Thursday, September 7, 2017

Living in Berlin - My Money Diary

Occupation: Junior Account Manager
Industry: Mobile Advertising
Age: 25
Location: Berlin, Germany
Net Salary: €1200-1300ish / month (I'm getting a raise in October)
Housing Costs: €450
Loan Payments: -

All Other Monthly Expenses: 
Phone / Data Plan: €8 (Aldi Talk Prepaid)
Spotify: €10
Netflix:using my friend's account, I occasionally pay him with beers (update: he cancelled his account so now I don't have Netflix anymore) (update 2: my ex gave me his Netflix login)




Day 1


10am - I get to work late as usual. Breakfast is black coffee and samosas from office kitchen.

1pm - the weather is finally nice and sunny so it is tempting to go out and get food outside, but finally decided to eat instant noodles with some dumplings and mushroom while watching Harry Potter in the office.

4pm - why is today so looong? I make myself iced coffee from office kitchen as a pick me up.

7pm - I do a quick run to the grocery shop after work. picked up mint leaves, soda water and a bag of sweet potato because they're on sale.
€3.02

9pm - for dinner I make rice, spicy minced meat with paprika and pak choy with soy sauce and garlic on the side. I love pak choy so much I get very excited finding out Aldi is stocking it. Is this what being adult all about? To get excited over a vegetable?!

10pm - make myself 2 glasses of mojito while watching Ash vs Evil Dead because #TreatYoSelf

11pm - hop in to shower and fold my laundry. Really tempted to read few pages of Frankenstein but I probably should just snooze.

1am - jk I can't sleep, there's crazy thunder storms out there.

Total: €3.02


Day 2


10am - cereal breakfast in the office.

1pm - lunch is left-over from last night. It always makes my day when people compliment about my food.

2pm - I go out for a fresh air and grab a vanilla ice cream.
€2.40

4pm - WHEN WILL THIS DAY BE OVERRRRR?

7pm - another ice cream! I wanted to get bubble tea but gave up after seeing the long lines. Pistachio ice cream to the rescue! One way to figure out whether a gelatteria is legit is by trying their pistachio ice cream.
€1.7

Cinema date with the boy (**now ex boyfriend) to see The Beguiled. The movie was just plain flat. But! next time I get to pick the movie! We also get rose because we are fancy.
He paid for the movie, I paid for rose.
€9

10pm - very tempted to get sliced pizza but decided to eat at home, trying to push this adulting a bit more.

Total: €13.1


Day 3


9am - adults need coffee, right?! Also croissants!
€2.48

10am  great, my boss bring breakfast for everyone, but I'm so full at this point :/

1pm - Runch! I get fried rice from the Vietname place nearby.
€6

5pm - makgeolli hour in the office ayyyyy

7pm - I don't know how but me and my friend ended up at this costume shop and we get wigs! I got an electric blue bob wig to semi-chanel Mia Wallace slash Elvira Hancock.
€12

8pm - its späti beer o#clock. I get my usual choice, Tannenzäpfle.
€1.3

we meet another friend and go to a bar for another round of beer and my friend get us a round pfeffi (peppermint liquor; so it's basically an alcoholic mouthwash)!
€2.7

10pm - its karaoke night! We sing few songs on the stage, me  and my friend sing a robyn number, dancing on my own, where I ended up screaming and get way too emotional. We get 2 rounds of free shots! Some guy came to say thanks for our performance. (It was bad, I mean really bad) This is the most fun I had in a while.
Entrance ticket: €5
3 beers €10

3am - I made it home! I cook some sausage and ate them before collapsing. I am a disgusting human being.

Total: €39.48


Day 4



1pm - I wake up with mild hangover. have a quick ramen, aspirin and shower and felt so much better.
Getting ready for the pride day but it's raining so I resort to my bed watching Ash vs Evil Dead instead

7pm - okonomiyaki dinner with the boyfriend.
€10.90

9pm - we stay in watching scarface. He collapsed pretty early. I finished the movie and scrolled through my social media until past midnight

Slow saturday but well-deserved.

Total: €10.90




Day 5




After a round of lounging around in bed I finally leave the house around 4pm to meet a friend.

5pm - I get there a bit late and am overwhelmed with the massive crowd and art pieces and rooms at the UDK (Art University). I grab one cheeky glass of beer while enjoying some sculptures and paintings.
I stay until 8pm then make my way en route home where I stopped to get groceries.
€2

9pm - almost all shops are closed on Sundays here. Only shops at train stations or gas stations are open so overall it's pretty shit to do your shopping on Sunday. Alas I'm running low on food so I decided to go get groceries anyway. I get glass noodles, fussili, gouda, olives (which I used to hate but no love), chicken, eggs and champignon. Also topped up my phone credit for €15
€25.7

10pm - I decided to take a cab home because I still have a 15 euro off code.

