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Berlin Notes

News and views from Germany's federal capital in easily-digestible blog format.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Check out Berlin's hippest new location - yes, it's a genuine Döner fast-food restaurant. The Bagdad in Kreuzberg's Schlesisches Tor area is hosting it's very own Dönerstag-Event tonight from 11pm (that's a play on the German for "Thursday", Donnerstag). DJs Mantu and Buggy will be playing elektro, there may - or may not, depending on the crowd - be a "Miss Sexy Döner Contest". 


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Monday, April 2, 2007

A word of warning: the Easter Bunny's out and about, which in Germany means a big weekend of public holidays: Friday (April 6), Sunday (April 8) and Monday (April 9) are gesetzliche Feiertage (official holidays), which means all the shops etc. which are not open on Sundays will be closed on Friday and Monday too. Saturday (April 7) is a normal shopping day however, although experience suggests you might like to get your essential shopping done early to beat the inevitable rush.

Due to a freak bureaucratic cock-up in the new shop opening hours law however, if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, flea markets etc. will not be allowed to take place.


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Monday, April 2, 2007

"English Events in Berlin" are hosting their improvisational comedy show "Laugh Olympics" (held in English) at the WAMOS loft (Hasenheide 9, 2nd Hinterhof, Aufgang 1) inNeukölln.

The show starts at 8pm and lasts about 2 hours with a break. Entry is €3.

See English Events in Berlin's website for more details.


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Monday, April 2, 2007

"English Events in Berlin" are hosting their weekly party this Wednesday, as always on the Eastern Comfort ship, moored on the Spree near Schlesisches Tor. This week's event features a free salsa lesson, which begins around 9pm and includes beginner and then intermediate figure. Entrance is €1.

Further information on English Events in Berlin's website.


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Monday, April 2, 2007

Yes, it's that time of the year again when the BVG and S-Bahn decide to reach that little bit deeper into your pockets. First, the good news: fares aren't rising that much. The most popular ticket, the 2 hour one for zones A and B (i.e. all of Berlin) remains stable at €2.10, while the same ticket for zones A, B and C rises from €2.60 to €2.70. The excellent value-for-money (at least in comparision to other major European capitals) monthly ticket goes up from €67 to €70, but remains the same price for yearly subscribers.

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Germany takes its public holidays seriously: they're "celebrated" on the day they fall on (no postponement to the following Monday etc.), and - with certain exceptions - all shops are closed.

Note that public holidays in Germany differ somewhat between federal states (Bundesländer), and some of the more Catholic states have extra holidays.


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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Came across this new denglish creation in this week's Stern magazine. (At least I think it's denglish; a quick search brings up mainly German sites). Anyway, although it sounds like an accident which might happen on an oil drilling platform, it's actually a play on the word "burnout", used to describe the phenomenon of burnout through boredom. You see, it seems there are lots of people working in offices who are actually chronically unbusy and suffer from the terrible problem of having to find ways to kill their time at work, usually with the help of Youtube.

(As a self-employed person that made me go all jealous, until I remembered that - whenever I have a free moment - I can wander out at will to e.g. enjoy the lovely weather. If I can drag myself away from this fascinating Youtube video, that is).


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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The next scheduled general Sunday opening (verkaufsoffene Sonntag) is May 20. However, for some reason (which I haven't been able to establish, but I don't think it's an April Fool), some shops and malls will be open this coming Sunday, April 1. Places opening include the Ring-Center in Friedrichshain and all three IKEA branches in Berlin.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

The next scheduled general Sunday opening (verkaufsoffene Sonntag) is May 20. However, for some reason (which I haven't been able to establish, but I don't think it's an April Fool), some shops and malls will be open this coming Sunday, April 1. Places opening include the Ring-Center in Friedrichshain and all three IKEA branches in Berlin.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Flatrateparty

It might sound like a gathering of DSL users, but a Flatrateparty (Flatrate-Party, Flat-Rate-Party) is actually an event where you'll find a large number of comatose teenagers, attracted by the all-you-can-drink offer (as a native English speaker might say).

"Flatrate" first made its appearance in the language of Goethe during the late 1990s with the rise of DSL, which is usually coupled with a flat-rate charge (although some ultra-cheap services may offer volume or time-based tarifs).

Flatratepartys (sic) are a more recent phenomonen, and during the past few weeks have been making the headlines due to repeated incidents involving teenagers literally drinking themselves into comas.


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