Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Explorer Berlin is back!

Ok, so it's been a good month and a bit since we've been actively writing entries on our blog, sorry about that! It's not that nothing worth writing about has happened to us, in fact a LOT has happened in the last few months and I literally found myself without any free time at all!

Not that it is a bad thing, our life in Berlin has been slowly coming together but we've had to work hard for it. I found a full time job fairly unexpectedly at the end of August and at the same time I was asked to do some freelance projects. Throughout the months of September and October I've been working none-stop during the day as well as every evening and every weekend in order to get things done. 

Things have finally slowed down and so I'm taking the opportunity to catch up with some posting. So here is a short review of what Explorer Berlin has been up to over September and October.  

My dinner at my cousins very pink wedding.
Time to dig in to my birthday cake!
In September I celebrated my birthday (quietly) and a few days later our lovely 'food exchange' friends invited us over for yet another fantastic dinner. This time it was a goulash and a surprise birthday cake for me which had more calories than Willy Wonker's factory! It was a typical German cake called a "Danube Wave" or Donauwellen, so called for it different layers and the wavy decoration on top. It...was...incredible! Thank you Lisa! Still on a food note, we also celebrated Mexican Independence Day (the 16th September) at the tiny Mexican restaurant, "Tacos de Mexico", in Schöneberg. 

Some of the decoration in 'Tacos de Mexico'
The restaurant had been decorated and the tables and chairs placed around the walls to help with the party vibe. In typical colourful Mexican style the restaurant attracted a group of expat Mexicans who have obviously been living in Berlin a long time. It felt a little like a private party that we gatecrashed so we felt a bit excluded from the main group. The delicious 'pozole' soup made up for it though. My Michelada however (a beer prepared with spicy stuff and lime or lemon juice)  was pretty disappointing. The highlight of the evening was some traditional dancing from three ladies wearing traditional dresses.    

A delicious Mexican 'pozole' (po-sol-ey) soup on Mexican Independence Day
During September we we went back to the UK for my cousins wedding and also had two separate visits from friends. Having people visit is always a good excuse to catch the touristy side of Berlin so we did two trips to the Bundestag, a Sunday in Mauerpark (the weather was still very summery), a good old wander around the main attractions and lots of beer drinking! We ate a lot of pretzels, a fair few hotdogs and downed a ridiculous amount of beer and it also gave me an opportunity to escape from work for a bit. 
We stopped for a cheesy pretzel at the Brandenburg Gate
We have been sharing a house with a very nice German couple since August. They are from the north east of Germany so they grew up in the GDR. It's really interesting learning about what life was like for them as children. They are great to live with but the highlight has to be the constant supply of home-made jam!

A jar of home-made pear jam
Throughout September and October crates and crates of new fruit kept appearing in the kitchen (their family has an orchard with apples, pears and plums) in what seemed like an endless supply. Our housemate worked his magic week after week creating jars and jars of delicious pear, apple and plum jam as well as an amazing pear cake and pear strudel. It is refreshing to see that people still make home-made fresh jams and juices and we're just glad we live with someone who takes the time to make and share them! Thanks guys!  I'll be writing more on the jam making process in an upcoming post.  

In October we went to see some short films at the Latina American Film Festival, LaKino, which I will review shortly on Explorer Berlin. We also enjoyed seeing the weather turn from summer to autumn in Berlin. It was a very beautiful month to just walk around the city and we got some great shots of Berlin in autumn. 

The Bundestag in autumn
Hopefully we'll be posting on a more regular schedule and keeping you up to date with our explorations around Berlin!

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