I make fussili with homemade ragu I have in the fridge and topped it off with some gouda. Yum!

Total: €27.7



Week Total: €94.2

Obviously my expenses fluctuate depends on my needs, emergency situations, mood and overall urge to #TreatMyself and 5 days is probably too short to showcase my spending and ~**lifestyle**~ but at least you can have a little sneak peak and idea of how much things cost in Berlin and what I do on a day to day basis.




Sunday, February 26, 2017

art museums / galleries in berlin



January 22nd 2017
kindl - centre for contemporary art
Am Sudhaus 3, Berlin 12053
U8 Boddinstrasse


U7 Karl-Marx-Strasse

Wed - Sun 12 - 6 pm


Admission 5 eur ;free admission to the Kesselhaus beside the main building.



Two things I really like; contemporary art and beers.
Here you can absorb all that contemporary art inside a former brewery. So cool! It is also overall more relaxing experience to enjoy art because instead of the regular old-grumpy museum guards, there were just bored art history graduates sitting on their chair in the corner or the exhibition room with their iphone who obviously don't care about your existence at all.





The cafe is also not to be missed, such a cool place to enjoy your kindl (or schorle or coffee)!



January 29th 2017
Hamburger Bahnhof
Invaliden Strasse 50 - 51, Berlin 10557
S7, S75, S5, U55 S+U Hauptbahnhof

Tue, Wed, Fri 10 am - 6 pm, Thu 10 am - 8 pm, Sat - Sun 11 am - 6 pm
Admission 10 eur




Next stop: a former train station turned into contemporary art museum. I am sure everyone in Berlin has been to Hamburger Bahnhof, so I wouldn't even try to write a lame copy about this amazing museum. Only one note though: they offer guided tour in english every Sundays 12pm - I know it's early but it is so worth it to get explanation about the history of the museum and some of the important pieces, imagine all the facts you could drop at the next dinner party! You will be the star of the evening bb.





February 5th 2017
Berlinische Galerie
Alte Jakobstrasse 124 - 128, Berlin 10969
U1, U6 Hallesches Tor
U8 Moritzplatz

everyday except Tuesday 10 am - 6 pm
Admission 8 eur, 4 eur every first Monday of the month




The minimalistic stairs connecting the ground to the top floor is indeed very #instaworthy
I feel like the collection here are very well curated, though I was here for only around 1.5 hour it was very impressive and I really want to revisit. Even though this one so far look like the most normal building compared to kindl or Hamburger Bahnhof, it was actually used to be a glass warehouse.



And bonus point, if you spot the hoarder apartment on the way to the museum - it's slightly cooler than the art pieces outside the museum if you asked me.





February 12th 2017
Kunstlerhaus Bethanien
Kottbusser Strasse 10, Berlin 10999
U1, U8 Kottbusser Tor

Tue - Sun 2 - 7 pm
Admission free



Now located between Neukolln and Kreuzberg in a former Lichtfabrik, Kunstlerhaus Bethanien is work- and exhibition spaces for the resident artists mainly focusing on contemporary visual arts. 





February 19th 2017

The museum is founded in 1997 as the Deutsche Guggenheim; a collaboration between Deutsche Bank and Solomon Gugenheim Foundation and had its run for 15 years. In 2013 they parted ways and today the museum stand as Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle. I wasn't quite impressed as the space was relatively small and the building was not as special as the former museums I have seen in the past weeks and there was only one exhibition and it wasn't exactly that great either (5 weeks in and I am an art critic now!).
Because it was a short visit, we decided to check out one other museum nearby.

everyday 10 am - 8 pm
Admission 4 eur, Mondays free admission
Unter den Linden 13, Berlin 10117
U6 Franzosische Strasse 
S1, S2, S25, S5, S7, S75 Friedrichstrasse


Daimler Contemporary
Haus Huth
Alte Potsdamer Strasse 5, Berlin 10785
U2, S1, S2 Potsdamer Platz
everyday 11 am - 6 pm
admission free




This museum saved the day! It wasn't too far and the collection was way more impressive. Located inside the really cool Huth Haus at Potsdamer Platz, it was a nice contrast, very refreshing to see contemporary art inside a cool old building. Fun fact, it is the ONLY imperial building in the area (Potsdamer Platz) that survived the war and also the wall is almost unscathed (not gonna lie, had to google what that exactly means) because the house -at that time ran as restaurant, wine merchant and wine bar got a steel skeleton installed (something really new for that time) to protect the wine on the second and third floor. How amazing is the power of wine, right! Santé!





