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Cycling about Berlin, Chillin'

A week here and settling slowly. Trying to speak German is hard!

Damn it! It's so damn bloody-damn cold here. Riding a bike in cold weather, as cold as here in Berlin, hurts like hell! First your fingers become a little numb, then a little painful, then agonisingly god-awfully screaming with pain, and finally numb again. The last phase leaves you so numb you cant move your little finger. There is no fixing it - that is, unless you grab a hold of your torso (the last warm place left) to warm your hands up. However we have the serious issue of going back through 'phase 3' and enduring the 'agonisingly god-awfully screaming' pain again. If you're thinking of coming to visit (which I would very much like) and want to go bike riding, wait until summer (or your face will look like this). Visited the olympic stadium - it felt grandly sad.

So with all this cold air outside, maybe it'd warm me up to do something nice - that is: buy presents for my sister! So out I go to buy her a Nintendo DS (handheld game system) but everywhere was sold out :( Eventually, after riding up and down the same street 6 or 7 times, I found one for 145€ - bargain! Now, the thing is, after 'testing it' to 'see if it works' it became hard to put it down. Someone had second thoughts about sending it via airmail - it may break on the way there, or maybe never even arrive! Thinking clearly, it was best to just keep it safely here - surely the most prudent course of action. If you have the chance, play Elite Beat Agents. Most bestest, most awesomest game 5-EVA!! As my German gets better, my English worsens much-ly. It's all over - I'm becoming a LOL cat, since that's all the English I read now. Lolz in mai face :-P

So I'm cold, and I'm playing Elite Beat Agents: the first and second things on my agenda. The third thing is looking for a job - that would be ideally third, if not for the teeny-tiny task between settling in and looking for a job: finishing Meike's present. It is still not done and it shall remain unfinished until i get photos from Khairil and Tristan. That's right! I'm blaming everyone else for this! Now I feel better :)

I think it'd be nice to live somewhere in Europe similar to Australia's Newtown. Berlin just doesn't cut it as a replacement; it's nothing like Newtown, with all its graffiti and stencil art. I have always appreciated the stencil art about Newtown in Sydney. Since arriving, I've only found one stencilled graffiti here. Still, it made me smile (and think of Brendon).

It's not that much of a big deal, but I am doing thing on my own here now. Doing simple things like buying shopping or even ordering a kebab can stump you sometimes:

Was für ein Sauce möchten Sie?
Err... I have no fuggin' idea what you just said!

You can fall back to English if you really need to but you feel really bad. I must speak more German than just 'thank you!' becomes a daily mantra. You don't have to talk to anyone when you shop in Aldi - people just shuffle in and are whooshed out again. You wouldn't believe the speed the ladies working there rush you along (only women for some reason?). They only scan your things then push them in your direction across the very small counter. You feel like they're trying to get rid of you, as you rush to pack your own bag with everything. Australia has 'Green bags', Germany has no bags. That'll trouble you the first time you go shopping without something ready to put it all in. You can buy beer at Aldi if you don't mind plastic bottled beer. Everywhere else has nicer normal stuff. My break from alcohol is, more or less, over. Next chance we have to borrow Meike's parent's car, we're off to pick up a case of 'Berliner Radler' - half lemonade Berlin beer. I'd carry it myself but, you know, don't wanna show off my rippling Australian male-form and embarrass Germany with my manliness.