Mundane, Mundane

As I often hold friends and family to task for not communicating more about the mundane day-to-day details of their world travels, I present here the first 2 hours of Thursday, July 21, 2011:

  • 8:01 a.m. – Woke up to the sounds of street machinery on Graefestrasse; they are ripping up parts of the sidewalk this week and they start work early. There seems to have been a little competition this morning between the workers, making the street a mess, and the street cleaners, making it clean. Together they made a lot of noise.
  • 8:05 a.m. – Checked on the progress of my XCode 4 download to my MacBook. I had to reinstall OS X Snow Leopard yesterday after my hard drive’s kernel extension got borked, seemingly over a conflict with the portable Seagate GoFlex drive I purchased just before we left. Firefox reported 15 hours to go, so I suspended the download.
  • 8:15 a.m. – Showered in the tiny, tiny bathroom. It really is tiny. But it works, and if you plan the shower curtain placement right you only get a little bit of water on the floor.
  • 8:25 a.m. – Catherine’s awake. Asks if I’m leaving right away or if I can get her coffee first. As averse as I am to interruptions in the flow, love conquers all, and I reroute my plan for the next 30 minutes.
  • 8:30 a.m. – Downstairs and over 2 doors to the Kaffebar, a coffee place that opened, as luck would have it, the same day we arrived in Berlin. Ordered an espresso macchiato and a cappuccino to go; received the macchiato but a croissant in place of the cappuccino because, well, I have an espresso macchiato and a croissant every day and coffee shop owner is also averse to interruptions in the regular flow. Cappuccino obtained. Kept the croissant for Oliver.
  • 8:45 a.m. – Upstairs. Oliver’s awake now and in fine form, galloping all over the apartment. Wolf down my macchiato and pack up my digital gear.
  • 9:02 a.m. – Kiss Catherine and Oliver good bye and head off to Betahaus, a 15 minute walk away, to start my work day. The walk takes me up Graefestrasse, over the canal and up to Kottbusser Tor and then around the corner and through the park and along Prinzessinnenstraße to Betahaus. I have yet to figure out how to pronounce Prinzessinnenstraße. Mornings are my favourite time in Berlin: the air is still cool, the streets are relatively deserted and there’s a sense of expectation in the air.
  • 9:17 a.m. – Arrive Betahaus. Preparations in the first-floor café for the “BetaBreakfast” are in full swing – it’s a weekly free breakfast that Betahaus hosts and includes speakers on various topics. I consider staying down in the café, but I have a lot of work to do and Catherine’s handing over Oliver at 1:30 p.m. to go and spend the afternoon talking knitting and hacking.
  • 9:30 a.m. – After a quick blueberry muffin in the café I head into the bizarre dinosaur of a freight elevator up to the third floor “coworking” space – I should take the stairs, but I don’t have the energy for it today. I find myself a desk with a green dot on it – the signal that it’s a “flexdesk” for people like me – and set down my MacBook.
  • 9:34 a.m. – On the other end of the third floor is a bank of lockers where I keep my full-size keyboard, mouse and various cables; I walk over and grab it all, trying and failing to be ginger in my steps so as to not disturb the nearby knowledge workers (I’m still getting the hang of “corworking”).
  • 9:45 a.m. – Get everything plugged together: every day is a reassemble-work-tear down cycle when you’re “hot desking.”
  • 9:50 a.m. – Start the XCode 4 download again. This time, with more bandwidth, it reports 46 minutes to download.
  • 9:52 a.m. – Start writing a little blog post (this one, as it turns out) about the mundane parts of our life in Berlin. “I’ll just take 8 minutes to dash this off before I set down to work,” I tell myself.
  • 10:13 a.m. – I am nothing if not incapable of judging how long it takes to do things; 21 minutes later I finish the blog post and set to work.

I’ll be here at Betahaus for the morning – I’ll likely grab a quick lunch in the café around 11:30 a.m. – and then Oliver and I will head off for father-and-son adventures for the afternoon.

So, there you have it.