Category Archives: Berlin, Germany 2008

Berlin, Germany – Last day

I thought I should post all my entries on Germany before I embark on the KK trip post.
On my last day in Berlin, I took the opportunity to visit 2 museums, Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Jewish Museum. Checkpoint Charlie Museum is dedicated to the Berlin Wall and is located few steps away from the replica of a guardhouse of Checkpoint Charlie, which was a checkpoint for visitors from the West Berlin to East Berlin.






Stuff that you can purchase around Checkpoint Charlie
The museum is easily accessible by bus and train and there is an admission fee of 12.50 Euro. This museum is a must-go for all visitors as it has many stories on escapades by East Berliners to West Berlin. It also contains all sorts of items used by escapees to escape from East Berlin.

Plenty of photographs to see in Checkpoint Charlie Museum

I’ve no idea why they are kissing

Continue reading Berlin, Germany – Last day

Berlin, Germany – Taxi

[Note: I cant blog in KK, hence Im posting this entry which I prepared some time back :P]

On our first few days, we had to travel by taxi as we were not familiar with Berlin. Each journey costs us RM50 and after a while, we decided to save by walking or taking public transport. The train system is pretty efficient. However, no one monitors the train stations and one can take the train for free (illegally).

Mercedes cars are used as taxis in Berlin.

It’s quite comfortable and their meters are of state of the art. It’s embedded on their rear mirror!

I found this magazine “Taxi Aktuell” in one of the taxis I took. I wonder if it’s a magazine available only in taxis or it’s a magazine for an association of taxi drivers. It would be extremely cool if it’s a magazine for passengers.

Anyone wants to start one in Malaysia with me?

Berlin, Germany – Via Condotti @ Berlin

Our concierge recommended us one Italian restaurant nearby our hotel. It’s said that it serves authentic Italian food. Without any hesitation, we headed to Via Condotti.

We were greeted by a man wearing a red Ferrari cap. I think he’s the manager of the place cause he kept scolding a waiter. The waiters were all Italian, and they kept speaking Italian to us. -_-

The highlight of this restaurant, for me, must be their spaghetti with black truffles. The unique thing about this dish is the way that it was served. The manager brought an additional table with a huge slab of cheese on top. A box of black truffles is placed next to it.

Thereafter, the manager started scrubbing the top part of the cheese and set it on fire!

Spaghetti was thereafter thrown into the fire hence extinguishing it.

Seconds later, the spaghetti was served with sliced truffles on top. It tasted extremely goooddddd 😀

Anyone knows where I can get something like this in KL? (minus the truffles of course)

Address:
Fasanenstr, 73 – 10719 Berlin
Tel: (030) 88 67 78 97
Fax: (030) 88 67 78 99
Website: www.viacondotti-berlin.de
Related link
Boo.com Review

Berlin, Germany – Kurfürstendamm and its surroundings

We stayed at Concorde Hotel which is a street away from Kurfürstendamm, a very long boulevard housing many famous designer brands like LV, Gucci and Bvlgari. Things are extremely expensive there. However, there are couple of souvenir shops that are worth looking at. The souvenirs all around Berlin are pretty much identical – fridge magnets, postcards and so called fragments of the Berlin wall.

Along the street of Kurfürstendamm, there were many impressive glass displays featuring all sorts of clothing and wares.


Mercedes Benz display in front of Mercedes Benz store

When I first saw them, I wondered why these glass displays were never vandalised. But soon I found one glass display with a cracked display. I guess someone tried to break into it.

We saw a number of people walking their dogs along Kurfürstendamm. Some responsible owner would pick up the dogs’ poo and disposed them. Some just leave them as it is. But some rich ones dispose them off at one of the ‘poo deposit machines’.


Check out the lookout point on top of the train station

Further down Kurfürstendamm, we can see…


Chinese restaurant


The Chinese restaurant looks like its being squashed by the building on top.


