1 December 2011

Day 2/3: Arrival in Berlin, Taking Care of Business

My arrival in Berlin was quite smooth.  The flight (on Brussels Airlines) was quite empty, allowing me to get all my carry on luggage on board the plane again.  From there, I hit the ground in Berlin and put my German to good use, finding the proper bus downtown, and from the station in Alexander Platz, taking the U-bahn (Subway) up to where my hostel is.  It was actually quite easy to find, a much smoother process than finding my place of lodging in London when I was there in 2009. 
After finding a Deutsche Bank machine, I walked around Alexanderplatz, enjoying the Christmas festival (photos to come).  After taking a nap, I forced myself to wake up (or be cursed with being unable to sleep any time after 2am), and walked around the hostel's neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg, finding some dinner, then having a (remarkably cheap) beer with some of the hostel guests and staff.

I went to sleep (again) and woke up at a decent hour (8am).  Yay for beginning the trip with some semblance of a normal sleep schedule!  

Yesterday (Wed., November 30) was "business day."  I spent the morning checking out my new apartment (although I don't move in until Monday), and lining up a phone.  Eric Frank, the owner of Berlin Cribs, the company which handles rental of vacation (and longer-stay) apartments, was most helpful in getting me started with the phone and the SIM card.  This running around was also good in that it helped me get to know my new neighbourhood a little bit, finding grocery shopping, drug stores, restaurants, shops, U-bahn station, etc.  

I spent most of the afternoon working on job applications, and then later in the evening, I ended up going to a free-improvisation concert in Kreuzberg.  This was a great concert and allowed me meet a couple of new musicians to talk and hopefully play with in the future!

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