February 26th 2017
Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien
Mariannenplatz 2, berlin 10997
U1, U8 Kottbusser Tor

everyday 11 am - 8 pm
admission free




Residing inside the Kunstquartier Bethanien, where the Kunstlerhaus Bethanien (the one I went to few Sundays back) also used to be, the building has quite an interesting history and impressive façade. Though it was a hospital before, it didn't really give me the creepy-chills, but that's maybe because I went around noon and was full of sugar and caffeine after a bottle of Clubmate.

Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien is an exhibition space for contemporary art with a focus on current social and cultural issues. Central to the projects here are the meaningful contextualisation of themes and consideration for diversity, internationality, and local relevance.
The location alone is well-worth a visit. Such gorgeous building!




March 2nd 2017
me Collectors Room / Stiftung Olbricht
Auguststrasse 68, 10117 Berlin
U8 Weinmeisterstrasse, U6 Oranienburger Tor, S1, S2, S25 Oranienburger Strasse, S3, S7, S5, S75 Hackescher Markt

Tue - Sun 12-6pm


March 12th 2017
Neues Museum
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
U6 Friedrichstrasse S1, S2, S25 Friedrichstrasse, S5, S7, S75 Hackescher Markt

everyday 10 am - 6 pm, Thursdays until 8 pm






  


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Broke In Berlin



At this point we are all already sick with the saying that Berlin is poor but sexy, but it still is very true for a lot of us whiny millennial babies. Because there are like millions of us escaping our identity crisis country, it is especially competitive to find a well-paid job, so we ended up selling ourselves short and settle for that 'social media' job at that très chic startup in Mitte with very minimum wage that barely even cover our crazy-expensive rent.


So, yes I am broke in Berlin. That's not the end of the world though, living here since May 2016 I have been navigating my way to survive and have fun (this is of course very subjective!) in Berlin with very minimum budget. I love to find good deals (partly because of my asian genes, but mostly because I'm broke AF) and reading of others' Geheimtipp, so I thought I could also share a thing or two about being a brokeass almost-adult in Berlin.



Facebook

Isn't it funny how some germans are so scared of putting their data out there they put alias and weird fake name on Facebook and post literally nothing and just sitting there silently lurking your feed, watching you, judging you? I mean, well, they're probably right and ahead of us anyway. When you're not paying for it, you are the product, right?
We all know Mark Zuckerberg is the devil and Facebook sell your private data and keep showing you how amazing everybody else has it and that we basically now living in Orwell's 1984 but! despite all that, if you are lucky and fast enough you can actually get free stuffs on Facebook, from advice, photo session, ikea mattress to (unwanted?) friend request and well.. attention!

Free Your Stuff
I once got a 250 bucks Rebecca Minkoff bag for free! Bless the lovely lady from Frankfurter Allee J

Free Advice Berlin 



Eat


Obviously cooking at home with groceries you get at turkish supermarket or discounters like Aldi, Lidl, Netto or Penny is the thing to do when poor is life but sometimes you just have had enough of eating leftovers 3 nights in a row or enough of Mi Goreng to cure your hangover woes and you feel like you deserve actual food cooked by big, strong hands that would comfort your empty belly and overall void in your life.


Taco Tuesday at Santa Maria Eastside taco and tequila shot at 1€ each ayyyyy

Salami Social Club has 1€/slice of different pizza selections every Thursday and also All You Can Eat on Sunday. If you feelin' like #TreatYoSelf for one of those special days, why not spend a bit more to good pizza - I made a Berlin Pizza Map where you can find supposedly best pizza in Berlin.

Hamy in Hasenheide 10 has cheap viet eats, around 4-5€ for a Tagesmenu / dish.
Mabuhay has indonesian food in big portion, most dishes around 6-7€
Arirang got relatively cheap korean eats and a portion there could feed like an entire family

If you are also hungry for food and also for human contact, why not join Let's cook together Berlin group where you can meet new people and cook food together. I mean you can also do that with your friends obviously. Berlin is so international and I think one of the perks of having friends from different part of the world is actually to taste their food -such good bonding experience! ('You eat what for breakfast?!')



Art & Culture

Appreciating art is so important especially for your overall sanity and social media presence. Look! Another instagram post of Chiaru Shiota's Uncertain Journey with a Gingham filter.


Museums / art galleries / historical sites:

List of museums with free entrance (pro tip: Don't be a dick and posed or take selfie at the Holocaust memorial)

You can visit The KW Institute for Contemporary Arts for free every Thursday from 6-9pm.
Akademie der Künste every Tuesday 3-7pm.
Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle every Monday.
Museum for Film and TV Thursday 4-8pm.
More museums and info here.

