Yearly Archive for 2015

And back in Sydney…

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind……the last week in Berlin was certainly crazy, chaotic, amazing, sad, fun, awesome, scary……everything compressed into one tiny week that jumped out at me as if from nowhere.

I was really lucky though. The last two weeks I was in Berlin I was staying with one of my best mates Thommy, and his girlfriend Dani – also an awesome friend. So we could hang, and it meant that I wasn’t alone in an empty apartment in Prenzlauer Berg. They are the best friends anyone could ever have. I am truly a lucky guy.

And now I’ve been back in Sydney for a little over 4 weeks and I have to admit, I’d forgotten how much I love it. I love the weather, the people, the city, the places, the vibe….just so, so much. Of course, no city is perfect. The public transport here is a bit sucky at times, but they are slowly improving it – adding new sections to the light rail, closing down streets for pedestrian use only, adding bike lanes – it’ll get there. Everything takes time. And this is still a very new city in comparison with somewhere like Berlin…

Berlin. Yes, my old home. And I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss it. But I don’t miss the place that much really. What I really miss, and what I knew I’d struggle with, is missing my friends. Over a period of 10 years you tend to carve out a life for yourself. And without noticing it, that’s exactly what I did. Playing table tennis together, kicker, PS, hanging, talking shit whilst staying inside and keeping warm, drinking beer, drinking glühwein, mountain biking, snowboarding, laughing at the things only we would laugh about. Joking about the things that only we would understand. Even the damn language and its peculiarities. Those are the hardest things to let go.

But it’s ok to be sad, it’s healthy to be sad, so long as you don’t let yourself sink into despair. Cause I have absolutely nothing to despair about. I have great friends here, have met some truly wonderful new people, and know the future is looking bright. And I haven’t lost those friendships back in Berlin either, they’re still alive and well. It’s more they are on a hiatus. We stay in contact, some of us more or less on a daily basis, but it’s not like we can hang. We can Skype, but it’s not like we can have a beer together and talk about the deeper sides to life. We can talk about the things we’re up to, but it’s not like we can do them together. I am too far away. I am at the end of the world. The killer distance. Der Todesstoß. And I guess that’s the hardest part. I already knew it. Shit, I’ve been here before. But it never really gets any easier. I just cannot jump on a plane and fly an hour or so and say hi! That is not a possibility.

But enough of that crap. Let’s talk about Sydney!

So. Essentially I am a tourist in my own city. I don’t remember the public transport system. I don’t remember how it works. I don’t remember what side of the road to look out for – it’s not that I don’t remember, it’s just my first instinct is to look to the left – and not the right. Very dangerous. I don’t have a good city map in my head. I could go on. It is a little annoying at times.

  1. The first time I jumped on a bus, I got on through the back door to have the bus driver tell me off. That was on day 6 of being back here, and the first bus ride. Mental note – do not get on bus via back door.
  2. I keep forgetting to swipe my opal card when I get off a bus, or out at a train stop anywhere because I always had an app that looked after that in Berlin.
  3. I forgot that it’s sub-tropical here and can rain like a bastard, but only for 5 – 10 minutes. So just stay under cover for this period of time and you’ll be fine.
  4. I forgot which walkway tunnel exits where, and continually exit in a part of the city I don’t recognise – because everything has changed in appearance.
  5. I keep walking into people on the footpath because I’m walking on the right side and not the left like most people do here.
  6. I keep converting prices back to euros because I just can’t get a handle on how much things actually cost otherwise.

It’s an adventure I tell you. And I like it. Although when I got absolutely saturated here last night because I forgot about point #3 I wasn’t all smiles I can assure you. And today is a big catch up day. So I need to stop writing this post and get out there and do it.

And that’s it in a nutshell so far. And so far so good. Slowly connecting with old friends again. Catching up on all the changes that have gone on over time. There is a lot to digest, and digest I will!

Here are a few shots that pretty much sum up why I came back, enough said:



Back in Berlin….

I’m back from Harz, and more or less in one piece. Came off pretty badly on the last run, was going for two rather large drops in a row, the first was fine, the second…..well, not so fine….hehehe

Anyways, can still walk, and unfortunately for everyone around me, can still talk. I am now in Voltaren mode. Landed quite a few metres away from my bike in an awkward position kinda sandwiched between rocks, one rock pressing very hard on my right kidney. And those shorts, yeah, ripped to shreds and are now in the bin. One of only two pairs that I own. So shorts shopping here I come – cause I guess one pair isn’t nearly enough for Sydney weather.

Good times I tell you. Was half expecting to pee blood this morning, but all’s well that ends well eh!?

On the drive back I was looking out the window whilst travelling along the autobahn and couldn’t help but wonder if this was the last time I’ll ever be there with the crew again. Those are some bad thoughts I tell ya, and probably best not thought at all.

In saying that the guys are already making plans for coming over to Australia. So you never really know, it could just be that the next few years are busier than ever. And I would certainly not be the one to complain 🙂

It’s not a good bye

Was with one of my mates last night, a colleague of mine, our VP of Engineering, Stefan. It was our last chance to say so long as he’ll be on holiday as of next week. Over the years you could say we’ve become pretty close. And it was kinda funny. We had dinner at this Japanese restaurant called Kyo Grill in my old Kiez along Kastanienallee, where I had – strangely – never been before. Great food, and great company. It will be a long while between drinks I’m afraid. And not only is it my old Kiez, but it is also the first street I clearly remember walking along in Berlin when I first moved here all those years ago. It’s where everything started. Where I met Stevie, my hairdresser. Where I’ve seen a director of a play climb onto the roof of a theater – defecate into his hands – and fling it at the people on the street below. Where I went to my first beer garden. Where I fell in and out of love with this city.

Oh man.

So I’m not much good at good byes, I guess I’ve come to realize. And there are going to plenty more in store in the upcoming days, with only a little over a week to go before I jump on that plane for the long ride home…..

There is always a positive side to everything though. And I need to remember, and hold onto that instead of getting all gloomy and blue. I should be celebrating the amazing friends I’ve made here – I mean I’ve made so, so many. I should be relishing the fantastic times we’ve had together, the love and laughs we’ve shared together. It has been a great 10 years, a fantastic 10 years even, and I will never, ever forget the great times I’ve had in this city I once called home.

And it’s not over yet, this weekend is the last hurrah with the East Berliner crew as we go on our annual downhill MTB trip to Harz. Weather forecast says it will be 30 degrees, which if you ask me, is a little too hot for that kind of thing, especially when you consider all the gear I’ll be wearing. So I think I’ll be taking it relatively easy. The first couple of runs will be fine, but I fear thereafter I may be a little too hot to be able to concentrate well enough to ride well. So I will take it easy, not hit too many big jumps or drops after that. But let’s see, the weather can be so temperamental, it may well be raining by then!!

And even that’s not it, I still have my farewell party to look forward to, which is in the Berlin apartment on my last Saturday here next week. But then that will be it. I have cleaners coming so I’ve got the Sunday to chill, and Monday to fly. Tuesday I’ll touch down at Kingsford Smith at around 8pm I think (need to check on that), and then I’ll be home – in the place where my heart most definitely resides.

So no point being blue….a lot to look forward to! And I’m certainly not going into this blind, it’s something I’ve thought long and hard about. I know it’s going to be tough to start with – I mean, it’s only natural that I’ll miss my peeps and places – but I have so much to look forward to. And that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside 🙂

Anyways, not my video – Basti, where’s the video from last year huh!? But this is where I’ll be, to give you an idea of some parts of the track. I mean, the place is huge, and there are plenty of tracks to choose from….and plenty of drops and jumps too 🙂

Me outta here!

So that’s it…everything was picked up today, and I’m not quite sure how I feel. For sure I’m excited to return home to my beloved Sydney, and for more reasons than one, but I couldn’t help but shed a tear as I closed the door on Schönhauser Allee 27a, and essentially Berlin itself. “How many more times can I move across the globe” I asked myself as I was jumping into a car to drive myself, alongside the only possessions I’ll have for the next 8 weeks, to Thommy and Dani’s – where I’ll be staying for the last 2 weeks. Thommy and Dani are the kind of people in Berlin that I have been graced to meet and become friends with. They typify the east Berliner spirit – so open, honest and just…..nice…..I am so thankful that I met them as well as the whole east Berliner crew. I wouldn’t still be here were it not for them. Thank you guys!

I can’t say it was a good time in that place either, quite the opposite. And although I’ve been happy living there alone, that wasn’t really the plan, I don’t want to live alone. I was happy in Czarnikauer Str. with Thommy and Hans, and probably should have stayed put, but nothing lasts forever anyway. It all would have changed. It was me that was stuck in the mud. Nor can I say it’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, but the place itself had promise and I guess I was just bloody chasing Amy……yeah – idiot.

But that doesn’t matter anymore cause my expiry date is up for Berlin. I know Sydney has changed a lot in the last 10 years, hell, Berlin has changed a lot too. But I just want to be home. This place is cool, but no place to get old in – not for me – I want more than this city can offer me. I especially want to be me, 100% for once. Not a German filtered Jordi that is at the most 80% of what he is. I’m more than that. Some people here know it, but not all that many.

And lets not forget the winters here. I am completely over having snow everywhere and no mountains. Like, what the hell is the point in that?? It’s like having a sea with no waves…..ok, I’ll shut up now.

So that’s it, 2 weeks and I’m out. Strangely, one of my oldest friends Greg, who was here a little before me, is also on his way out to Montreal where the weather is at least a bit warmer (he says).

What will I do in Australia – what do you think? Now multiply that by 2 and you might be close. As sad as I might be, I know this feeling all too well, it’s temporary, and it’s always there whenever you leave a place you’ve lived in for a relative length of time, and I’ve done that plenty of times now. But I am super excited to be home, to see my friends, to swim in the ocean, to lie on the sand in the sun, to climb real mountains, to enjoy nature at my doorstep. I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t?

So although I’m gonna miss so many people here, it doesn’t mean it’s the end. The world is small, and I travel a lot, so if we still want to see each other we will! (you guys know who I mean). And you can always visit me, I’ll be around. And you all know how to reach me, one way or the other.

And if you don’t listen to the music (it sucks, not my video) but look at the scenery, you’ll get a good idea of where I’ve been living this last year or so…..and why I thought investing here seemed attractive at the time..