ackerstra├če. After more than a month of Bohemian living, it had served it’s part in our story, and was now only a place to be emptied of memories. As we were walking across this street, with our mattress held proud over their heads as a symbol of our new quest for habitation, fate decided to play a little trick on us: we were suddenly confronted with a ghost from our very short mutual past. Masha, a Russian adventurer who provided us with the space to meet in Moskva was walking right through our unremarkable street. Can it be a coincidence to meet the start of our relation while literally moving to the next chapter? Hard to tell, but it was great to catch up on her travels over a friendly glass of wine. She hitchhiked back to her own story at 11pm, with only 8 hours before check-in closes at Dusseldorf airport.

But there are also opportunities for new stories, as we are developing a close-knit group of recent arrivals. Some are working on the same job, some are living or looking for apartments together, and especially all are celebrating the good things in life. The last headcount had Canada, US, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and Poland. Everyone in one kitchen in Berlin, the biggest refugee camp in Europe.

So, the master plan now is 2 weeks of travelling and surfing, and then on to the new job and new apartment. Berlin 2.0!

The careful reason will notice that the hosting process can start again from the 1st of December.

Any way the work flows

4 November 2008

Reunification month

27 October 2008

So, me and T arrive in Berlin. We find a woman nice enough to rent us a room for three weeks, and crazy enough to demand 500 euros deposit after a week. Things sort themselves out though, we tell here to go f*** herself and move on. Pretty soon we find ourselves in another typical Berlin housing arrangement: 35 square, 200 euros, no furniture. The city is actually very liveable, with huge apartment blocks , big wide streets and ridiculously cheap Turkish markets. Because of the prices, everyone moves here: the city has an unemployment rate of 15 percent. We live in the centre of town, incidentally called Mitte. Our house is an ex-squat, now upgraded to typical housing for typical Berliners: artist, students, foreigners and other undesirables.

from friendly:

Dear *********, thank you for your interest in eos interactive GmbH. At the moment we are not looking for anyone, sorry. Have a good time in Berlin best regard

Dear *********, thank you for your interest in eos interactive GmbH. At the moment we are not looking for anyone, sorry. Have a good time in Berlin best regard

to direct:

Dear *****, thanks for your application. Unfortunately I had to tell you, that we didn’t choose you. Best wishes for the future.

Dear *****, thanks for your application. Unfortunately I had to tell you, that we didn’t choose you. Best wishes for the future.

to downright brutal:

Dear Mr. ****, I thank you very much for your interest in a job opportunity at DMS and confirm the receipt of your application with this email. Because of the current global finance crisismany uncertainties and market changes have to be awaitedcurrent global finance crisismany uncertainties and market changes have to be awaitedBut after a while, life aligned itself, and I find myself discussing a position at the fabulously named ****, which is actually more telling than my previous employment (*** Hopefully, terms and conditions can be contracted upon, and pixels can be beautified.

And then there is Bohemian life of course. T and me discover the city, both culinary and culturally. Germany was lucky enough to found archeology as we know it today, and the have some beautiful collections as a result. Central Asia, Egypt, Middle America, Troy, there isn’t a continent these clever Saxons haven’t robbed. And this place is huge! The streets are wider than anything I’ve seen in Europe, and it’s great fun to just start walking, all the streets are lined by trees, and there are yellow and reds everywhere (Tiergarten at night is also great). I think the city can fit double the population without feeling overcrowded, as long as they all stay away from my favorite Lebanese…

PS The hosting process looks like it can be underway again. Turn east from France and drive another hour or four. Mattress is provided, take your own linen. Hasta luego!


19 October 2008

In case you were wondering what happened…

I arrived in Moscow after a 5 day train ride through Siberia at the break-speed of 60 km/hour. Bored with vistas, and the basics of Cyrillic, I was happy to find myself conversing with a Frenchman with a perfect Scottish accent. The novelty wore off quickly though, and the following day I met minds with T. Back then she forgave me for not speaking Catalan. T was traveling East through Europe to taste the wonderful Russian drink Kvass. As I was going West, trying to put as much distance between me and the 2008 Olympics as possible, I consider our meeting to be a heads-on collision. We spend many hours comparing Russia with China, explaining the North-South cultural axis, and getting lost.

Things move quickly in Moscow however, and after our 24 hour intermezzo we parted ways at the train-station. I felt like Bogart on the platform, but without his own bar. Taheaded for Kazan, and I moved to the airport. With only 20 minutes on the clock for our tickets and visas, my travel partner F and I finally managed to convince the Russians to let us leave, and head back home.

After a few days though, electronic mail arrived, and continuation was discussed. Tau arrives in Brussels, enjoys the wonderful chocolate, and sees the only African museum in the world. The culinary bliss lasts for 12 days before Ryanair ends the bohemian partnership. After a few days of dissatisfaction with Skype, I booked a ticket to Barcelona, packed my bag full of chocolate, put on my shorts, and headed South.

Barcelona turns out to be the staging area of a longer term partnership, with the city of Berlin as common denominator. We decide to both try an live there, until I start studying again in February (which seems to turn into September, more info later). At southern pace, it only takes us 12 days to get the ticket, pack our bags, and sweetly glide to the emptiest capitol of Europe.

And this is where the jumping gypsies find themselves, jobless in a city with 20% unemployment. A 40 square room with a mattress and a desk. With cheap food and secret baklava. And maybe, just maybe, a signed contract, a nice and long stay, and enough pay for a decent coat this winter…