Montag, 30. März 2009

Berlin, take a bow...

I am SO IN LOVE with B-lizzle these days. It was staggeringly beautiful this evening as I was on the S-Bahn back from a job interview (I hope it went well. I had to stand on a chair and sing "Frere Jacques" at one point. I think I pulled it off...). Riding the S-Bahn actually is an amazing thing to around sunset time, particularly the S9, S7 AND S75 in my humble opinion. You get to see loads of the city, especially the cool architecture around Hauptbahnhof and the Reichstag. One should also endeavor to listen to suitable choons on the auld mp3 if you have one. I recommend this:

which is a lovely video in its own right, and this:

All these things make me happy.

Sonntag, 29. März 2009

I have a new favourite bar...

Sorry Astro Bar, I love you still, but the times they are a-changing. Step up Fischladen, part of one of the squats on Rigaer Strasse in Friedrichshain. Wonderfully dirty and grimy and SO CHEAP IT MAKE MY HEART SING. I think (I'm fairly certain, but I can't vouch for anything really that happened in there on Wednesday night. Or Sunday, come to think of it) I got a whiskey, a gin and tonic and a beer for like six euros. Bottles of beer (0,5l) are certainly less than two quid. Not bad going my friends, not bad going at all. The staff are also nice and friendly/forgiving, and there are many fantastic looking dreadlocks on offer to keep one's eyes occupied until vision is suitably impaired. What's not to love? They also do amazing things like play Jimmy Eat World albums straight through:

And oh, wonderful, "embedding disacbled by request". So no 'Sweetness' for anyone.

You can have that instead. Enjoy!

Freitag, 27. März 2009

Much to my relief

...the latest Wolf Parade album (which I have only recently procured due to chronic cash flow and computer problems) is looking to be grower. Was not overly impressed on the first two listens but I'm getting more and more excited with every play. 'The Grey Estates' is particularly delicious.

Dienstag, 24. März 2009

Boys are great.

So they are, in many ways. They do their best sometimes to make us forget that they are, but they are. And one of the best things about boys is that they SPEND MONEY ON RECORDS AND CDs RATHER THAN CLOTHES AND OTHER FRITTERY. Which in turn means that when you go to their houses you can spend ages prentending you are in a record shop without any of the inconvience of feeling like an imposter who is obviously only browsing as you obviously spend all your money on clothes and other frittery. It's lovely, and makes me feel like yer one outta Pretty in Pink. They also play bands' and musicians' stuff to you that you know that you should make time to listen to but you never do. Like Smog:

Obviously not the real video as youtube is a bastard, but the song made me smile. As did songs from these people, and these and these, all of whom were brought to my attention by boys. And just in case you need a little more convincing on the general wonderment of boys (I fully understand, they can be SO ANNOYING), heeeeere's Duckie:

Oh, Kuchen Rausch, let me count the ways...

Fancy pants tea, delicious cheesecake AND fancy sugar what which you can eat on its own if you can't afford cake (not quite as delicious, but worth a go)- there's three ways right there. Oh and the staff are lovely. Corner of Boxhagner Strasse and Simon-Dach Strasse. Check it out.

Donnerstag, 19. März 2009

Things to do in Berlin this week (for less than a tenner).

1) Pretend you live in an house brilliant enough to have details like this painted around the window. If I lived here I would fling the window open every morning and serenade the world.

2) Go to Broken Hearts Club tonight in the Ballhaus Berlin. It promises to be a riot of over-the-top tomfoolery with wall-to-wall scenesters.

3) Eat a Wunderbar.

4) Buy Neon magazine. Even if you don't understand it, it has cool fashion-y bits and photoshoots which *bargain tip of the week* you can stick up on your walls rather than spend your hard earned euros on posters. It also has good articles usually, which take me bloody ages to read as they're auf Deutsch of course, which means the magazine lasts for ages. Whoop!

5) Join a video shop place and rent Grey's Anatomy, buy the biggest and cheapest bottle of red wine you can find (preferably decide to do all this at 1 a.m.), and just EMOTE for a few hours. Better than therapy, I say, and not nearly as damaging to the wallet. To the dignity, yes, but never the wallet.

I Dream of Celine.

Dear God, but I love the Interweb. I was in a horrible mood earlier, due to feeling yucky and possibly having flunked a job interview this morning (bad news anyway, disaster in Berlin where job interviews seem to happen on average about four times a decade) but then I find this gem. A site dedicated to people's dreams about Celine Dion. And also her dreams. Oh, life.

This is easily the finest of La Dion's oeuvre, if you ask me. Ice sculptures, denim on denim and PURE RAW EMOTION in fuckin' spades. Awesome.

Montag, 16. März 2009

Back in Berlin.

