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Jan 27th Eva Berlin Diary: Moving to a new place in Wedding, Celebrating Korean New Year's Day

Happy Korean New Year's Day everyone. This is the last week of my German course A1.1 in Berlin. From next week, I will be starting A1.2.

Weekly expenditure:

147.86 euros (63.86 euros for food / 84 euros for 1 month transportation)

Other expenses:

200 euros for staying in Nils' house for 1 month

Jan 19th


I came back to Berlin, and it’s not cold. I have enlightened and enjoyed during the past 9 days.

I feel like I’m cleansed with water from the Red Sea. I remember the beautiful blue sea, and the smile.

Berlin is shining with sun, it’s nice day. I don’t have to button up my padded coat. I got so much used to Berlin. I see that calmness. I see the people calm and reserved. I see graffiti and gravity.

I’m so much thankful to Berlin. It’s so clean. The people are so well dressed all together in the public transportation. I like the cold here. I like their solemn faces. I like the variety of people in the subway. I don’t feel vulnerable or being watched. People are so much concerned with their own business. I like their coolness.

On the way home I bought a pack of fruits at 2 euros. And when I get down I forgot to take it with me.

When I arrived home Sue and Ahen made kimbap and thukppoki. Wow it was epic. It was so delicious.

Bye Heinersdorf, I liked watching the scenery in M2. I liked to pass the garden to come home. I loved the mint colored staircase. Everytime I looked at the picture I realized that I’m same age with reunified Berlin.

Moving to my new flat was so easy, because my friend Nouri helped me out. He came with his car and helped me bring down my 30kg luggage while I bring down 2 backpacks and 3 bags on both hands. We swooshed to my new flat. At first I have mistaken the house, so I was trying to open wrong door. It was only when a guy with a rather surprised face open the door that I noticed I have mistaken.

I’m sitting in U8 opposite to three teenagers with cheeks red, and long boards in their thighs. They were baggy jeans and big padded jacket. And they are busy on their phones. A 1 liter water bottle lies near them.

첫 한 달은 발산 했으니 이제 수렴할 차례다.
이 집에서 나는 뿌리를 내리고 꽃을 피울 거다.
소중한 사람만 집에 초대할 거다.
그리고 된장국을 만들어 줄거다.

(같이 독일어 수업을 듣는 자넷을 초대해서 된장국을 만들어주었다.)

Jan 20th

I just went to Tango meetup. I didn’t fall into it. I like bachata better. I don’t like that you don’t look into each other’s eyes when dancing Tango. But I liked listening to German for 3 hours and the cakes they offered. I had a piece of plum cake and apple cake. I danced with Leonard, an accountant. It was surprising to see that he came here with his parents. The words I picked up: Kurtz, Langsam, Unsere

Jan 21st

I went to Miri's meetup how to memorize 100 words a day. The key message was that I need to break down the words to what I'm familiar with. Apart from that, I keep on smiling.

Jan 22nd

Ah, I forgot to take the key when I leave the house! I had to visit Thomas to his workplace to receive the key to the house. While waiting for his message, I went to a cafe near my house and bought this spinach cheese bread. I ate the remainder for breakfast next morning.

작년 11월에 독일 다큐 팀이 한국에 와서 인산죽염 (치약이 아니고요, 대나무 소금이요) 그리고 수능 취재를 했을 때 현지 코디네이터, 통역을 맡았었다. 그리고 드디어 죽염 다큐가 지난 19일 독일에서 방영되었다. 시청자들의 반응이 꽤나 뜨거웠다고 폴이 말해주었다. 완성된 영상을 보니 그때 좋았던 추억들이 떠오르고 내 번역이 성우의 멘트로 실린 것이 무척 뿌듯하다. :) 영상은 독일 VPN이 있어야 볼 수 있다.

When German documentary company Comberry came to Korea to film bamboo salt and Korean SAT, I was their translator and coordinator. Finally, the bamboo salt video is out. It was broadcasted on Galileo on Prosieben on Jan 19th. I'm helping the bamboo salt company find a distributor in Germany. If you happen to know any food distributor or upscale restaurant interested in using high quality salt, please let me know! If you want to see the clip, you need German VPN.

This graph shows that there was a hype of viewers on TV when bamboo salt documentary was broadcasted.

Jan 22th
Ich stehe auf um 3:43.

생각이 너무 많다. 왜 그렇게 힘들었을까. 뭔가 불편했다.

I went to German sauna.

베를린 적십자에서 아침 9시에 일 주에 세 번 독일어 수업 무료로 한다고 한다. 대신 기혼자들만 들을 수 있다고. 국적의 다양성을 원하기 때문에 무척 반긴다고.

