May 16, 2016

Port Arthur

F1020031F1020029F1020027F1020026F1020022F1020020F1020021F1020019F1020018F1020016 F1020013 Port Arthur, Tasmania 2015

*okay I actually wrote this peice 2 weeks ago but only just managed to publish it

Here are some more pictures from my series on Port Arthur (for my previous post see here) - the former convict settlement in Tasmania, but also, perhaps more famously, the site where Australia's largest mass murder took place 20 years ago today. Walking around the site, it was eery to think that such a thing could happen in such a beautiful place. Even though it was the dead of a Tasmanian winter, the sun was out and glistened on the water, the old ruins a lovely shade of yellow and the trees green and lush.

April 13, 2016

Two Two

P1010016P1010012 P1010009 P1010010 P1010035 P1010034P1010052P1010049P1010007 Two Two Cafe, Neukölln

After not the best start of the day, my boyfriend (who has just moved to Berlin btw) and I stumbled across this super cool Japanese cafe in the middle of Neukölln. It has a super cool vibe that was totally not Berlin - for example, it was super welcoming, had wifi & super cool stationary for sale and the coffee was decent (okay maybe I'm being a bit harsh to Berlin...). But it is definitely going to be a staple in the future!

German classes are done (for the moment) and last week I had my university orientation. The German classes came in useful because the entire week was pretty much done in German, which means that I missed important things like how to sign up to my classes. Sigh, but I got through in the end, and despite some hiccups on the way, nothing is going to stop me from staying here at the moment. So what if I can't complete enough credits to transfer back home, it'll all work out, says the voice in the back of my head who still thinks ignorance is bliss.

I also managed to score a job at this super cool boutique-y shop right next door to my house, as did my boyfriend at an equally as cool coffee roastery. Speaking of him - he's been here two weeks now and settled in pretty quickly. Its much more fun heading to the veggie markets with someone slightly more cooking inclined than myself. It's been a blast so far, and I couldn't imagine spending my time in Berlin with anyone else but him (sappy-ness ends there). We're thinking of trying to stay here for the year, it's easy for him being British, but my Australian blood doesn't get me too far. But again, it'll all work out...

March 13, 2016

Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas

P1010044P1010037 P1010069P1010070 Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas, Berlin

I watched a German film called Victoria this week about a Spanish girl living in Berlin. The whole film is shot in real time and in one take, and follows her meeting a group of Berliners over a night. I don't want to give anything away - my only advice is to watch it, even without subtitles if you prefer, so you can really go into the mind of Victoria.

I've spend most of my evenings after class going to the gym, cooking dinner and then studying two hours of German. It can be lonely sometimes, but there is something refreshing about routine and having enough time for myself to do things that I always skip for a social occasion back home. I really cherish the free-ness I have in Berlin, the lack of commitment I have to many things, the idea of living life a little slower but more enriched. My boyfriend is coming in two weeks, so maybe that will change things a little bit, but I'm excited to have company again.

March 05, 2016

Neue Heimat

P1010032 P1010037 P1010038 P1010041 P1010044 P1010046 P1010057 P1010059 Neue Heimat, Friedrichshain.

Life in Berlin is going pretty damn splendidly at the moment. A year ago I was a mess; I almost failed a couple of exams, I was crying a lot, nothing seemed to be going right whatever I did and I spent a lot of time leaning on my wonderful friends shoulders. But now, I can't even imagine what I felt like back then. Everything has changed so much. My biggest problems right now are - my pan is too big too cook scrambled eggs, I can't finish a loaf of bread by myself before it goes stale and I miss my boyfriend. But he'll be here in a month, and I'll have someone to venture with to the abandoned airports, military stations and all the cool things that are in Berlin.

