Trip Start Jul 16, 2013
Trip End Oct 07, 2013

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Flag of Germany  , Brandenburg,
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

My day started with some more Russian tutoring. Back out at Antonplatz, sort of suburbia. It's pretty good when you can sit outside a takeaway shop over a beer and a coffee for two hours.

A suburban hairdresser with some great signage. Near here was a German version of Chickenfeed where I whiled away some time buying some unusual odds and ends.

On the tram back I couldn't resist getting a couple of pics of with a beer.

Even better - taking a swig. Needless to say no-one abuses this and you simply don't come across any yobbos. Though they could well be in the next suburb over...

This looks like fun. Trampolines combined with the sort of harnesses that they use for training acrobats.

Walking back home from the tramstop I came across some young people from Hong Kong on a group tour. They weren't paying that much attention to the German guide so I tagged along for a bit and had a chat with them.

They weren't actually part of a tour group as such rather they were traveling together and staying in a backpackers and some other people had organised a tour of Berlin graffiti along with a guide so they decided to give it a go too.

I must say that although I'm not a fan of graffiti as it generally makes cities pretty uniform as there doesn't seem to be that much variation in styles of graffiti, the guide made it pretty interesting and had a lot of detail to impart.

Different methods for applying the graffiti, the various signatures of the artists/vandals etc.

In the meantime Natalia had sent me a link to a website that lists things on in Berlin. A gig guide, but only things that are free. There were heaps of things on ranging from poetry readings, jam sessions, quiz nights, Ido lessons... What! Ido lessons?

For those that don't know Ido is an off-shoot of Esperanto with only a few hundred speakers - not counting me. I would have liked to have given the local club a bit of a surprise by turning up but the address given on the website didn't seem to make sense and the Ido Society website itself didn't instil much confidence as that hadn't been updated for over a year.

For the above reasons I decided on a trip to Potsdam instead. There was supposed to be some rock concert on in commemoration of reunification, by the river that used to separate East and West Berlin..

So off I went.

Potsdam's about 20 kilometres away but still accessible via the normal city transportation network though I presume it takes the zone ABC ticket which I dutifully bought.

A view of the station to set the scene.

And as usual there are usually a few dogs to be seen.

Once I got off the train in Potsdam there was still a three kilometre walk to the street mentioned on the website. I set off rather late and the train took over an hour so it was getting dark as I started my walk.

But there was some pretty interesting architecture. This is the gate to some royal garden. It's rather a pity that I didn't have more time.

The houses were pretty interesting too. This was obviously no ordinary suburb.

I finally found the concert. It took a while before I heard any music in the distance so I was beginning to doubt my map.

But eventually I heard music and found he concert by the river.

To say there weren't many people there is a bit of an understatement. But they were selling sausages and beer and the music was in German

Appropriately enough for the theme of the concert it was figuratively in the shadow of one of the last watch towers left after reunification. Perhaps they should have left more, or perhaps they were too painful to leave. People probably enjoyed pulling hem down.

Certainly a very picturesque spot.

I think I'm going to find some interesting stuff through his website over the next few days.

In the dark I decided I'd be better off trying to catch a tram back to the station in Potsdam. I'd presumed that it would be in the other direction but luckily I'd seen a tram on the way down indicating that as usual I'd got the direction completely wrong.

It probably means that I'd walked much further in the first place and missed out on most of the town

But here's the suburban tram-stop, out in the open, complete with, of all things, an internet device.

It looks rather exposed with just the shelter to keep the rain off.

It's strange to wait at traffic lights and see not a single person cross against the lights. Everyone patiently waits and obeys the traffic signal. This tendency to obey the rule of law however, possibly makes it possible to have Internet spots such as these without them being inevitably vandalised

Yes, the Internet is free and there's even a webcam. If you look carefully you'll see that I've even composed an email with my photo embedded in it.

Later, while waiting for my train at the main station I saw some bloke come down the escalator and run over to a train door and stop it from closing (this was an automatic door that was closing as the train was just about to leave). He then stood there and held it open while his girlfriend came down the escalator and sauntered over.

Once she was on the train I thought that would be the end of it but it turns out this bloke was just seeing his girlfriend off and now he just stood there holding the door open saying goodbye.

Finally booming over the station loudspeaker came: "Wie veil lšnger soll das dauern?"*

* How much longer's this going to take? (Trans.)
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Axe on

Hilarious ultimate line Bob

budz888 on

Especially when you're expecting the recording telling you to watch your step aand be careful of the doors.

Anthony Havens on

Pedestrians patiently waiting for the crossing light to go green even when there is no traffic in sight - noticed the same thing in Krakow last week (and previously in other parts of Mitteleuropa, even Slovenia I recall). One the one occasion I decided to break the rule I felt quite bad. I don't think the UK was ever particularly disciplined in this respect but its got really bad now - people dash across right in front of buses, etc, like little monkeys, if one goes they all go, like lemmings off a cliff. To me this seems to signify the general decline of a country.

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