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Dec 23 Weekly Briefing: My First Week In Berlin

Hello everyone, I just settled down in Berlin. I 'm here with a working holiday visa, and I will be living in Berlin until Sep 2020, then I will move to U.K. to study. Here's what happened on my first week in Berlin.

Right now, I have no flat, no job, no language available, but no problem! I will get there.

Weekly expenditure:

250 euros (85 euros for food / 110 euros for transportation / 30 euros for O2 sim card / 15 euros for shopping a rosario / 7 euros for sightseeing Berlin Dome)

People I met:

Frankfurt - Asia & Kuba who are my couchsurfing hosts, Hwan-guk Kang (Kotra Frankfurt), a 60-year-old German Carlos

Berlin - Ben (Germany), Gustavo (Spain), Alex (Greece), Alex (Poland), Fredrick (Germany), Flip (Brazil), Udi (Israel), Mike (UK), Artem (Germany) & Grace (Taiwan)

Meetups:

Baumhouse meetup (5 stars), Eye contact meetup (3.5 stars)

diaries from Dec 16th to 22nd

Dec 16th

00:15

이제 곧 비행기가 이륙한다. 어떤 심정이냐면, 그냥 차분하다. 드디어 가는 구나 하는 느낌. 한국에서 아쉬운 것은 없다. 이제 내 23킬로 캐리어와 8킬로 백팩의 물건으로 #미니멀라이프 를 살게 된다. 다시 내가 익숙한 대로 혼자가 된다. 열심히 배우고, 성장하고 또 공유해야지.

Were standing in the line for the passport control.

I just picked up my bag and moved heavy books and salt into the luggage. I exchanged money and bought a SIM card at O2. I got 2.5 GB for 30 €. A guy named Ali helped me. Then I had to buy a ticket to the city center. A Singaporean guy helped me buy the single way ticket. I’m now waiting for the train to arrive.

Compared to Incheon airport, the Frankfurt airport is rather dark and gray. I was shocked to see the cart here charge money.

In the airplane I watched documentaries about UAE’s history and Jane Goodall. The latter really touched my heart. Among all the things I watched in the plane, that was my favorite. I thought, I should do things which other people neglect or don’t care. In the plane I kept feeling that it was dry. I drank lots of water and sparkling water.

It seemed that German people don’t like to have mango mousse that much. I saw many of these were untouched.

6:00

After about 10 hours in flight, I arrived in #abudabi with #etihadairways . I had to squeeze myself into the seat, and I tried to watch Arabic and Indian films, but I was distracted by a man sitting in 2oclock direction watching the parasite. It was interesting to see #mecca Distance on the #airlineentertainment Menu. It’s my first time in a Arabic country. I’m listening to Arabic announcement and my flight to Frankfurt is after 2 hours. I can see that they use a lot of circles building this airport, like the hall I’m waiting and the terminal 1 itself looks like a big sunflower. The person in charge was wearing white Arabic attire, and he stamped my flight ticket. They use sharp pointed arch windows, and it makes me think of architectures in Aladdin.

7:00

Book “From Rags To Riches” Is a story of Abu Dhabi development through the decades Witten by Mohammed A J Al Fahim. “We achieved independence in 1971... Sheikh Zayed put the oil revenues to work for all UAE people (he pressured oil companies purchase locally instead of importing supplies from Europe)” 17 page “UAE is similar to size of Scotland” 19 page “it was pearls which initially attracted foreign traders to the area” 21 page “The oil industry began to expand in the late 1950s”

11:00

In the airplane I watched documentaries about UAE’s history and Jane Goodall. The latter really touched my heart. Among all the things I watched in the plane, that was my favorite. I thought, I should do things which other people neglect or don’t care. In the plane I kept feeling that it was dry. I drank lots of water and sparkling water.

14:00

Germans are blonde, tall and robust. Compared to Korea or China, people are more reserved. On more thing, there’s less people with permed hair. Women like to wear leggings. The weather is not cold at all compared to Korea, only 7 degrees.

Its been 8 years since I last came here.

20:00

Asia, Kuba, Pinka and I drank Glühwein In the Christmas market. It helped my digestion I think. After walking around, we had another one, and this one had rum and orange in it, and it was less sweet. We went to the Eiserner Steg, and watching the beautiful scenery, we sipped Glühwein.

