Observations from Berlin

We only had 5 days in Berlin so we didn’t really get to explore the city too much. Berlin definitely warrants a second visit.

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Brandenburg Gate

What stuck out to me about Berlin are as follows:

1) A beer garden is exactly what the name implies

It wasn’t until Berlin that I finally realized that a beer garden literally means beer in a garden. All these pubs in Berlin has an outdoor garden area with lots of trees where people drink. I know I sound totally stupid right now but beer gardens in Vancouver has either been in a fenced enclosure or indoors, not in literal gardens.

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People are drinking beer in a garden, makes so much sense

2) German signs are very literal

I find signage in Berlin to be very direct and tells you exactly what they are. Biergarten for beer garden. And this store sign below says das kitchenhaus, you know they sell kitchen stuff. Oh, and lights. That’s on the sign too. I like that, there’s no ambiguity.

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Miele anyone?

3) Old German dudes love their suspenders

There is a look that older German (and other European) dudes have. The suspenders, high white socks with shoes combo. Not sure if this generation of hipsters will adopt the look. Maybe the suspenders.

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Are those Birkenstocks?

4) Nothing is open on Sundays

This definitely surprised me. I was hoping to supplement my meager wardrobe in Berlin with an extra pair of pants from Uniqlo but when I got to the shopping area, all the retail stores were closed. Even grocery stores are closed on Sundays. Very surprising for a major city like Berlin. I will never complain about Vancouver store hours again.

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So many cute stuff I can’t buy

5) Impatient crosswalk signs

Other cities we’ve visited, the crosswalk sign usually blinks to warn you that it will be changing soon. Some has the seconds counting down. In Taipei, the little green guy starts walking faster. But in Berlin, there is absolutely no warning and the sign changes abruptly when you are in the middle of the crosswalk. Berliners must all be sprinters when they walk across a street.

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Berlin crosswalk signs, you better run!

6) So much meat

It’s all about sausages, schnitzel ¬†and pork knuckles when it comes to traditional German food. I ate so much meat in Berlin, I felt sick by the time we left. Probably why we tried a vegan burrito in Warsaw.

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Weisswurst which literally means white sausage. These are my favourite.
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Currywurst takeout stands are everywhere in Berlin. Usually served with fries and tons of katchup. They should serve tums as dessert.
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Assorted sausages with very little vegetable content.
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The pork knuckle that pushed me over the edge. It was the size of my face. This one piece of pork knuckle would have made soup enough for a whole asian family of several generations.

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