Jan 23rd

I’m at Rafi’s place in Mitte.

Rafi was born in New York. She lived in San Francisco
“San Francisco in 80s was not a good place to live in like these days. There were a lot of drug addicts and people were murdered, and people had indirect harms from the drug. “

Rafi moved to Paris in 1982 and spent 3 years there, and she moved to Berlin in 1985. She received a vacation invitation from Berlin. When she moved to Berlin, she easily found job as an English teacher. At that time not many people spoke English and only knowing how to turn on the computer was considered wow.

After working as an English teacher for 2 years she applied for German university.

“If you register for a German university, they will allow you to work 20 hours a week. You also get a free city transportation.”

It was 2015 when Rafi’s best friend passed away that she started working with bikes.

“My friend used to be a flight attendant for Lufthansa and I appreciated her perspective on being German American. “

She suddenly died. Rafi just met her the day before her death. Rather than the feeling of sadness Rafi felt anger. She met neurologist and found ways to express anger. It was that time when she found a quarter of bike lying on the fence. She took it and started to dismantle it.

“It was constructive way of expressing my anger. I loved it. Then I went to a university and asked if I can take the thrown away bikes home”

She started to bring bikes to her home, and she dismantled them. She gathered few bikes and more parts came in. She sometimes sold repaired bikes and bought other parts.

"I never really done this in my life, you know, dismantling bikes, but I become passionate about it," she says. “I want to teach woman how to be a mechanic. When I went to college in mechanics there were so few woman. It needs to be changed. People should get out of their comfort zone and stretch out. Also, there are so many bikes in Berlin that are thrown away. I hope I can repair them and send them to Africa. There are children who has to walk 20km to walk to school. I hope they can cycle to their school."

If anyone is interested in getting a secondhand bike, and learn how to fix their bike, plz write to Rafy!

Jan 24th

On weekdays I have German class from 8:30 to 12:45, with 20 minutes 2 breaks in between. After coming home, I reviewed what I learned today. It’s getting more and more difficult as we start to learn vorsilben like abfahren, abholen, ankommen, aussteigen.. Plus German Artikel is so confusing! I have to memorize if it’s masculine, feminine or in the middle.. wow learning German is really something... #learninggerman My classmate Ionut always bring a box of chocolate and shares it with us. Yup learning German is bitter, but it’s sweet sometimes. #berlin #wedding #myroom #candles (The area where I live in Berlin is called Wedding)

Here's a comment from Maridel Fredericksen, a friend I met in Osaka last year: Yay German! Yes articles are the worst. Der Käse and die Wurst confuse me...definitely should be die Käse in my mind...also die Gabel and der Lö And die Sonne vs der Mond is opposite of every other language I've learned...the moon is not masculine! 😄 And of course, if you use the wrong article, then all your adjective endings get messed up too and the whole sentence is fucked. BUT psst, *whispers* even if you get all the articles wrong, people will still understand you (for the most part).
Anyway good luck and have fun! And once you're starting to gain some more confidence, come visit Basel and we'll turn everything on its head with Swiss German! ;) Fasnacht is coming up in early March, and it's 3 days of weird, crazy fun that's worth witnessing once in your life

This is what I bought at the Turkish market.

2.90 cappuccino
1 euro: 15 avocados
1 euro: 10 mangos
2 euros: 2 tomatoes
5.5 euros for Lach (salmon)
3.5 euros for chocolate tea


It was 5pm when I got invited to Korean New Year’s Day potluck party hosted by Manoj. With Manoj, Kell, Marius and Ally, we celebrated the day together. Kell, a 22 year old Korean, was an amazing person. Just a week after finishing military service he was traveling Europe by hitchhiking and Couchsurfing. He told me he had to stand in the highway for 4 hours in Prague, and later took Flix bus to come to Berlin. He reminded me of my brother. 9 years ago, right after finishing his military service, my brother and I traveled Europe together, and we were in Germany. Kell said he wants to be a pilot because he likes flying. I liked his simple answer. Manoj was successful 24 year old Python developer who won number of hackerthon and now giving speeches in many overseas countries. Marius was science fiction movie director, and I thought it’s so cool. We had a nice conversation until 1 am, and we went back home. I loved these people. We just met, but we got so close in a matter of time. Manoj, thank you so much for hosting this event. And Kell, good luck on your lifetime journey.

It’s 1:51 and I’m waiting for U8. I might get home at 2:16 and get to bed at 2:30.
It was lovely night

Jan 25th

I'm in Rosa Park cafe near my house, and I'm listening to "Save room" by John Legend.