F*ckfashion anyone?? (see the word below the word “xes” in the watermark)

Berlin, Germany – Copy Print

One of the things I’ve learn from my Berlin trip is to have enough business cards. Once you run out of business cards, you would have a lot of explanations to do and probably lose some good contacts. It’s the ultimate weapon to establish contacts.
But life being life, things are always unexpected. You may run out of it while on your business trip or worst of all, you forgot to bring it along.
You could always explain to your contact that you forget your card but you’ll email him your contact later. In such event, the chances of them replying to your email is slim and most likely they have forgotten about you. Further, you’ll be left out of their option when they go through their business cards to see what contacts they have to pass work to.
If anyone encountered any of the aforesaid problems, one of the solutions is to get your name cards printed.
Just next to Schweinske, lies a printing shop which could duplicate business cards. It’s quite impressive but it’s also very expensive. All we need to provide is a copy of the name card or even a soft copy of the name card. For a hard copy of a name card, the shop can duplicate the business card even it’s in someone else’s name! As for the soft copy, always keep a copy online so it’s accessible when it needs to get printed.


It only takes couple of hours to get the business cards printed. However, the quality of the paper may differ from the original one.
I ran out of business cards on my 2nd last day. I had to resort to using my colleague’s business card. I had my name written next to his. It wasn’t a good solution as my writing resembles a bunch of worms mixed up together. But being poor and desperate, I had no choice.
Related Link
http://www.copyprint.de/ (in German)

Berlin, Germany – Schweinske

I had lunch at one restaurant by the name Schweinske. I found this place by accident.


I got lost around this area when I found Schweinske


The theme of this restaurant is based on pigs. Schweinske was established in 1983 in Hamburg and expanded throughout Germany. It has now around 34 outlets.

Upon sitting down, I was given a menu. The menu was in German but I knew what I wanted i.e. Curry Wurst. One of the items in the menu is titled “Miss Piggy” and on the menu, drawings of pigs were everywhere.


So were the walls and ceilings.


The piggies are peeping!

The Currywurst tasted extremely great although I’m not a big fan of sausages. Fries were served on the side and the sausage was topped with a barbeque sauce and curry powder. It costs around 4.95 Euro.


I ordered a bottle of Apollinaris to complement my Currywurst. Apollinaris is some sort of carbonated table water. The taste is extremely weird. It tasted like a mixture of salt and water. I wanted to try Apollinaris because there is a famous English case on Intellectual Property regarding the Apollinaris. This 100 years old case is quoted in many commonwealth jurisdictions.


Website: http://www.schweinske.de (In German)
P/S Sorry for the Haram post.

Berlin, Germany – Food!

Many said that Germany is the land of sausage, beer and pork knuckles. Being a foodie (and perpetually hungry), I took every opportunity to try whatever I could fit in my stomach. I came home with a bigger tummy and my pants felt tighter.
Like Ho Chi Minh City, I notice that some of the chairs are arranged facing the road. I wonder they can’t face the chair toward the table – so that people can face each other and talk. But I understand is that the purpose of doing so is to enable people can enjoy the view (of the road?) and have a conversation on anything they see.


Our first meal was at a local pub by Kurfürstendamm. I had a huge pincher of Berliner Kindl (quite tasty, only 0, 41e! Cheaper than water!) and sausage. It was delicious!

The stuff on the right was tastty! Cant remember what’s the name.

Cheapo beer
I also managed to try their well known pork knuckles. I ordered mine at one pub recommended by our hotel concierge. In the menu, it was titled “Super Pork Knuckles”. It was indeed super in size. It was so big that I couldn’t finish it and the fat was enough to power a generator. However, the meat was tender and soft.

They also sell Maggi products here. And I notice that most condiments have yellow packaging.


Sushi also got!

Sliced octopus. Yummy.

