This was an awesome weekend, quite unexpected too. This post right now is only a short diary about Saturday, but Friday evening and Sunday were pretty off the charts too. We were supposed to stay home the whole time, taking care of some stuff we’ve been neglecting during the last few weeks, since our rounds of “summer” guests are starting soon. Instead, the sun actually decided to shine and we went to get our much needed photosynthesis fix. Saturday started off with a ridiculously huge late breakfast prepared by moi-même. Shower, get dressed, remember comfortable shoes, and out of the door we were. We headed to Neukölln, a part of Berlin we don’t know that well except from the famous stove-heated apartment we checked out a few months back. We felt like walking around and wanted to get to know the area a little better so we ringed to Hermannstrasse and then U8 for a stop ‘til Leinestrasse. Our first stop was Bolu, the best Turkish supermarket we’ve been too so far, with a variety of fresh herbs on top of the usual panoply of spices we were desperately needing to stock up on.
Although this is not Berliny at all (Berliners tend to live life in their hoods), I’ve become the Ring’s greatest fan (for those of you unfamiliar with the Berlin transport system, the city centre is surrounded by a circular railway commonly referred to as the Berlin Ringbahn) and definitely see myself going all the way to Neukölln just to go to Bolu. We wouldn’t have found it without Dan and Audrey’s advice, so vielen Dank guys! As if that wouldn’t make my day – from a spice related perspective – we also found our favourite Indian curry paste in a tiny tiny Vietnamese/all-things-Asian shop. It took us 4 months but we finally found it. Happy happy happy. Can finally make my famous zucchini and curry lasagna again!
We then walked a couple of miles, under a seemingly hand-drawn sky, had lunch in an anonymous little wasp-infested place with a couple exchanging a friendly German-Turkish tandem lesson on our right and a head-to-toe tattooed and pregnant German couple on our left, grabbed a take away espresso at a wasp-infested coffee stand (seriously, is Berlin that sweet??), walked some more, and reached bike heaven. We’ve been looking for bikes for so long we were already giving in to the idea that we might as well wait until next spring. But Ana had kindly unveiled a few days before the exact location of the tiny shop where she bought her über cool dutch bike at and we thought “hell, why not?”. Still in Neukölln, we walked some more, expectations quite low given our previous unlucky attempts, but, surprisingly enough, we left the place with two pretty decent rides!
OK, they need a little cleaning up, removal of weird stickers and I could definitely use a cute wicker basket on top of my front wheel but, yeah! we have bikes! I still have to master the whole weird German braking system so that I don’t look like a complete moron whenever I have to start off with my left foot but, apart from that: yeah! So off to Treptower Park we went, biked around the Spree a little, and back home. Showered again and went out again for a lovely meal in Mitte at Monsieur Vuong (and I’m not a fan of the Vietnamese cuisine but this place is definitely worth it) with some friends from Milan. Top that with a good half hour of being licked by my favourite two pugs in the world and the most adorable bullmastiff pup (with a pug complex), a sweet late desert at Spree Gold and call it a night.
In my book, that’s rocking the definition of a good, productive, Saturday.