Print Story Somewhere in Berlin
Travel
By BadDoggie (Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 06:09:00 AM EST) Berlin, rain, shithole (all tags)
For no really good reason sugar spun and I decided to fuck off to Berlin with the puppy in tow for a few days to meet up with various friends including Hulver and rebound rabbit. It was the second time in the capital city for both of us.

We found out what we already knew: we really like living in Munich.



Berlin is ugly, pretentious, and so rude their people make "normal" Germans look like fawning staff from the Waldorf Astoria. Despite being Germany's largest city (with a whole 3.6M people), shit's cheap (especially rent). Most shit, but not hotels.

In typical German fashion, they are beyond overstated. The gay pr0n shop named:


Gay XX
DVD's * Toy's * Peepshow * Cruising

was just too subtle, so clearly what was needed were some giant outline cocks on the front windows, pointed tastefully into the leathermen mannequins' mouths.

The weather makes England look like Mallorca. It only ever stopped raining long enough to get us to walk far enough away from shelter (like halfway between the Brandenburg Gate and the Sony Center) to catch us out again. Like here, where it started pissing down on us again right as we started getting near the Brandenburg Gate.

Mildly Naughty Puppy at the Brandenburg Gate
Mildly Naughty Puppy in her usual World Landmark Pose

We did find a Chinese restaurant up from the Zoo called Good Friends which, though very pricey, was very good (primarily Hong Kong style with a limited á la carte dim sum menu). We also found a Vietnamese restaurant called Alapha around the corner from our third and final hotel. Small but clean & modern, family-run, the prices were fair and the food was excellent. Everything was cooked fresh and as an indicator of quality, they use mild Asian cilantro instead of the strong (and cheap) Western stuff.

As good as those two restaurants were (and we went back to both), they are the diamonds among the giant steaming pile of a city, home of such tourist attractions as the Currywurst "Museum". You would think that something so absurd as a museum dedicated to currywurst -- especially one that charges €11/person entry -- would be fun. You might also think that it would be impossible to suck out every last drop of the fun and amusement of a show like Total Wipeout can provide, a TV program based purely on the concept of schadenfreude. You'd be wrong on both counts.

The "museum" is about the size of a 100-seat restaurant and, unlike the product it claims to celebrate, is mostly filler, from a wall with a few TV screens running loops of TV scenes which took place by a currywurst stand, to a giant display of spices which might -- might -- be used in the sauce, though actual information (or for that matter, display) only existed for a few of them, the rest being some graphics on the wall.

There was one little shining moment in there during which we accomplished the impossible: getting the best of a German granny. The Puppy was wearing her squeaky shoes and occasionally not being bored out of her gourd when some Oma came up to us to tell us how loud the squeaking was. "Yes," I replied, "She's a baby. Babies make noise. Should she run around barefoot?"

The granny tried to respond but couldn't, probably because she'd already chewed out some other couple earlier in the day for their kid's feet not being well-wrapped enough. She stormed off.

This is the second-most visited "museum" in Berlin. Number one is the Beate Uhse "sex museum", something you also don't bother visiting even if you're drunk.

Brunch on Sunday with hulver & rr was nice and the sprog was well-behaved. Afterward we all headed toward the Zoo where our intarwebs friends presumably went off in search of bicycles (or possibly to a museum we might have recommended during the meal). I knew the clouds were waiting for us to drop all that coin on Zoo entry tickets to open up so we hopped a bus hoping we'd stumble across something cool as we usually do or at least catch a couple of good photos of the Puppy. Clouds got us anyway, having opened up about 20 seconds before the above pic was taken. We headed back toward the Sony Center.

There was a Lego World in the place which sold itself as kid-friendly... without the caveat that your kids had to be able to fend off rambunctious and violent children at least twice their size. No mention that the two cool rides had minimum and maximum heights, so the toddler couldn't get on them. Which left us having paid €30 to listen to a load of screaming brats as our Puppy was banished to the Duplo pit in which she also couldn't play because of the ten-year-olds already in there. And the kids were, by and large, little more than mild reflections of their shitty parents.

Warning: Berlin Tegel (TXL) is a truly shitty airport which has the gall to set the Coke machines to €3.30 (even Munich only charges €2.80 in the captive areas). Info staff cheerfully listen to your questions, then consult other info staff with whom they discuss the question. After this the staff member you can't see flips a coin and you're finally told to do the opposite of whatever it is you need to do.

Tourism in Berlin is basically the Wall itself and things related to it. That's right, the one thing they wanted gone is the one reason everyone keeps coming to visit. They must be kicking themselves for having torn it down.

Berlin: Why wait for another war to raze it again?

