Berlin Notes: Undsoweiter

Undsoweiter - German for etcetera - is a collection of odd news and stuff from Berlin and Germany.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Google is useful for finding all sorts of information, to the extent "googling" has become a verb, but their mapping can be very hit-and-miss at times. Should you for example search for Berlin's Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, it will show you a little map of where it thinks it is - i.e. the Lietzenburger Straße. Which is way out; the church site at the top end of the Ku'damm on Breitscheidplatz.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church according to Google

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Anyone who's lived in Germany for any length of time will no doubt have come into contact with the GEZ (Gebühreneinzugszentrale), the organisation which is responsible for collecting the compulsory fees for Germany's public broadcasting system. In the last few days threatening-sounding, but quite plausible e-mails from the GEZ have been appearing in many people's inboxes. Be warned: these are fakes and the attachment contains some sort of virus or trojan - just delete the mail without reading.

Should the real GEZ want something from you, they will communicate via an ordinary (albeit equally threatening-sounding) letter.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006


In case you didn't know, Spekulatius is a kind of cinnamon-flavoured biscuit popular at Christmas time in Germany (and according to this site in Holland too). With just four months to go to the big event, my local supermarket is getting into the swing of things with this pile of seasonally decorated spekulatius displayed prominently at the entrance.

It won't be long now until the first Berliners have their Christmas lights up in their windows.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Crop Circles in the Tiergarten? Have space aliens been doing their dastardly business in Berlin's Central Park?

(With apologies to the Hauptstadtblog)

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Sunday, August 6, 2006

Schlauchomat (Inner Tube Vending Machine) in Steglitz, Berlin This week "other commitments" have, alas, prevented me from that most pleasurable of online activities, blogging. On the other hand I have been spending a lot of time in that most delectably vibrant of Berlin neighbourhoods, Steglitz, where I was delighted to find this inner tube vending machine, aka Schlauchomat. Just the thing for when you find yourself with a flattie outside of Bicycle Shop Opening Hours and are stuck for rubber.

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Don't trust the clocks in Berlin If you find yourself in Berlin without a watch - don't rely too much on the public clocks, they're notorious for being wrong. In extreme cases such as the one on the right, they can show several completely different - and wrong - times.

The World Time Clock (Weltzeituhr) on Alexanderplatz is generally pretty accurate though.

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Buy cheese, get flipflops freeAs predicted the good weather is holding up, but evidently the heat has gone to the heads of whoever thinks up product marketing for the Extra chain of supermarkets: at the moment they're offering a "buy cheese, get free flipflops" special. With the flipflops in the same wrapping as the cheese.

Still, at least the flipflops don't need to be "worn in" to get that authentic cheesy fragrance.

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Friday, July 7, 2006

Well, I was right about the motive behind the mysterious concrete footballs. Turns out the guys behind them "feel that they have been misunderstood as artists", with their intent behind the rather-too-solid balls being to symbolise football as a mass phenomonen etc. etc. The Berliner Zeitung has more information (German only).

All 16 "installations" have disappeared in the meantime, making Berlin once again safe for casual kickers of footballs.

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Thursday, July 6, 2006

For the last few days footballs filled with concrete and chained together in pairs have been turning up in various parts of Berlin. Sometimes they've been accompanied by the invitation "can u kick it?", which has led to foot injuries to anyone trying. 16 of the football pairs have turned up so far. Now the police have found the perpetrators: two Austrians who have been living in Berlin for some time, and who were in the process of making more of the concrete footballs, which weigh about 10kg each.

Their motives are not yet known, though I'd bet the words "conceptual", "art" and/or "installation" would be involved in any explanation.

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Monday, July 3, 2006

Football Lettuce In case you hadn't noticed there's a major football-orientated sporting event going on at the moment in Berlin. If you're in Berlin there is absolutely no way you can miss it - starting with the sphere on top of thetelevision tower, the beautiful game's primary equipment item is everywhere.

I did feel however that the plastic wrapping around this lettuce is taking things a bit far.

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