On to Berlin

When we last talked I was in Enschede in The Netherlands. Three days later and now I am in Berlin in Germany.

I took the train across the top of Germany on Tuesday evening, helpfully shepherded to the station by Elmine, who waited to ensure that I wasn’t stranded forever in a remote Dutch border town. The trip took me through Hannover and Wolfsburg (ah, Wolfsburg) arriving in Berlin around 10:00 p.m. A quick zag and a quick zag and I was installed in my compact but clean and inexpensive hotel room on Moritzplatz.

Wednesday morning I was up early to handle my burgeoning laundry situation; fortunately I found an excellent solution: the Wäscherei & Schneiderei am Moritzplatz is 100m from my hotel door and would wash, dry and fold my entire travelling wardrobe for only 15 EUR with 24 hour turnaround (10 EUR if I could have waited an additional day). Given the complexities of hauling laundry to the nearest laundromat myself, buying soap, and waiting around for it all to wash and dry, this seemed like the deal of the century. As it turned out, the laundry was ready at 7:00 p.m. when I walked by on my way home; this is what I picked up:

Berlin Laundry

After handling the laundry situation I headed over to Betahaus, just around the corner, and purchased a membership and a day’s worth of flex-desk (10 EUR and 12 EUR respectively) and set myself up with a workstation:

Betahaus Workstation

I immediately set to work — this was, after all, my “vacation from my vacation where I get some paying work done” — broken up by a delightful lunch with Igor, Peter, Martin, Madeline, Michelle and Geoffrey at 3Schwestern.

After a productive workday I set out toward Prenzlauer Berg in search of Tweek and my old Plazes colleague Til. Tweek has moved to a ramshackle new office in a lovely old building since my last visit, and before Til and I headed out to supper I had a chance to get updated on the product — and the world of television and movie information on the web in general — from 2/3 of the co-founders, Marcel Düe and Klaus Hartl (himself a former Plazes coconspirator).

Til and I had a very pleasant night out, starting with tacos at Maria Bonita and finishing up with a walk around the neighbourhood and beers at Eka.

I’m back in Betahaus this morning for another day of work; later it will be lunch with Martin and supper with James and then tomorrow it’s off to Malmö by jet for a rendezvous with the crew there for 5 days.

Appearances would seem to suggest that despite my protests to the contrary I am something of a social butterfly; I’m finding, to my surprise and delight, that refueling with friends and colleagues old a new is an excellent way to stuff my head full of new ideas. I except to return to Charlottetown in a few weeks full of vim and vigour. Isn’t that what vacations are for?