Wir haben Glühwein auf dem Weihnachtsmarkt getrunken. es hat meiner Verdauung geholfen, denke ich. Nachdem wir herumgegangen waren, hatten wir noch einen, und dieser hatte Rum und Orange, und es war weniger süß. Wir gingen zum Eisernen Steg und sahen uns die schöne Landschaft an, wir tranken Glühwein.

Christmas market in Frankfurt. I saw shops selling Glühwein, sausage, ginger bread, crepes, scarves, mittens, gloves, hats, candles, and Christmas tree adornings. I didn’t feel cold at all. This gave full color to Germany, when the things were in achromatic colors in the daytime.

Weihnachtsmarkt in Frankfurt. Ich sah Läden mit Glühwein, Wurst, Ingwerbrot, Crêpes, Schals, Fäustlingen, Handschuhen, Hüten, Kerzen und Christbaumschmuck. Mir war überhaupt nicht kalt. Dies gab Deutschland Farbe, als die Dinge tagsüber in unbunten Farben waren.

23:00

I’m in Germany! I’m staying with Polish couple Asia and Kuba in Frankfurt Ginnheim. I will get to Berlin on Wednesday. I’m dozing off while writing this.

Dec 17th 21:00

I met Hwan-guk Kim in Kotra Frankfurt. He gave me useful information about Germany.

I visited #sikhtemple in #frankfurt with my friend Carlos. Sikh people are very open-minded people and they welcome all the people who visit them. It's my second time visiting a SIkh temple after New Delhi. It was so interesting, because from outside, it just looked like a normal boring building. First we had to cover our hair with a cloth, and take off our shoes. Then we went up to the 3rd floor where they pray. After giving salute, one believer gave us oily sweet on our hands. After having it, we went down to 2nd floor to say hello to other Sikh people and have dinner. I had curry, naan, rice, yogurt and chilly, and it was very tasty. After the meal we washed the dishes, and headed to the city center. #sikh #sikhpeople

Conversation with a Polish friend: He said that soldiers of Wermacht i.e. German soldiers during WW2 were told to be a soldier otherwise all his family will be dead. He, as a Polish went to the army voluntarily. His military unit was assigned to go on a foreign mission. He served in army in 2008,2009 in Afghanistan and Iraq. They were told it was not dangerous, but it was dangerous. He wasn’t a sniper, he was shooting behind the curtains so he couldn’t see who he was shooting. Once he was blocked by a kid, and he received an order to shoot the kid, but he didn’t. It was also against the order to give food to the kid, but he did.

Most of the Europeans couldn’t read or write before WW2, especially in the country side.

In Poland, when a sister’s son get baptized, then the oldest brother has a pressure of being The Godfather for the son. He should also buy a very expensive present for the child such as a bike, or a laptop. This is especially true in the country side.

Dec 18th 8:00 Berlin

I love this city. Already. I love the grass on the tram trail. I love the man with a hat in the green light. I like the wind. It’s not cold, still it’s ok. I know everything is going to be alright. I’m standing in the platforms and the city is not gray. It’s colorful. Yellow tram, green grass, houses painted with pastel colors, orange Mobiles and trash cans, people in blue.

I mistakenly came to the last stop. The thing is that I didn’t know that I had to press stop. Also, M2 Tram didn’t pass through any platforms, it was just passing through the normal road.

16:00 Museum Island

4시부터 해가 지는 베를린은 어둠이 깔리기 시작하면 정말 황송할 만큼 아름답다. 아름다운 건축물은, 디자인은 그냥 그 자리에서 나를 가만히 내려다본다. 그게 고맙다. 그게 좋다. 그래서 나는 여기 살고 있나보다.

Dec 19th - I'm looking for a shared flat in Berlin

hello I’m Eva from South Korea. I really liked the description. I’m a writer of two books, and a journalist. I speak Korean, English, Spanish, Chinese. I’m currently looking for a job in berlin. I’m very active, I like to go out to walk. and I love wine and beer, and I’m not vegetarian. my WhatsApp is +821042699887. I want to move in from Jan 1st to sep 1st

hallo ich bin eva aus südkorea Die Beschreibung hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Ich bin 29 Jahre. Ich bin Autor von zwei Büchern und Journalist. Ich suche zurzeit einen Job in Berlin. Ich bin sehr aktiv und gehe gerne spazieren. und ich liebe Wein und Bier und ich bin kein Vegetarier. Meine WhatsApp ist +821042699887. Ich möchte vom 1. Januar bis 1. September einziehen