If you are young and cultured, you're in luck because all federate state museums offer free admission to you younger folks up to 18 and the Martin Gropius Bau only charges when you're above 17 years of age. Read more about museum admission for U-18 here.

If you are serious about checking out museums in Berlin, why not get the Annual ticket for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. I got the basic membership for 25€ granting me access to museum like Hamburger Bahnhof, Neues Museum, even the Pergamon Museum during off-peak hours (for example you can come at 11am - 1pm on Saturday or Sunday, after you get in you can stay as long as you want)

The visit to the Reichstag building is free of enterance you just have to register online or few hours before your visit at the Visitors Service.

Every summer there's Long Night of Museums (last year on August 27th) where you can visit lots of museums in Berlin for way cheaper. Early bird tickets 12€ / normal 18€. Sucha fun experience, though quite tiring - plan your route, bring water and snacks and wear comfy outfit. At the Naturkunde Museum you could even drink cocktails (!) with the dinosauriers

More art museums and galleries this way.

Films & Music & Dancing:

*Films

Every Saturday midnight there's a free silent movie screening at Babylon

Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays free movie screening at Köpi 137 a berliner squat / community center

Sameheads in Neukölln also screens cool film for free (also free popcorn!!) every Wednesday 9pm.

Kallasch& in Moabit also occasionally has Filmnacht& + Drink aus dem Film where you can watch cool cult movie for free and enjoy the drinks from the movie.


*Music

The Berliner Philharmory offers free lunch time concert every Tuesday. My office is at Potsdamer Strasse AKA so close to this, so if anyone wanna come with me feel free to slide into the DM.

Die Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler as well as die Universität der Künste offer concerts with free enterance occasionaly. Check their events here and here.



*Dancing

If you're feelin' dancy head to Clärchen Ballhaus, go on Monday to salsa your pain away (free enterance from 9pm on), Disco-Tuesday (free enterance from 9pm on), Swing on Wednesday, or Cha Cha on Thursday.

Bohnengold as far as I know also always let you in for free.




Buy

So you have just read The Communist Manifesto and now woke AF but you just need to get this object that could create the perfect illusion of 'the better version of you'. What to do?!
Buy it secondhand via Ebay-Kleinanzeigen, Kleiderkreisel, Sell Your Stuff, at your local Flohmärkte, Humana, Resales and other secondhand shops.

Books:
It's really not that hard to find books stacked outside your doorstep or in the streets of Berlin "zum Mitnehmen", but if you're looking for soemthing in particular and better curated, head to St.George's in Prenzlberg or Curious Fox in NK for cozy bookshop atmosphere and stacks and stacks of secondhand english books.


If you've come to terms that you are a horrible human being and would like to punish yourself but also train yourself in case zombie apocalypse is actually happenning, go to Primark at Alexanderplatz and Ikea at Tempelhof on a Saturday.

I have yet to go to Dong Xuan Center in Lichtenberg but friends have told me this is the place to buy your asian groceries and knick knacks and useless shit that you don't actually need but #NEED ,yay capitalism!!



Other tips and ways to save money


I know we all hate the BVG and the only good thing about them is probably their social media campaign ith the regular monthly public transport ticket you can take someone with you Mo-Fr from 8pm on and all-day during the weekends. The ticket is also transferable, which means you can lend it to your flatmate when you're away or like sick or something.


Sterni, roll your own cigarettes, use the wifi at Ubahn station instead of your phone's data




There are obviously still so many things to indulge while you're #BrokeInBerlin alas you could also just lay down in your bed contemplating the meaning of your existence and that is for free -JK!! I'm actually running out of idea at the moment and will update later. 

Hope this is somewhat helpful to fellow poor humans of Berlin!





Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2o17


  • be the girl of my own dreams*~~
  • get a tattoo
  • move into a somewhat decent flat
  • make a website
  • write more
  • take more selfie - post more selfie
  • drink more water
  • get a working visa
  • vacation to spain/morroco/greece
  • more weekend trips  I went to Brussels/Lille, Basel, Italy, Munich so far this year
  • less FOMO

Monday, December 19, 2016

where the pizza: Best Pizza in Berlin

Do you sometimes find yourself pondering, 'where is the best pizza in berlin?' -because same.
The thought crossed my mind again last night, the same thought I have every night before I go to bed.

So I decided to take serious action by asking where is the best pizza in Berlin to people online.


