Saturday, November 28, 2009

ABC alternative Berlin

I finally took time to write down few reccomendations for everyone who is interested in less tourists sights of Berlin, especially East part. Not only because it is bursting from alternative culture and is much more colorful and cheaper than West, but also because I live there :).

So here's what you can check out:

Køpi is "occupied" house on Köpenickerstr. 137 which has a long history of fighting for it's legal rights and is today autonomous housing project and (alternative) cultural center. Cool parties and happening till late morning hours. Also very wallet friendly.

Mauerpark flea market happens every Sunday in memorial park, dedicated to Berlin wall. It's one of the biggest I've seen, where you can buy everything from bicycles to records and products from young Berlin artists. And while you're browsing through various stands, you can treat yourself with some coffee or freshly made juice/food.

Bethanien is basically an old mansion, functioning as cultural center. Various cultural events and rich alternative activistis and political happening will not dissapoint those, who seek something more than just a night out.

Cafe Datscha - Cute russian cafe, decorate in Soviet style. On Sundays from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. you can get the most amazing brunch (all u can eat) buffet, I've ever had. Extremely tasty food, fingerfood and sweets - for about 9 EUR. Also they serve my favorite soft drink Wostok - natural energy drink, very tasty, very Berlin. Unfortunately not so easy to get outside Kreuzberg.

Kptn. A. Müller is very cool pub at my favorite street - Simon-Dach Strasse. It is one of those places that are typical for East Berlin and look like a livingroom from the 80's. Wallet friendly prices, satisfying variety of beers, cocktails, soft drinks and snacks are some reasons why it is quite popular. Also you can play table football for free. Unfortunately it does not open before 6 p.m.

Café Bar Sofia - very cool smoker (and wallet) friendly bar, with special affections for kitsch. They don't mind if you bring in your own food, also they have quite interesting toilet. Nice little café, most of the nights music is indie orientated.

Görlitzer Park is nice huge park, right near U-bahn station Görlitzer Bahnhof. What makes it special is that very alive through most of the year. Young people mostly bring their drinks and hang out or bring their grills and make picnics. Yes, it is one of the parks where you can grill food. Very cool, especially in the summer.

So this was something to start with. Stay tuned for more tips.

Useful websites:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Is nationality really that important? Does it define us? Did it become an inherent part of our lives from which we can't be separated? Why?

Personally I don't think it matters at all. Sure, your cultural surroundings have influenced who you've become and probably also how you behave. But I don't feel like I belong to a country, I don't raise flags and I also don't think there's anything wrong with that. In words of Virginia Woolf:
"As a woman I have no country. As a woman my country is the whole world."

I think nationality is too often used only to enhance somebodies importance or insignificance. To make a bigger gap between "us" and "them". Here's how:

Sports - I don't really watch sports, I like doing them. But how come that winning a game makes us feel we overruled the country of the other team? Does our educational system suck less because of that? Are we more happy with our government? Of course the true sport spirit says, it's all about participating, not winning. But then again nobody really likes to be a loser, right?

Death - I can't really understandf why is it so important to stress that none of Slovenians (or any other nationalities) have been killed during the plane crash. As if their lives would be more important than lives of other people. What is really the purpose of this information? To calm down potential relatives of people who might be on that plane? Don't you think they would be informed already and probably not by the news? To calm down the others, that there is not any less of us? What?

While we are mourning over death of "our" important citizen which we knew mostly from the newspapers, we forget thousands that are being killed every day on the other side of the globe. Is their death somehow less significant, because they didn't manage to achieve anything "important" while they were dieing over water and territory?

Celebrities - Everytime someone discovers something important or makes an entrance to public sphere, whether a pop star or a scientist, often we hear that their grandparents were e.g. half Polish, or they studied in the capital of this and this country. Like we would want to pin a part of their achievements to our country. To prove we are somehow connected to great minds. Of course we are not so eager to share this joy when it comes to e.g. killers. Nobody wants to brag about "their" socipaths.

So according to my experience, nationalities are mostly about US and THEM. I don't think there is THEM at all. I think it's only us. And we all matter.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Easy Saturday morning

On Saturdays I go to the market. Even if I don't need to buy anything. I take coffee from the Italian guy. He's always in a good mood, smiling, greeting people with "Buongiorno" and inviting them to try his home made Tiramisu. You can easily notice he's not faking niceness. He's truely enjoying his work, doing it with a big smile.

It is sunny and people seem relaxed. I drink cappuccino and roll a cigarette. He pours more milk into my coffee, we do small talk, both in bad German but nobody really cares. I compliment on the coffee - it's really delicious. He thanks me and whishes me a nice weekend.

I take a walk through the market, sun is bringing out the autumn colors of the trees. The city look even more beautiful. Families are playing on the plaground in the middle of the market, people are enjoying their coffee and buying fresh fruits and veggies. Time doesn't exist anymore, there is only now. Yes, this is home.