It’s Korean New Year’s Day. I did a home party at my home. It’s been one week since I move to this place, and I mostly live here alone. I was quite lonely, and I thought of throwing a potluck party at my house.
I talked to my friends in German class. I invited Masako and Yaneth but they couldn’t make it since they both had to take care of their children. Szymon and Ionut said they can come. I wanted to invite other girls, so I talked to Niki. She said she will come.

Ionut and Szymon came. Szymon is really knowledgeable about both South Korea and North Korea because he reads a lot of books. He made Pierogi z kapustą i grzybami, which was like a Polish dumpling. He said they can put in meat, cheese or cabbage.

Ionut was raised in Romania and his family moved to Italy when he was 11. He used to work as a Facebook Moderator and it was so interesting. He said there are 80 people in charge of Italy market and 40 people in charge of Germany.

There were more people in charge of Arabic market because IS spread through Facebook. He also said there are so many fake news from Israel and Palestine. He said that people would use their child as a shield, and when they get shot, they will cry over them, and journalists will take pictures to report about it.

He also said that the policy changes time to time. They get 2 weeks of education, and they get new policy notice from Facebook. Facebook moderators check 800 reports for 8 hours in average.

"If you could only do 200 a day because you saw something uncomfortable, that was totally fine," Ionut said. He said his top record is watching 1600 reports a day.

Later Nikki came with Dennis and Fiorella. It’s my first time to throw a big party like this at my place, because I always lived with other flat mates. I loved it. I enjoyed cooking for my friends, trying their food, and seeing new possibilities like how to make Vegan dish with protein. I also used the dish washer for the first time. It was interesting to see how a place that seems so calm can be transformed into a cozy party place for 5 people. Thanks everyone for coming! The next morning after doing dishes, vacuuming the house and doing the recycling, I served myself with a cup of tea and a piece of apple cake. #homeparty #berlin #germanclassmates

Jan 26th

Today is the one year anniversary of reaching London on a bicycle. Yes, I reached London at 4:30 pm on 26th of January, 2019. And guess what, today I found my horse in Berlin. Rafi invited me to her house and we repaired a secondhand bike together. We adjusted the seat to my height and I bought the bike. Cycling home with my bike, I felt like I’m wearing a superhero uniform. It gave me that confidence that I can go anywhere on the wheels. Crossing the street with the bike, and cycling on the cycling lane, I gained new perspective of the city. My second season on a bike just began. I also decided to translate “Cycling the Silk Road and the letters on the road” into English, because I meet so many people here wanting to read my book in English. It’s so amazing, because I didn’t even try to buy a bike. My past journey follows me, and the bike came to me like a magnet. I can feel that there is another kind of gravity that works on the surface of myself.

이 글이 무척 와닿았다. 시간을 느끼는 방법이 글쓰기라니. 정말 그런 것 같다.

What I ate in the past 9 days: Sauerbraten and Kalbsleder with Thomas, Korean bean paste soup with Yeneth, Vegan dish at Baumhaus. Cheese spinach bread that I bought when I forgot my key in the house, salmon (Lach) that I bought in the Turkish market, thukpokki and kimbab made by Sue, and salmon croissant that I bought on the flight from Kiel to Berlin #mymeals #whatiate #past9days #greentea #croissant #ontheflight #kieltoberlin #breakfast

*EntWeltkarte (Environment card) costs 84 euros, and I can use any transportation in A, B zone in Berlin. From Fri 8pm to Sunday I can take one person for free.

*If someone is looking for a room, they can use eBay Klein Anzeigen.

Jan 27th

Today I went to #bikeworkshop in #berlin #malplaquetstraße 32. There is a free bike workshop on the last Monday of every month from 14:00 to 16:00. I went there with Rafy. We intended to change the gear, but when we opened it, it was so dirty. I even saw a spider and a ladybug inside. So I just cleaned it up and Rafy oiled the teeth. Then it worked out perfectly. I cleaned up both gears. Then one guy helped us to tighten the wire and adjust the right gear. Soon both gears worked very well. Meanwhile there was an old lady named Ushi working right beside us. She was so cool! I loved how she matched the purple hat and pants with bike’s purple color. Not getting any help, she managed to change the wire. She was humming all the time, and I enjoyed watching her doing the work. Wow, I thought. We had a picture together and waved good bye. When I came outside, I saw her smoking and chatting with her friend. Such a cool people live in Berlin, I thought. Rafy and I walked to Bekech where we had nice cup of Cappuccino, ginger tea, apple cake, pretzels and dates. They were charging 5 cents per minute, so I payed only 6.70 for both of us. Then we walked to the bike shop on Pankstrasse to get a bike lock. What a productive day it was! I came back home at 5pm to have dinner.

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