Monthly Archive for June, 2012

An unfortunate return….

So, let me lay it down the line what pissed me off so badly about living in Berlin, Germany lately.

1.) Coming back from China it came as a bit of a shock to the system once again that there is no shopping on a Sunday. What kind of old school, backwards, enforced (constantly) by the church law is that? Seriously, it sucks. I just love working way more than 40 hours a week only to have one single day in which to do all my shopping. Fucking brilliant! No thought given to the increase of jobs and output it could provide….no….instead we just want to force everyone to have a super-stressful Saturday trying to get everything that they can think of done, and then  into a day where they have to do nothing regardless what they would like to do.

One word – BACKWARDS – wake up, there is no one at home full-time anymore to take care of household shopping and cleaning etc. I want to do things when I want to….that is the freedom of choice I am entitled to as a human being – you are removing one of my liberties and causing more stress in my life!!

2.) Next thing that happened after returning from China was that I was mugged in Berlin a little over a week later. What a fantastic downer to the relative high spirits I was in. About 10 meters from my front door and all….and I live in a supposedly ‘safe’ neighborhood….yeah….right. The police say it happens all the time, but I am not so sure. Anyway – I guess I could consider myself lucky, no major injuries and all they took was my iPhone – fuckers.

Gotta love the find-my-iPhone app that Apple supplies with all iPhones running iOS5 or later though. What a fail of an app that is. Basically I had my phone set to lock after 10 minutes. These guys must have taken it within the 10 minute period because by the time I got back home (from the hospital), the phone could not be located. But why, I hear you say, when you have such a fantastic app? Well, if they could get into the phone (within the 10 minute period), then they could disable that app (and how convenient – the delete account button is directly below that function) and delete my account….all without the need for a password.

When turning the app on it should be standard behavior that you are requested to enter a new pin number. I have since learnt that you can do this – enter an alternative password to lock off this app to would be thieves (learn how), it’s just a hidden feature. What a fail….really, unbelievable.

3.) And the final piece of gold in the list…..yes, another typical Berlin wanker Bike-shop. If there is one thing you can guarantee in this city, it is that you can always find a bike shop nearby. There are freaking hundreds of them. Everywhere. Typically you’d think that would increase competition and have the effect that the surviving bike shops would provide better, more professional service. Not in this fucking place – no, you got that all wrong.

I know all generalizations are incorrect (including that one), regardless, going by my math (I have visited around 25 individual bike shops) I would say that around 80% of bike shops are full of arrogant wankers that want to belittle you, talk down to you, discount your opinion and in the end do a shit job that you’ll have to redo yourself. Remember, these guys are professionals, how could you possibly know better as a paying customer. Yes, we make a return to the customer service gap that exists all-too-obviously in Berlin.

Anyway, Ina dropped the racer, that I put a lot of love into when putting together, off to a bike store nearby me called Cicli (who are supposedly ‘specialists in new and used road bikes) – we chose that bike shop specifically due to this. When building the bike I had specifically routed the gear cables so that they were crossing under the down-tube to reduce friction from the cables coming from the bars (larger cable curve = reduced friction). I have done this successfully on many a bike (in fact Cannondale were doing this on all their racers for a period of time) – a fantastic description of why someone would want to do this can be found in a post by the late and great Sheldon Brown. So what happened when Ina picked the bike up? Oh yeah, they had painstakingly reverted the gear-change cables to running linear down the down-tube for no other reason than the fucking idiot bike shop guy (I really hope he is not the owner – but somehow I think he is) said the other way is bullshit. Yeah, thanks for that education my man – you are a truly well-spoken gentleman. You work in a bike shop, you are no rocket scientist my friend, you put bikes together, you do not build them. And you have modified the way the bike looks for no other reason than the fact that you are an uneducated ass with an ego the size of an American wrestler.

So awesome when you pay for something only to get something you absolutely didn’t want. Just another bike shop to cross off the list.

But that’s about it. Well, I mean I could go on….what I mean, no summer, aggressive drivers, too much work, constant pain…..geeez….what a sad bastard. So I won’t.