So after a minor setback circa Sunday 6 a.m. (a hint- getting wasted on Buckfast if you have a flight at 0605 is NOT A GOOD PLAN) I am officially Back in Berlin. It's good to be home, away from "the crunch", closing times and overly censorious ad campaigns. And where things are not ridiculously over priced (my tea-and-cake habit it seems is not sustainable in Dublin, where people seem to think it's acceptable to charge 4.60€ for a piece of cake. Harumph!). A trip back to the old country does wonders for my relationship with Berlin and this week I have been mostly been giving thanks that I am broke here rather than broke at home which, on my current salary, would mean I could just about afford a box in a doorway somewhere. It also is very Springy here which makes me so happy I could sing. The above were taken in the Volkspark in F'hain (one of my favourite places in Berlin, I have to say), don't those little flowers seem to be shouting "ACHTUNG!!! SUMMER IS COMING!!!!"? They do to my mind anyway.

Sometimes all I want to do... run away in a campervan and make the Open Road my home. Particularly if the campervan in question had such snazzy curtains as those above. I feel that curtains + the Open Road would = one very Happy Megan.

Dienstag, 10. März 2009

Reasons to be cheerful...

So the last post was a little serious, but I feel I needed to say it all. However, this is not a political blog and so here are some things that have cheered me up today:

1) At home I get to eat wall to wall M & S food FOR FREE.

2) I also got to read the Guardian and Love it! whilst eating a sausage roll. Good times, AND I have the newest Elle for later.

3) I got chatted up in the street today (I mean, he was obviously a lunatic, but still). I love it that here you still smile and say hello in the street but it does up my already alarming tendency to attract oddballs. He was pretty smooth though, at first, asking me what I was listening to (I had my headphones round my neck), then swiftly changing that to "What are we listeing to?". His skills slumped rather and he reverted to the time old Northern Irish boy trait of prolonging the conversation by trying to convinve me that my accent is so weird I could not be originally from here (A hint, lads, implying a girl is so stupid that she doesn't understand the question "Na, na but where are ye ARIGNILY from?" will NOT get you laid).

All in all a pretty good day AND I found this piece of awesomeness on the auld World Wide Web:

Broke in Armagh...

Well folks, the crunch is definitely ON. Literally, LITERALLY all I have talked about since my arrival here is the Price of Things and the Price of Things to Come. Ironic, since people here certainly have more money than people in Berlin, but I guess if you stand to lose more by the dreaded R word then you're justified in having a bit of a moan. But Jaysus, it does get a little dull and makes me appreciate the very non-financial orientated vibe in Berlin.

I have just realised the massive hypocrisy of criticising people for talking only about money in a blog more or less solely concerned with my own financial situation so I will stop.

It is so nice to be here, which makes the recent violence even more horrific. And so unjustifiable it makes my blood run cold. This is not what Northern Ireland wants and anyone who would consider a return to the Troubles as a remotely acceptable option has abdicated any right to represent us. I think the wife of the murdered policeman puts the pointless horror of it best, saying "A good husband has been taken away from me, and my life has been destroyed. And what for? A piece of land that my husband is only going to get six feet of." Not in my name, you bloody well don't. What is immensely heartening (if anything coming from such awfulness can be seen as heartening. What kind of a person can view a pizza delivery guy as a "collaborator"?) is the unanimous condemning of both the attack at the barracks and Craigavon from everyone, apart from maybe a few bored kids who have blindly swallowed another generation's prejudices. We are not that country anymore, and I really, really hope that the political system is secure enough for it to stay that way.

Mittwoch, 4. März 2009

ACHTUNG: The perils of drunk cooking...

If you have been cutting, using or generally Having Dealings with chillis, DO NOT RUB YOUR EYES IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS.

You know what's cheap to do?

Make Chilli. Cheap and Yummy. However, it an be hazardous, particularly if you are a little drunk. And if your flatmate has "researched" how to properly dice an onion. How to properly and cunningly get your innocent flatmate and alleged "best friend" to dice her OWN FINGER more like. Grr, grr.

But yes! Chilli! What you need to do is go to Edecca's meat counter (cheaper by some cents than getting it from the fridge and it doesn't come in those sad little boxes) and get some mince (1.73€ for 500g of Rindfleish mince which will do you a sizeable chilli AND A bolognaise) and then some beans (remember- Lidl is best for tins!) and oinons (you can get loads of Ja! Spiesen oinions in Reve for like 70c. Oh my God, could my knowledge of supermarkets be anymore in-depth/tragic?) and put them all in a pot with spices etc etc (my knowledge lies in supermarket deals, I cannot profess to be a chilli expert. Look it up elsewhere). It is best also if you can find a good quality-and-chilli-suitable pot "zu verschenken" in your friend's appartment building an nab it before she can, as I did yesterday- result! Making chilli is immensely satisfying and makes you feel homely and motherly. It is also entertaining to cook tipsy. Not least for onlookers. Also, CHEAP but with a level of danger (how spicy will you go? will my finger stop bleeding anytime soon?) that you might well be expected to pay for in other contexts.

