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Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

Dare I say it? Berlin actually lived up to its hype.And that’s including the fact that we didn’t even go out at night really because we were only there during the week (and not the weekend) so there wasn’t much going on. On Wednesday, Brianne and I tried to go to thrifting happy hour at one of Berlin’s many thriftstores, Garage. It wasn’t all that great. We explored the Neuköln area, and, desperate to get brats and sauerkraut at least once while we were in Germany, stopped by some hip German deli/café and got our wish. Only, the sauerkraut wasn’t really sauerkraut, it was like a light coleslaw which was delicious nonetheless and the whole thing was served with a delicious, mustardy potato salad.

I also had my first Club Mate, a carbonated tea drink (weird, right? And NOT to be confused with kombucha) apparently only sold, or perhaps only popular in Berlin. My heart held up to the large amount of caffeine in it and I survived to say that it’s pretty good. Not stupendous or anything, but interesting and absolutely worth a try. After he was done with class, Cyrus met up with us and we each had a liter of beer at Hofbrauhaus, a beer hall reminiscent of the Augustiner in Austria but way more touristy and not as cool, though the beer was tasty. We capped off the night with 70¢ beers at Cyrus’s friend Cassandra’s house.

On Thursday, after waking up late and meeting Cyrus and Cassandra for a lazy falafel picnic at a nearby park, Brianne and I embarked on a Berlin food tour, suggested by her brother Josh. Our first stop was a café because we were stuffed from the falafel. Brianne ordered an iced coffee, or so she thought. What came out was coffee with two scoops of vanilla ice cream in it. Even better! We waited a little while longer and headed to Curry 36, the most famous currywurst place in Berlin. Currywurst, for those of you who don’t know, is a wurst (sausage) covered in ketchup and curry powder. Sounds basic but it’s always the basic things that are best. After another stroll and stumbling upon another thrift store Brianne had looked up (Colours), I grabbed ice cream at a poppin’ little kids’ ice cream joint. One scoop for 1 euro. My kinda place. I got a scoop of dark chocolate and a scoop of salted caramel. Great palate cleanser (ha) for our next stop, Mustafa’s kebab.

Though Cyrus warned us that this place was “overrated”, it ended up being our favorite of the day. What set this kebab apart from the rest was its grilled vegetables and potatoes and extra spices, like a heavy sprinkling of dill. We had a pretty calm night after a failed attempt at going to Teuflesberg. I ate Cyrus’s famous (or perhaps not-so-famous) curry rice before I left on Friday and set out on a long ass journey.

I departed from Berlin HBF station at 14:50, got to Munich around 20:00, and then transferred to a night train headed for Florence at around 21:30. All was going well and I had my own sleeping cabin for a while, until a family of 5 came in and decided to wreak havoc. It wasn’t that bad except the kids thought I was asleep and kept staring at me incessantly (because I’m Asian?) and then woke up at an ungodly hour and started talking to each other. We were supposed to arrive in Florence at 6:00, but apparently while I was asleep the train broke down and there was a 3 hour delay. Luckily I only missed one transfer to Siena once we were in Florence, and after an hour and a half train ride to Siena, I had to wait an hour and a half for the train to Buonconvento, my final destination. I finally arrived at 12:30, so I spent almost 24 hours travelling by train. Phew.

Then it was time for WWOOF. To be continued…


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