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Post your trip reports, travel experiences, and updates abroad. Or your expat story if you already live overseas. Note: To post photos and images, insert the image URL between the tags [img]and[/img] after uploading them to a third party site.
11 posts • Page 1 of 1
Here's a random brain dump from Berlin, Germany. I'm here for 3 weeks in between finishing my CELTA in Barcelona (I passed!!!) and waiting for my brother's bachelor party posse to turn up here.
I've been in Berlin for about a day and a half now. On arrival at the airport I didn't even have my passport checked, in fact there were no immigration facilities at all. Weird!!!!
I did a bit of research before and found you can get an unlimited transport card for 77 euros a month. So I bought one at the airport and plan on getting my money's worth.
The transport network is impressive here, with masses of buses, trams and of course the legendary U and S-bahn. Trains run until 1am if you like to party and also get home.
Unlike almost everywhere else in the World there are no ticket barriers but plain clothes ticket collectors operate. They are easily identifiable by their cheap sportswear. I've been asked for my ticket once already - I ignored them for a while as I learnt in Barcelona to ignore everyone and everything while sitting on a train.
I studied German for 2 years in school and I still remember lots of it. I found it much easier than French, but that's just me. It's probably because our text books were mostly about trains and food. Anyway, most people you'll encounter speak English so it's not a problem.
I'm looking forward to seeing some historical sites here. Growing up I had a lot of interest in WW2. My grandfather was stationed in Berlin during 1945-46 and was part of the allied contingent that stopped the Russians taking over the entire city. His next door neighbour was tail end charlie in a Lancaster bomber, so I wonder if he ever flew over the city.
I sense there is still a lot of angst here. Has Germany really changed? Instead of blaming jews and gypsies, everyone has been greenwashed into worrying about the environment.
There are lots of annoying things, like no shopping baskets in supermarkets, plus some weird bottle tax. We used to have bottles with deposits in England, but that was in the 1970's when glass was still expensive.
It's been mostly positive so far though. I had some hassle from some gypsy scammers outside the holocaust memorial to gypsies (oh the irony!). Well every city in the world has scammers operating at the main tourist sites - I had the same problem in Shanghai, Guangzhou and of course Barcelona. It was nice to see some locals alerting naive tourists though.
Thankfully I've already done the Reichstag and Brandenburg gate, so I can go and explore the less visited places.
Apartments and hotels are big here - my hotel room's bathroom is actually bigger than my Barcelona room was, lol. If I was staying for longer I'd look for a room in a shared apartment, but it's kind of nice to have some privacy after 4 months in a cramped Barcelona shared apartment.
As for prices, it's very cheap here. I'd say food could actually be cheaper than in Barcelona. Cucumbers can be had for half the price they are in England. Alcohol is also cheap. Dining out is cheap but it helps if you like Turkish or Vietnamese food or sausage.
On the downside there are hardly any public toilets which is annoying with all that beer on offer. Still, Berlin has more trees than any other world city.
There are people drinking beer everywhere here. More so than in England. Also lots of weird people. Again more than there are back home.
I don't think I would take my wife or gf to Berlin on a city break, but it's a good city for a bachelor party and for hanging out in for a while.
Xiongmaio and I went out to an authentic local Berliner beer garden here. Place was packed and we were the only native english speakers there.
They brewed their own beer, wine, whiskey. Clean and safe was also very cheap.
Lots of cuties of all races and nationalities running around unfortunately they were all in groups.
Hey Panda, why not try out the p4p there since it is legal and give us a report? At least Germany has kept p4p legal, unlike other several other European countries. I've read there's even a brothel where you can pay to have a porn video made and get a DVD after your session.
I enjoyed the beer, although craft beer leads to bad hangovers.
I talked to the expat bar man in an Irish bar we went to. He said a lot of interesting stuff about living abroad, but I can't remember any of it.
Germany is weird, and really I think we British should just stay on our island. Still, I am enjoying myself here, not least having a hotel room 5 times bigger than my old room in Barcelona.
There's lots of Eurotrash here. I saw a woman dressed in a nurse's outfit, and her ass was hanging out. She wasn't even in a fetish club, that was in one of Berlin's main stations.
It depresses me that HA is full of people who never travel. Well if you want to travel but don't have any cash here's a biz opp - in Berlin most bottles have a deposit on them, so if you buy a bicycle and learn where the hipsters go to drink you can make a living by not even working here.
Or just live in a commune and offer your services (cooking/cleaning) etc. etc.
I'll post a few more photos of this comparatively little known part of the world. Everyone goes to Barcelona, hardly anyone comes here .
As far as P4P goes, it's 8 euros for Asian.
Actually that's Asian food and a beer - pretty darned cheap, and way cheaper than it was in Spain.
