Trip Start Jul 16, 2013
36Trip End Oct 07, 2013
Last time I was here I sought out a table tennis bar that I'd heard about. It was pretty dingy but there were some good and friendly players and I had a great time.
I had no idea where it was so I thought I'd have a look on the internet but it turns out there are quite a few bars with table tennis in Berlin. Including one just up the road from where I'm staying but that one looks nothing like it.
I picked out another one nearby from the internet and headed off there with my bat in my backpack. I thought I'd found the address but still couldn't find the pub... that's when I knew I must be on the right track because that's what happened to me last time. How anyone finds this place is a mystery to me.
And considering I walked here last time it seems impossible that the surrounding streets didn't seem familiar at all. It even felt like the wrong side of town. I'm obviously hopeless with directions.
Anyway, I had a hit with the barman for a while. Then a few of the regulars turned up. They seemed pretty good but lacked proper match practice as they had cheating serves but it was the same cheating serve every time. Yeah, I beat the first two opponents.
Then this girl challenged me. She was in high-ish heels so I made some joke about that... thinking she'd be hopeless but she turned out to be the best of them all. I didn't look forward to losing after making the comments about her footware.
Luckily I managed to get up 21-19.
I must say, the table's in good nick but the place looks just as grimy as when I was there last time. I don't remember the street but the actual bar and table tennis room certainly came back to me.
I went off to have something to eat (trying to avoid a rematch), and by the time I got back there were about twenty players and they were playing chinesisch. Everyone grabs a bat and they start off a rally, just tapping the ball back and forth but they continually run around the table - yes, all twenty or so of them, and whoever misses the ball at his/her turn gets knocked out. They keep going till there are two of them left and they play a game.
It's pretty nonsensical and I don't know why they call it à la Chinese. But at least that got me out of playing again on the night. It looks like all these places degenerate into this group game after about ten at night. The place where I was even had a cover charge after about ten.
Yes, my favourite subject again. People sitting at a bus stop, beer in hand.
And another cozy looking group. They're sitting outside a corner-shop, on a few up-turned beer crates having a few beers. It's the freedom to do things such as this that means that Berlin craps on any city in Australia and it just feels fantastic.
And to think that in Hobart after we leave the restaurant on Thursdays we have been known to resort to getting some ice-creams from Coles and eating them in the car-park. A few stubbies sitting on the street would be much nicer.