Here is the list of best pizza in Berlin visualized on google maps (few places didn't make the cut because they were rated lower than 3.9 stars)




Feel free to share the map and add your favorite!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

NO means NO



I'm just listening to Jeff Buckley and rereading old conversation on Whatsapp (exciting sunday, I know). I had this conversation a few weeks a go. Backstory: I found out I got a job and celebrated by blind booking a holiday - being not blessed with good luck I got Düsseldorf. 
What I lack in luck I make up in being sneaky I guess, I decided to go to Amsterdam via Düsseldorf.
But because I got a night flight I still need to stay for a night in Düsseldorf anyway before going en route to Amsterdam. Being broke and the trip so last minute all the hostels are booked, I don't know anyone there, and I didn't feel like spending mad money to stay at a hotel (Probably should've done it #treatyoself) --soooo Couchsurfing was my last resort.
I got 3 guys saying I could crash at their place and decided to stay with this indonesian guy. Yes, because I'm indonesian. So probably easier to bond or whatever.
Ok long story short, he lives in a one room apartment. There was a bed and a couch. He insisted that I take the bed, I refused but he insisted and I was mad tired so I decided to take the bed.
He then complained about the couch being uncomfortable- which made me uncomfortable.
Then he asked if it was okay if he could sleep next to me. Dude. No.
I said I could just take the couch so he could sleep in bed. But he said he doesn't wanna be a bad host yada yada
And he would ask me again. He in fact asked probably over 10 times if he could just sleep next to me. He also tried to touch my arms, thighs when he told me to go back to bad.
Basically I didn't sleep at all. I got my phone in my hand because I was so scared. But because he was playing the nice guy / nice host I could not confront him. 
Of course I'm not stupid, I kept thinking to leave too. But that means I need to pack my stuffs and change my clothes and I thought it was a risky move :(
I know worse could've happened. 
But it IS NOT okay that I had to put up with this. Just because I'm staying over doesn't mean I owe you anything. I said no once and that should be clear enough. No means no.

The other day, a guy I used to see texted me saying he's in Berlin these days and wonder if he could see me again.
I politely declined saying I'm seeing someone at the moment so I don't think I should see him, and wished him to have a nice time in Berlin.
He insisted that the guy I'm seeing would never know and I should meet him. He even called me 'lil kitten'.
This of course was easier. I just blocked his number and he be gone.

Just feel like sharing bits of my stories. Of course this wouldn't change anything, but if I could get you to read this and think "wow women have to put up with this shit everyday. I better be nice and not creepy" that would be really cool

Although probably you would just blame me on going to stranger's place, stating it's my own fault and perhaps I post 'inviting' selfies on my social media etc -which quintessentially victim blaming and slut shaming me but that's okay I guess. That's just part of being a woman.

Monday, September 12, 2016

berlin diary #01




I graduated from university earlier this year. I know, what an exciting time! No more preparing presentation about sex tourism and discussing about Foucauldian discourse analysis, or essays on behavior in public place a la Goffman.
It's an amazing feeling to accomplish something that you thought you bound to fail. That lasted for a good 5 hours, it worn out and got replaced with this immense fear of your uncertain future.


I moved to Berlin now, like million of privileged 'millenials' (ugh I know, milleanials..) trying to find ourselves while clutching Clubmate under our armpit, sucking on rollies while navigating our way down Weserstrasse. It's been fun, an endless buffet of beard / tattoo / manbun combo, a never ending summer, girls who look like they belong on Tumblr, pale ales and Sterni, Instagram worthy arty bars slash art space, coffee, I could go on..

***

Deep inside I am constantly trying to distract myself of this unemployment, or loss of sense of direction.. funny how your future could not be located via Google Map.

I don't send mass application. Because I am a picky bastard. I know I couldn't afford to be picky. Last Thursday I attended an assessment center thinking this will be it.
Finally I can afford to live on my own at a cute little one room apartment, maybe in Neukölln or Prenzlauerberg (although let's be realistic, it's most probably Moabit or Wedding). Finally I can buy roses every few days, that YSL lipstick I always wanted and a flight home, Bali vacation. Anyway, I didn't get the job --which shattered my heart in million pieces. It's my fault though I got carried away.

You see a recruiting process is a like dating. We were sending email back and worth, even gotten to have a video chat, I had my expectations, I thought they were the one. I thought they'd want me too. Well they don't.

I am okay now though. Ok, who am I kidding, I'm still sad. They took the life I wanted. It was so close, I could almost taste it. But like a heart break, once you loved someone, you know that you will be able to love again. And maybe they're not the right one anyway. This is all for the best.
This is a bad metaphor, isn't it?

So yes, despite my colorful looking social media feeds, I am broke and hella unemployed. Hire me?