Dec 20th 13:30

오늘 #베를린장벽 앞에서 이탈리아 친구 쥬세프를 따라 1시간 동안 #프리허그 를 했다. 호기심에 따라 나선 건데 정말 가길 잘 했다. 허그나 미소는 정말 어떤 좋은 전염 효과가 있는데, 이 아이를 보고 뒤에 있던 아이까지 쭈뼛쭈뼛 다가와서 허그를 해주었다. Today I did #freehugs with my Italian friend Giuseppe in front of #berlinwall . At first, just like the people ignoring us and being so shy, I didn’t understand why he’s been doing it for 14 years. But when I volunteered to do it myself, and seeing people coming up to me with a smile on their face, then hugged, I knew why. It was such a warm and comfortable feeling. We hugged people from Brazil, Mexico, US, UK, Hong Kong, Korea, Germany, Italy, Slovakia and Poland. It was an amazing experience.

Among the Graffitis I like the one depicting West Germany as a capitalist dominated place and East Germany manipulated by a mushroom. Most of all, I loved the sunset after 1 hour freehug.

17:00 I attended Baumhaus meetup

To J

Yes I settled down in Berlin. I love this place, a lot. I may have expected something, but it’s better than that. I found my favorite meetup and place in Berlin on day two. Last night I went to a meet up held in Baumhaus. The space was like a big tree house, it was made by the help of the members. The tree trunks were made of clay, fiber, and thin wood. Vertical farm was hanging on the wall. The mini candles were recycled into silver leaves. It was so creative. We first lit all the candles in the house.

I prepared dinner with Karen and Raffy. Listening to my expression “sweet”, Raffy asked if one of my family member lives in US. Karen said it’s about improvising. I made purple cabbage, apple salad. I also made a salad dressing using honey, olive oil and salt. Wow, when Koreans are so much used to using custom made dressing, they create sth new! I cut my finger while grinding the orange peel, and Karen helped me put a bandaid. Afterwards, Karen mixed sugar, oil and cocoa power to make cookie dough. I rolled the dough flat and pressed in the forms. We sprinkled flour so that it doesn’t stick to the roller. Unicorn was the hardest form, and I couldn’t get it out properly. My favorite was Xmas tree form. The size was perfect for my mouth. The cookie dough was so good, I kept on nibbling it while making cookies. Anton and I agreed that Cookie doughs tasted better than the cookies. I loved the moist and the texture of it.

Finally we had dinner. They were vegan menus: v

Finally we had dinner. They were vegan menus: vegetable soup, fermented carrot, beetroots, salad, grain and cookies. Ah it was so tasty and healthy meal.

After the meal, we did “here’s the news”, introducing our resource and what we need. I told them my resource is that I have interesting experience like cycling the Silk Road. I told them I’m looking for a shared flat and a job. One lady said she is getting married in Cyprus, because they have only have 2 papers to sign, while Germany has loads of papers.

Then we started jamming session. Just my listening to others and humming and singing, we made a song, and it was magical.

I attended eye contact meetup

Berlin Dome 한참 동안 꼭대기에서 풍경을 바라봤다

I went to Christmas market Gendarmenmarkt. I had Currywurst made by Australiens and a Cup of Glühwein.

I went to eye contact meet up yesterday. We sit facing the person. And we stare at each other as long as we want to. It was so interesting. Just by looking into someone’s eyes, I told me a lot of things about that person’s personality. The posture, the atmosphere, the smile, and mostly importantly, eyes. I met a kizomba teacher Flip Fe and we had a Berlin White, having a good conversation. What an amazing meetup.

Dec 21st

I met Artem in Berlin. Artem is the one introduced Sam Cruz, a Columbian cyclist who inspired my cycling trip. He and Grace gave me some good advice about living in Berlin. Then I met Alex at the Alexanderpark, and we walked along the Mitte and had a beer at Rosenthaler Platz. Then I met Udi at the Potsdamer Platz, and we walked along the Kreuzberg. We had Vietnamese food - Budda roll and Vietnamese Pancake for dinner.

Dec 22nd

I went to flea market in Maeur Park with Mike.

I’m in Mauer Park. Here I see merchants selling candle stand, Palo Santo, a holy stick or an aromatic incense, Billows, and Muscats. But the best thing I found here is Wurst! It was so good! To fight the cold, I drank Sahlep.

Then I came back home to rest. It was my first time to be back home at 4:30 p.m. in Germany. And it was the first time that I really missed rice, seaweed and kimchi! Later Nils' friend Youngeun came. And together we cooked fried rice. When I ate it, I realized that I really missed rice.

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