Currywurst is one of the most well known dishes in Berlin. It consists of pork sausages with curry sauce and curry powder seasoned on top. And I had it at one restaurant dedicated to pigs. Will talk about it next time.

Warao, dilated pupils. This stuff must be good.

Berlin, Germany – Back from Berlin

I was fortunate to be selected by my firm to represent the firm at the 130th International Trade Mark Association Conference (INTA) at Berlin, Germany.

ICC, official venue for INTA

This yearly conference is attended by as many as 8000 trade mark owners and Intellectual Property practitioners from all over the world. It was a great eye opener and it was a wonderful experience to meet loads of people throughout the 5 days event. By the 3rd day, I ran out of business cards.


Name cards that I collected for the past 5 days.

The Chinese law firms and intellectual property firms were very aggressive on their marketing. They setup many booths at the convention centre and Chinese IP practitioners are everywhere. The Indians were fairly aggressive as well. I met one lawyer by the name Xerxes.

Xerxes: People in India had a hard time remembering my name. Some call me Xerox (well known document management company).

I also had the opportunity to bump into actor Randall Duk Kim, also known as the Keymaker from Matrix Reloaded. Initially I didn’t believe that he was the guy from Matrix Reloaded but after he recited a line from Matrix Reloaded, I believed him. He was in Berlin to shoot a film by the name Ninja Assassins with the Wachoski Brothers.


When I was called to attend this conference, I knew it was no holiday.

My day usually starts at 7am and thereafter meetings after meetings until dinner time. After dinner, we will attend all sorts of receptions held by large international companies or Intellectual Property firms. The whole process usually lasts until 12am. Since its a reception, we had to run around to make new friends and hence didn’t have the chance to sit down. It was truly a one night stand – I was standing the whole night.

We went home exhausted everyday. It was worst than working in the office. Sitting in the office from 7AM to 12AM everyday is not that bad.

Receptions were held in all sorts of unique places. We had receptions at places such as an embassy, a museum, old town hall and even rooftop of a building.


Old town hall


Museum


Reception on roof top

Daimler had their reception at their flagship store with all their cars ranging from old to new and cheap to expensive placed all over the store.


Daimler flagship store

The store even has a rock climbing wall.

Berlin, Germany – Day 1, Part I

The weather in Berlin was quite cooling. We had no problem walking around without a jacket.
We’re currently staying in Concorde Hotel, a hotel in the city centre. Our room is very nice but entertainment is lacking. We can use our television to surf the net, watch blockbusters and even watch porn. Unfortunately, we have to pay for it.


We arrived on Friday morning. Our appointments and meeting doesn’t start until Saturday hence we went around the city for sightseeing by hopping on a tourist bus that brought us to various parts of the town. We went to famous places like Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburger Tor, the Memorial Church. The bus stops at every well known places and we could get out to check out the place and thereafter catch the later bus to the next destination. The cost is around 15 Euro to 20 Euro.



Unfortunately, as Berlin is 6 hours behind Malaysia, by 4pm, we were very tired. We had to hang on until 9pm to make sure that our body clock is well adjusted.
We had dinner at one nice Italian restaurant near our office. We had one meal which started off with huge block of cheese being set on fire. The melted cheese is then mixed with spaghetti. Thereafter, it was topped with truffles. The best part is that the whole process was done infront of us. Will post pictures when I get back.

Berlin, Germany – The Netherlands

Greetings from Berlin, Germany!

I arrived at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands on a rainy day. It was a grueling 10 hours flight on KLM Airlines – with small seat and lousy airline food. Schiphol Airport changed a lot since I came but old momuments are still around.

This has been around
There are many new shops selling tobacco, alcohol, flowers, souvenirs, food, beverages and even cheese.





Security is pretty tight. I had to take out my laptop from my bag and also my belt. Some had their shoes removed and scanned.
I had sandwich and coffee at one restaurant in the airport. The bread was tough like rock.
Hour laters, I arrived in Berlin, Germany. More soon!