#taretravels: Neighbourhood – Charlottenburg

So. School’s officially started. Not that is makes much of a difference to my schedule anyway, because it’s already so packed (IHG, div 2 competitions, trainings, dance practices…) If I were my own daughter I’d smack myself upside down – I don’t know why my mother hasn’t already tried to shake some semblance of sense into me.

Anyway I’m aching to post about Perth, but the perfectionist in me is disgusted with my lack of order and absolutely refuses to blog about the amazing light down under until I’m finally done with Berlin. Hehe. Therefore, BERLIN IT IS, and what a convenient way to relive those glorious weeks in Deutschland. Sehr schön. I miss Berlin, still.

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Ladies and gentlemen, today we will take a trip to western Berlin, to a quaint little neighbourhood overpopulated with Chinese tourists which exudes the most sophisticated charm.

Charlottenburg is perhaps like the Sixth Avenue of Singapore, housing the affluent and the opulent. What I love about the palace is that you are allowed to stroll about the gardens as and when you wish. It was a magnificent garden. For that short hour we were there, it was so easy to visualize the garden bustling with life; princesses with tea and cookies in hand, little children running about the manicured lawns… oh for that short hour, it really felt like I was royalty in the beautiful Charlottenburg Gardens.

Now if only my fellow tourists didn’t decide to talk loudly and ruin my daydream.  Continue reading “#taretravels: Neighbourhood – Charlottenburg”

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#taretravels: Neighbourhood – Tempelhof

I’ve three more papers to go as of today, but I already have friends celebrating the end of Semester 1. Already?? I cry in anguish, but said friends are halfway out the door.

This semester hasn’t been particularly easy, what with the truckload of projects. Also, as with all things I do impulsively, I took German this semester on a whim, and till today I still cannot decide if it was the single most brilliant module I have taken yet, or the most test-every-week-homework-everyday-wake-up-at-8am horrifying module I have taken yet. A bit of both really, and while I sighed with relief when I was finally done with the last class of German (Endlich!! Ich bin müde!), I also have crazy thoughts of taking German 2.

Another semester’s worth of Deutsch Vokabular tests, frustrating listening comprehensions and memorizing foreign words like my life depended on it? NO! My brain says. But the foolish Cheryl has already started looking up German 2 on CORS.

But I digress.

I’m finally back with the first of my many, many, many posts on Berlin!! Today we will be exploring the wonderful Tempelhof, a sprawling area of lush, lush green and long, long runways. Tempelhof used to be the old airport in Berlin, but they decided to close it down – now they’ve got the one at Tegel and are also expanding the one at Schönefeld. Instead of tearing the place down to make space for bigger developments, the government decided to keep it as it is. Lots of urban projects have sprung up since then, and Tempelhof is really the perfect place to do just about anything; biking, gardening, picnicking, running, relaxing…. my summer class headed down for some learning one sunny, windy afternoon.

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My teacher is this really cool guy from Cologne. He speaks with an insane German accent and it’s actually quite fun to listen to and imitate (he says German like JERMAHN). He is also damn good at stories and created his summer module (Urban Geography) such that his students would go on excursions around Berlin for every single class! And he took it upon himself to explain to us the backgrounds and stories of each of the neighbourhoods we visit. Did I say German in NUS was the best module I’ve taken yet? Scratch that. Dynamics in Urban Geography in Humboldt Universität was the best module I’ve ever taken.  Continue reading “#taretravels: Neighbourhood – Tempelhof”

Willkommen in Berlin!

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“Berlin ist arm, aber sexy.” (Berlin is poor, but sexy.)
– Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor, in a television interview

“Berlin combines the culture of New York, the traffic system of Tokyo, the nature of Seattle, and the historical treasures of, well, Berlin.”
– Hiroshi Motomura, US Law professor

“Du bist verrückt mein Kind, du mußt nach Berlin.” (You are crazy, my child. You must go to Berlin.)
– Franz von Suppe, composer

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For the unaware, I’ve been away on my #taretravels from 21 June – 21 July. It was mostly for summer school in Berlin, but I took the amazing opportunity to go see Budapest, Prague, Kutna Hora, Cologne and Bonn! While I’ve (mostly) loved every city I visited, Berlin remains my favourite – maybe by virtue of the fact that I stayed there the longest, but definitely also because Berlin was absolutely magical to me, and I am so in love its culture and ways. Continue reading “Willkommen in Berlin!”