Day 11 – Let’s go to “work”

26 Sep

I need to get serious. There are several things I have to accomplish on this trip and I gotta get my ass in gear. The two main ones are

  1. Find a place to live in Berlin
  2. Register for German school

I somehow manage to get both these things done before 13:00 on my first full day in Berlin.

Eva and I leave around 8:00. She’s afraid she’s going to lose me in the madness of the Berlin public transportation system so she’s wears this bright red coat. I’m immediately saddened because I’m reminded that I didn’t bring any orange with me. We arrive at the Canadian embassy and Eva gives me a tour. The Canadian Tax Payer who was just on French training for 15 weeks almost has a heart attack – it’s a pretty swanky building. I’ve come to expect nothing less from our MFA.

Can be seen from space.

I’ve got an appointment at 10:00 to see a place in Mitte (a neighbourhood in the middle of the city). I arrive early and decide to check out the area. There’s a pub two blocks north that serves pints for 2.3 euros (remember: they don’t tip here in Germany), a grocery store that’s even closer, and a bar that’s 10 meters from the entrance to the apartment. The only downside is that the closest Doner shop is about an eight minute walk away. This is tempered by the fact that it’s open 24 hours.

You can check out the pics yourself. The apartment is not on the main street so it’s super quiet. The only negative I can think of is that it gets a crazy amount of light; it might be difficult to sleep in however this might not be a bad thing. I’m set to move in on the 19th. I’m going to be living off the kindness of strangers until then.

The area is pretty cool. The Berlin Wall used to be right nearby and there are several monuments to it. I like this one.

Living in a new place is going to take some getting used to. While walking around many things seem new and strange. I’m sure that after a few weeks I won’t even notice stuff like this, but until then I’m going to keep snapping photos.

I'm happy to be living in the same neighbourhood as the Dildo King - being in the proximity of royalty will mean an increased level of physical security.

Next up I need to register for my German course. The school is located about a 15 minute walk from the apartment and I can tell from the get-go that it’s going to be a lot different from the French training I took over the summer. The registration process is conducted entirely in German. Everyone there of course knows English but they also understand that the most effective way to learn a second language is to do so in an immersion environment. And when I say everything is in German, I mean everything. The instructions for the placement test are all in German – I mean, how is one supposed to write the test, if one cannot understand the test?

Maybe this *is* the test

So I write the test and the lady informs me I’m a problem case. Tell me something I don’t know. Apparently I’ve scored poorly on the easy part, but I did well on the hard part. She smiles and sends me for my oral evaluation. That takes about five minutes and I’m told to report back tomorrow where I’ll be told what level I’m at. Class starts at 13:15 Tuesday.

That was pretty easy and now I’ve got the whole afternoon off. It’s probably the nicest day of weather I’ve ever experienced in my entire life: 22 degrees, no wind, sunny, no smog, low UV index, no laws against drinking a beer in public. One of the other students and I celebrate the first day of school by eating a döner in the park. Apparently the weather in Berlin was terrible for the whole summer but the rest of the week is supposed to be like today. I’m going to go meet up with Bénédict for a pint at 18:00. I imagine we’ll do so on a patio.

Actually it was on a patio on a canal.

And they were serving Weissbier.

2 Responses to “Day 11 – Let’s go to “work””

  1. Sara Horton September 30, 2011 at 02:23 #

    The child is not reading your blog. Sorry. I secretly decided to wait a bit before introducing it; I wanted to get a feel for your travels first. So, I’ll be showing him pieces of it from time to time, but rest assured that he will not be reading-along. BTW – your apartment looks fabulous.

  2. Nina October 3, 2011 at 15:06 #

    Great apartment – well done!

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