I have car lust...

...which is a stupid and pointless thing to have when one cannot afford the tram let alone a car but look, LOOK th these puppies! The yellow one even has a disco ball in the window. I think I might go out and lie beside them and wait for their owners to come and claim them and ask them to marry me.

So yesterday was a Bad Day... I didn't blog as all I wanted to do was moan and bitch and gripe and complain (thanks to Kate who joined me in doing so and provided the accompanying proper tea and plain chocolate digestive biscuits, no mean feat in this town) and noone needs to hear that. But today has been much better and I feel much better disposed towards Berlin for several reasons:

1) There is definitely a hint of a tint of Spring around these days. For the first time in about three months I AM NOT WEARING A THERMAL VEST.

2) This lovely Springyness means I can walk around in relative comfort (which is a double bonus as I currently can't afford public transport) and look at all all the wonderments that Berlin (or at least the walk between my home and P'berg/house-of-Kate-and-her-digestive-biscuits) has to offer, like the awesome graffiti above.

3) I might soon have an exciting new job which will not involve selling/pulling/carrying pints of Guinness. I don't want to say anything in case I jinx it though, so for the moment it is Top Secret.
4) I am going to scrabble up all my loose change and go for a pint in my favourite bar in Friedrichshain in a bit. It is truly lovely (in a dark and dirty way), with awesome music and hilarious Americans who are never "bartenders" but rather "screenwriters" and "musicians", despite the fact that they just pulled your pint. It's also as cheap as chips- 3€ for a big beer and 3.50€ for a gin and tonic. What's not to love?

5) I am going home next week and plan to eat nothing but Creme and Mini Eggs.

Montag, 2. März 2009

Supermarket Sweep.

I went to three supermarkets today. Three! And you know why? Because my reduced financial means have made me into the kind of woman who Shops Around. I know which supermarkets to go to for what kind of goods. Netto for fruit and vegetables, Lidl for things in tins and Edecca for meat. My flatmate and I not only do not throw out the "Special Offer" leaflets that arrive in our Briefkasten as if by magic (actually, not by magic, I know people deliver them because we have the bastarding first buzzer and so let most of them in. Dudes come EARLY.) we actually READ THEM and work out what to buy where that week. My flatmate cut out a coupon to get a mop for cheaper (9.90 at Real, if you're wondering) the other day. We are planning a trip to Ikea tomorrow because we got a coupon for pretty vases from there in the post today. This is all well and good but IT IS NOT THE SEX DRUGS AND ROCK AND ROLL (techno) LIFESTYLE WE LEFT THE ISLE FOR. Plus, I am worried that no pretty boys WILL EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN if I spend all my time going from discount supermarket to discount supermarket like some deranged pensioner.

So, this week(end) I am injecting the SDARAR back into my B-lizzle existance. On the cheap, obvs. Tonight I am drinking FREE WINE (someone left it in my flat) and when I finish that I may well move on to Tafel Wein (89c per delicious litre, from Spar, which is the best and cheapest on offer AS I WOULD BLOODY WELL KNOW). Okay, it's not exactly Fear and Loathing but it beats sitting eating waffel mischung out of the bag (soooo good, by the way, and on special offer in Real im moment. OH MY GOD.) and watching Hell Boy II (which is what I did last night). This weekend, as already mentioned, I am going to a squat to watch a rock and roll band and I fully intend to be inappropriately dressed, drunk and Overtly Forward. I enjoy boys with guitars, you see, and as they're Yanks I shall be applying my friend Kate's philosophy that as fellow English speakers in a land they probably don't know the correct lingo for chatting up the locals they shall be AT MY MERCY. Awesome. As are they, incidentally:

Sonntag, 1. März 2009

Things that are making me happy this fine Sunday eve...

1) Spring was definitely in the air today. We even had the door open in the pub I work in. And people sitting out on the terasse.

2) I was apparently doing my rent sums wrong and am, joyously, not As Fucked As I Thought. Hurrah.

3) I may celebrate with some sushi this evening. I am getting into sushi since my move to Berlin (it was astronomically expensive in Dublin, like everything else in Dublin). I like its aesthetic and the fact that it makes me feel Sophisicated and Healthy.

4) I am going to see The War on Drugs on Saturday night. In Tascheles. With my pregnant friend. She'll love it, pregnant ladies are mad for squats.

5) I cannot stop listening to Fight Like Apes. Which makes me doubly happy as they are from Ireland. Finally the Isle comes up with a decent band. And look how pretty the video is: