Tag Archive for 'Berlin'

It’s not laziness….I swear ;-)

So…what to say, back from the holiday since October and it’s already November….whoa! (Scratch that, it’s now the end of December…hehehe 🙂 )

It’s been a bit of a snowball though. As soon as we returned home, quite literally less than 2 days later I was back at the airport picking up some awesome friends visiting from Berlin, Germany – Dani and Thommy. Was so cool to see them again. It was so funny too, it had been a bit over a year since we’d last seen each other, but there they were at the airport and it was just like old times. Nothing had changed, no awkwardness, just super cool. That’s how friendship should work, and you know it’s true when it does! So nice.

But I’m getting ahead of myself aren’t I? Samoa. What can I say. Wow. What a beautiful place made only more beautiful by its people. They are so super friendly and relaxed. It’s just so easy to be there and to chill and have a nice time. The weather was amazing, the sights and scenery were wonderful, and travelling around there was a breeze. We chilled big time, I mean, super big time!! I wouldn’t say it’s exactly cheap, nor is it amazingly easy to get to (well, depending on where you’re located), but it’s still so fresh and untouched. No hustling and bustling tourism going on over there yet. Just so natural.

We started in Upolu travelling around a bit there – even staying in a super cool treehouse – did I jump off the To Sua Ocean Trench when I was on Uplolu? You’d better believe it!! (although jumping from that height did kinda hurt my back a bit!!) We then moved on to Savai’i where we travelled around that island. I mean, we were traveling around quite a lot really, which could have potentially been quite stressful, but it was so super chill. So easy. Nothing was any drama for anyone. What an awesome attitude to life these guys have. We could really do with some of that attitude over this way I tell ya! It was so sad to finally have to leave. But it wasn’t the same kind of feeling as I’ve experienced in the past when retuning to Berlin. This time I was retuning to Sydney. I knew it was warm and sunny back home. And we live by the beach. No rain, greyness, cold, ice and snow for the next 6 months. Just awesomeness. Way, way different. And I guess you know you’re living in the right country when you feel like that upon returning 🙂

And that’s it really….since then  I guess life has been getting the better of me. Just not so much time lately for writing more posts, as much as I’d like to. Spent Christmas up in the Hunter with a bunch of family – and have been further up the coast after that spending some time by the beaches up there over my birthday etc. And it’s hot….hot, hot, hot. Gotta love the Sydney heat.

Anyways, check out some of the photos of Samoa I’ve added as an album to the blog. I haven’t got all of the good ones there, but it’s certainly a decent sample!!

And on that note – Happy New Year!!!! It’s the 31st today and I’m about to jump into the shower to get ready and then jump in the car to get over to my sister’s  and her boyfriends place over at Waverton to check out the New Year fireworks on the Harbour Bridge later on. Should be a very chilled and nice relaxing way to see the New Year roll on in. It’s been a great year – not perfect – but so awesome in so many ways. My thanks goes out to everyone who’s made this year so great – family, friends, colleagues – in fact, anyone that I’ve crossed paths with – I am so thankful to have you all in my life. It really has been one of the most memorable years of my life that I will never forget. I am a lucky guy.

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:

 

 

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..

Ride on….

So was at Mellow Park here in Berlin and must say it’s pretty cool. And I can also say I can pretty much ride again ok. I can’t fully contract my leg, but it’s ok I reckon. For sure I wasn’t doing any hardcore jumps, but rather concentrating on the pump track. And man did I pump the shit out of it. I mean, absolutely perfect for a guy that can’t really move one knee too well. No pedalling required, more about feeling the flow of the track. Somehow being really in touch with you and your bike. I like it! Why I haven’t done it before is a good freaking question???

And it’s a real pity. The first time I ever tried a pump track out was up the road from Czarnikauer Strasse where I used to live. And the track that local residents so carefully made and manicured has been fenced off by the local council for whatever reason. I mean, it is a vacant lot. Kids playgrounds here are just as dangerous, where’s the problem? But oh well. At least we’ll always have our Mellow Parks.

Which makes me wonder, I freaking hope there is something in Sydney like this place. I mean, I am going to beat the hell out of it this Spring/Summer, with the normal highlight of downhill in Harz. But I am certainly going to need something like that when I’m back home. I mean, hell, Sydney pretty much has everything right?