< Happy Fourth of July! | A productive holiday >
Somewhere in Berlin | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Did you not visit by Herring (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:09:05 AM EST
the Berliner China Shop? Very famous - up there with Cheeses of Nazareth.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
I heard a documentary on the radio last night. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 07:11:39 AM EST
It's about how everyone from where you live is a few sandwiches short of a picnic. Can't quite remember the name, but I think it was something like "From Surrey, I Haven't a Clue".

[ Parent ]
I feel vindicated by this diary. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:09:29 AM EST
Berlin's a shite place for families. Also, I'm mostly annoyed by the errant apostrophes in that sign.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Correction: by sugar spun (4.00 / 1) #5 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 11:42:13 AM EST
Berlin's a shite place for families.

[ Parent ]
Correction: by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 05:45:11 PM EST
It's a great place to get laid. Way better than America.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
If only the apostrophe's were the wor'st bit by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 11:52:41 AM EST
Even fucking Budapest was more family-friendly and handicapped-accessible. Berlin's public transport is a maze of multiple levels of long walkways, staircases, and massive & uneven gaps, and most entrances require crossing into a split median over cobblestones. It's also expensive as hell considering the piss-poor coverage.

They seem to have defeated the scratchers by adding white silhouettes of the B'burg gate in a multi-directional pattern to all the glass. TRhe downside is that instead of not being able to see through 80% of the windows covered in graffiti, now you can't see through 100% of the windows covered in sideways landmarks. For the same reason, the vinyl seats are covered in what could only be described as "someone hacked the digital cammo printshop and ran:

      :s/green/purple/g
    :s/brown/pink/g

woof.

Jesus Christ you're a tool -- Dr Thrustgood

[ Parent ]
You daughter is adorable by yankeehack (4.00 / 2) #4 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 10:18:18 AM EST
that is all. Carry on.
"...she dares to indulge in the secret sport. You can't be a MILF with the F, at least in part because the M is predicated upon it."-CBB
Seconded. by Phage (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 12:31:43 PM EST
Awwwwww...

[ Parent ]
Thank you. by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 03:36:46 PM EST
I understand my wife has set up a little sideline business selling my services as a provider of recessive haploid cells. You might want to ping her.

woof.

Jesus Christ you're a tool -- Dr Thrustgood

[ Parent ]
Berlin tourism by Merekat (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 12:01:33 PM EST
I found Berlin tourism very much anchored around the guilt industry. All german guilt about WW2, east german oppression etc. has an outlet in Berlin.

It retails national embarrassment.

Berlin: I liked it by brokkr (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 02:26:54 PM EST
Then again, I don't have any puppies in tow. Public transport mostly seemed to work and the Ägyptisches Museum, Topographie des Terrors, the Stasi Museum and the Jüdisches Museum were good. If you're going to the Currywurst museum you're asking for it yourself :)
--
Deyr fé, deyja frændr, deyr sjalfr it sama,
ek veit einn, at aldrei deyr: dómr um dau∂an hvern.

We expected only a little amusement by BadDoggie (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Jul 05, 2011 at 02:51:11 PM EST
We had no high hopes. When you watch an infomercial you don't compare it to Aida or Cosi Fan Tutte and we didn't. But you also don't expect the Cillit Bang bastard to smash down your door and kick you in the nuts, pointing and giggling at you as he lifts your wallet and pisses on the sofa.

woof.

Jesus Christ you're a tool -- Dr Thrustgood

[ Parent ]
Despite all the unhappieness by ReboundRabbit (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 07:44:22 AM EST
It was great of you guys coming down to see us. We really appreciated it, but even more, we really enjoyed it! The brunch was nice, sadly we didn't have more time to spend with you. But we were so eager to cycle at least 10m without getting wet. Well, we managed to push the bike from the shop around the corner. Then it started to rain. But oh well, we had loads of fun anyway ... :-)

Optional activity: Standing around and enjoying life. -- Jan Gehl (Architect)

(Comment Deleted) by robot lover (2.00 / 0) #14 Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 08:01:29 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by robot lover



€3.30 for a Coke?! by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 10:20:26 AM EST
That's almost $5.  How much are you getting for that exorbitant sum?  Most vending machines around here sell 20oz bottles for $1.25, and I don't think I've ever seen a vending machine (even in "captive" areas) sell for more than $2.00.

11-16oz, depending by BadDoggie (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Jul 06, 2011 at 11:34:25 AM EST
But ours is at least made with sugar, not NFCS.

woof.

Jesus Christ you're a tool -- Dr Thrustgood

[ Parent ]
Somewhere in Berlin | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback