Friday, July 27, 2012

Visiting the Site of Gruesome Demise: Pompeii

Ian & Steves
On our trip to Naples, I'm going to be honest and say I didn't want to go to Pompeii. Something about it "being too touristy", "just ruins", and "taking time away from pizza eating in Naples" crossed my lips. But for once - Ian was adamant and Kyle was on his side (traitor).

We went & I take it back. Pompeii is filled with tourists, some armed with Rick Steves guidebook like Ian, but that's because it is a MUST SEE. Much more than just ruins, the site is impeccably set-up for awe inspiring history. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Our Berlin Orgin Story

A certain question has been coming up a lot lately. How the hell did we end up in Berlin? Meeting new people, chatting on that crazy interconnect known as the internet, and in a recent random e-mail:
Hey ebe/Ian,
Saw your blog/tweet, how did you guys manage to survive without job/housing in Berlin? I am back in Berlin, from Singapore and currently trying to see if I can 'survive' here. I was here in April and loved it thus I am back here now, 2nd day actually!
ebe & Ian in our first month in Berlin 2007

Look at these fools. How did we end up here?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Naples - When the Moon Hits Your Eye

As Berlin summer weather continues to prevail, (RAIN...lots of rain) we are brought back to a sunnier time, just a month ago, when we were in Naples with my nephew.

Naples & Vesuvious
Ian suggested titles for this post that were both apt and ridiculous.

*Naples, a lovely place to wa- WATCH out for the vespa!*
*Rome wasn't dirty enough for you? Ben venuto a Nopli*
*Buffalo Mozzerella and the Mystery of the Stolen Passports*
*Dr. Palm Tree - or How I Stopped Worrying about the Heat and Love the Camora*
*Naples - We came for the pizza, we stayed for the dirty-ass fountain*
*Don't want to siesta? Go for a walk with the tourists and Indians*
 *Naples - where the majority of people are Fat*

Friday, July 13, 2012

Venturing into Marzahn & Gärten der Welt

So this is Marzahn
You hear bad things about Marzahn. A neighborhood of Berlin, this is the far east. Straight black hair on "Sexy Braun" tans, wiggas thug about, plattenbaus tower, and occasional Nazi sightings go down here. Foreigners, particularly people of color, were once warned not to visit*.

But that's not all it is. More and more people flee the "cool" neighborhoods of Berlin as rents go up, creating pockets of hip in the outskirts of the city. This is leading to a rediscovery of places that were once written off. We're hoping our area of Wedding undergoes a bit of this transformation, (although gentrification is always contentious in Berlin). We would simply be happy with less drug deals in the entry to our building.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back to Berlin on House Hunters International

Get on Reality TV
When we received an e-mail about being on House Hunters International, we thought it was spam. That's kind of a big deal and how would they have found our little blog among so many wonderful expats? But they did and yes, YES, we did want to be on it. And so we were.

Our Berlin Apartment Priorities 

  • Price - I am tough about our budget. When we first moved to Berlin in 2007, we generally found studio sublets (aka 1 room in Berlin) for around 400 euro warm (meaning total costs including electricity/water & in our case, internet and TV). We had now upped the budget to below 600 warm.
  • Neighborhood - We prefer Friedrichshain and the former east, but fierce competition had us searching further afield. In addition, Ian works at a kita in Pankow so somewhere close to the school was a plus.
  • Transportation - Berlin is big so a U-Bahn or S-Bahn station close to the house was mandatory.
  • Length of sublet - We're straight up tired of moving so the longer the better.
  • Internet & Amenities - We aren't fancy, but we need that internet.
  • Light & Airy - We like places that are light & bright and we don't have to look into our neighbors window. Balconies are my drug of choice.
  • Accepts pets - At this point we are packing a bunny and a cat. I'd be happy to turn our home into an animal farm. Ian is resisting.

We're Back in Berlin Ja!

We're Back in Berlin Ja!
ebe & ian at Yak-toberfest 2008