This week I've been going to the cinema a lot in an attempt to watch all the films nominated in the Oscars. Brie Larson has been one of my favourite actress' for a while now, and I cried so much when she won her well-deserved Oscar. I stupidly watched Room on the plane to Berlin, not realising what an emotional rollercoaster I was in for and cried for most of the journey. It was such a raw experience. The film didn't pity the characters, nor did it portray the experience as a sick circus show for its viewers. It was very much a show about love, connection and survival. I have never seen another film quite like it. Other films I've seen this week include Brooklyn, Carol, Spotlight and The Revenant. Brooklyn and Carol satisfied both my love of the 1950s fashion as well as my passion for a well written love story. Spotlight was intriguing for the whole two hours despite knowing the ending (because, well, its history). I found The Revenant, however, boring, lacking in a major plot line and dragging on for way longer than it should have. Other films I hope to see this week include - Amy, Victoria (a German thriller that I've heard rave reviews about here), The Hateful Eight and Anomalisa.

February 23, 2016

east side

P1010007P1010009P1010017P1010018P1010020 P1010024 East Side Gallery, Berlin

I'm officially settled in and German class is now six weeks down. I've spent the past two weekends out on the clubs, well except for the fact that last weekend our group wasn't let in. I can officially say I tried clubbing in Berlin and will now resort back to tea with films on a Saturday night like a sensible twenty three year old. But in all seriousness, it was fun pretending to be eighteen again while it lasted. The club I managed to venture into is called Tresor. It is held in a three story old power station. The top floor look like a pretty normal club, but below, there are concrete tunnels that worm their way around to a main dance floor area that is so smoked filled that you can barely see half a metre in front of you. The music is pure techno - you can barley decipher between songs and 95% of the people inside are on drugs. The next day you sleep until midday and your clothes smell of smoke, but its honestly is good fun.

Other things I've been up to - I've been getting my moneys worth of good cheap bands. A couple of weeks ago I saw City & Colour, who was actually a bit of a jerk on stage but I feel like I can sidestep that because when he sung 'The Girl' my heart pretty much broke. Grimes came last week, which was funny as she was in Perth just the Sunday before. Her set was amazing, albeit short, and her back up dancers where oh-so-cool. Tonight is Foals, and I'm looking forward to it (not looking forward to the 30 minute bike ride to the concert hall in the rain). And I have purchased more tickets for Bear's Den, Chvrches, Beirut in the near future!

February 14, 2016

Blume, blume!

P1010105 My study desk

This morning I awoke to a man ringing my buildings doorbell. When I answered the intercom, he was speaking in German repeating 'Blume, blume'. Thinking he was trying to sell me something, I hung up and went back to bed. 5 minutes later, somehow he made it inside and to my front door, and gave me a bouquet of flowers. So confused, I happily accepted and discovered a card from my lovely boyfriend with a 'shitty haiku' (his words not mine!) Now my desk is looking particularly bright and making studying German grammar just a little bit easier.

February 08, 2016

house of small wonders

P1170047 P1170051 P1170054 P1170063P1170066P1170068 House of Small Wonders, Berlin

These snaps are from a cool Japanese cafe in Mitte with super good breakfasts'. My only complaint was when I asked for a double shot latte, they gave me this massive coffee, the size of one of those gross Starbucks Venti cups. Anyways...

I'm still without internet, which is starting to bug me a little bit considering there is no data connection in my apartment. In its absence, I have binge watched all of Making a Murderer, Narco's & Gotham in two weeks, finished Lena Dunham's Bio (more on that later) and studied a lot of German. Hopefully it is installed today, because living alone is lonely enough without the whole of the interwebs to keep me company. When it is installed, I hope to update here 3x a week. I've just finished a month of my German classes, with two more months to go. I've been able to practice my German a little bit more because my friend group now consists of an amalgamation of several nationalities, where our only mutual language is German. Conversation is fun, and it helps me speak quickly. Its still a shame that my German won't ever be as good as my French, purely because I speak so much English here, but then again, it's much nicer being understood and being able to chat to people.

I went to my first Church service in Berlin yesterday, an international congregation in the South of Berlin. It was nice to sing some lame Christian hymns (that I secretly adore), meet some fellow Christians from around the world and read the Bible together. Hopefully I'll be able to keep it up, and the 45 minute train ride to get there won't deter me in the future. It helps that pretty much everything is closed on Sunday. Christianity still really confuses me, and it scares me that I'm so far away from the people who encourage and support me when my Christianity isn't that solid. But I will try, and thats all I can do.