Oh, I forgot to say that Berlin has a huge population of Turkish and Vietnamese women. Vietnamese are cute, I think they have the prettiest faces of all the Asian women. If I stay longer I'll try dating here.
I read that in Germany you have to pay to use public bathrooms I think that is annoying, to have pay money to take a piss.
When you say there are hardly any public toilets, can't you go into a fast food place and use their bathroom if you need to?
How much do they charge to use a public bathroom in Germany?
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
Hmm, it's OK I found some pissoirs which are free but somewhat limited in resources (only for no.1's, not no.2's). I think they are a French invention.
Yes most toilets in Germany have a toiletfrau outside to collect money, it's 0.30 euros in an average department store to 1 euro in a major train station (these have barriers). 1 euro - that's twice the London price, and Berliners only earn half as much!
I took my bottles to the bottle deposit today. It was fun trying to predict which ones it thought were the most valuable. It knows better than I do.
Also ich habe fragen die madchen hier ins Berlin zu machen sie un gut wilkomen
"Well actually, she's not REALLY my daughter. But she does like to call me Daddy... at certain moments..."
OK I am now back from 3 weeks in Berlin. I had a great time there and eurobrat has picked a great place to hang out. Won't anybody else join him and see what you're missing?
Good points about Berlin:
You can do anything there, the only no-no is going on the trains without paying!
The transport network is vast and it was less than 80 euros for a monthly unlimited pass for trains, trams and buses.
Cheap to live there and it would be a great place to live if you're location independent.
It felt safe even in my skinhead/immigrant neighbourhood of Lichtenberg.
It's a great place to party. I got the u-bahn on a Saturday after midnight and, well, I saw some stuff. Goths dressed like Dr Who aliens, a guy who had stolen an olive oil decanter from a restaurant, and a bar crawling party who were singing so much they made the train carriage rock from side to side.
If you're interested in alternative lifestyles then pretty much anything goes there. We got lost at one point, and my dad asked a 6" 3' tranny for directions. A memorable night out.
The food was great, even if Germans eat some weird stuff (I had a curry and pineapple pizza, and another one had French Fries on it).
Hats off to one of the German museum curators for talking freely about the war - it was great for my aging dad to stand in the same spot as his father had stood around 70 years earlier. It actually turns out our family photo archive contains some very rare photographs of great interest to those interested in post-war Berlin.
Not many well paid jobs there, especially if you don't speak German. English teaching is a much smaller industry than it is in Spain.
While there is an IT startup scene, it's only there because people can't find jobs. By contrast the London/UK startup scene is big because of all the talent and pool of investors.
German frugality can be annoying at times, like getting half a bread roll with your sausage (why not a whole one!!!)
Much the same crappy weather as we have in England.
Well that's just my opinion, how about others?
While I was there my brother had his bachelor party there and all his friends thought Berlin was worth 10 out of 10 stars. No complaints at all really.
I lead them on one night out and got them partying down in trendy Kreuzberg. We went in an Indian restaurant and had a whole load of food and alcohol for just 20 euros a head. My brother got served a cocktail that was on fire, and there was so much alcohol in it he had trouble extinguishing the flames. The food was great value, if you overlooked the serving of Indian basmati rice and naan breads with SE Asian cuisine lol. Yes German food is quite weird.
The only downer to our weekend of beer and girls was that the girlie bars were actually quite hard to find. A lot of the ones on Google maps had closed down but we took the advice of a tout and went to the bar he was promoting.
The nice thing about Berlin is that unlike Barcelona, hardly anyone is there to rip you off. Even the tourist trap boat trip down the river had reasonably priced drinks on board.
Anyway, back to ladies... It being a bachelor party, we clubbed together for a girlie dance. In Western Europe you're not going to get a Bangkok gogo bar style place with 4 euro drinks and girls who will be all over you for free. But we clubbed together to get a bit of a 4 girl show. The girls were all German. Two blondes, two brunettes. They took it in turns to entertain us. Two kept their knichers on, the other two did the full monty. Bangkok/Berlin is very much quality vs. quantity - Berlin had less girls but they were tremendous dancers. One was probably a professional gymnast earlier in life and she flexed into positions I didn't think were possible. Also one had a lot of tattoos but the sluttiness of that makes the girl hotter IMHO. Oh, two had piercings and they weren't in their ears. I never saw that in Bangkok.
As for P4P, it is available and is very widespread. There are even all you can f*ck places with flat rate fees. For research purposes I did have a walk down one of the P4P streets. There were lots of girls walking around at all hours of the day, and they were dressed in very revealing outfits. I was impressed with the quality. From their accents/language I'd say a lot were from the Czech Republic.
Anyway, if you have any Q's about Berlin, then I'll try to answer them, if not eurobrat will help out.