I met up with some online acquaintances on wednesday and we went for some great Vietnamese food. I met Judith on an online language forum, and her boyfriend Chuck is an iphone app developer and also somewhat of a language nerd. We had lots of fun and they showed me some things around town.
Later in the evening, I went to a floating hostel on the river in east berlin, and partied there with a bunch of people from CouchSurfing. Benny the Irish Polyglot was there again too, so I chatted with him briefly. Actually, I spent most of that evening talking about languages with various people. There was an interesting guy from California who spoke excellent German, and studied linguistics in university. I also met a German woman who just returned from a 1 year trip across Canada.
On thursday I went out for Sri Lankan food in Friedrichshain with Judith and Chuck again. Friedrichshain is just slightly east of the central area of Berlin, and is quite a cool neighbourhood. There are lots of restaurants advertising Vegan options, and lots of great food. Lots of other people with tattoos too, so I appeared to fit right in.
We went to a shop where you can play German board games, which was quite neat. It’s open 6 days a week, and you pay €3 to play all day. They have a selection of 1200 games to choose from, and they also sell beers and other drinks. After playing a game there, we decided it was too hot to play games, and left.
We walked a few blocks away to a shop called “Cupcake”, which was what you’d expect from the name. I was amused at the menu, because it had to explain to the Germans what a cupcake actually was. They also had some vegan options there as well 😉
Next we went back to Judith and Chuck’s place and played more board games there. There was one called “Pandemic” that was quite neat, since it was a cooperative game. All 4 of us played our separate turns, but we all won or lost together. The next was a card game called “Dominion”, which involved building up your deck by upgrading your cards. Each turn you get 5 cards from your own deck, some of which are money and some are actions. You want to eventually be able to afford some of the cards that are worth a lot of game-winning points (although they are not functional in other aspects of the game like the money and action cards are). There was some interesting strategy about keeping track of the composition of your deck and adjusting it so that you were more likely to deal yourself a good hand every turn.
I skipped the hostel and stayed overnight here, and now I’m doing some Swedish study while Judith works. Later we’re going to play some more games 🙂
I’m planning on hanging around until the middle of next week, and then heading off to Copenhagen. I’ve got a possible couchsurfing response from someone in Malmö, so hopefully I can get that sorted out before I get there. I’m looking forward to meeting some people right away, and hopefully I can avoid hostels. Then I just need to find a place to rent for 2 months and I’ll be set 🙂