Thursday (6/6) was our 3 month Berliniversary!
It was also the day our traveler’s visas would have expired had we not secured our residence permits. Due to a series of semi-unfortunate events, I had to wait until the last minute to make the dreaded trip to the Ausländerbehörde (the foreigner’s office) and apply for a long-term visa. The stories on forums and blogs online about the Ausländerbehörde are terrifying; I read many tales of long wait times, confusing requirements, non-English speaking employees, general woe & despair, etc… Last Sunday night I was so anxious about going the next morning that I barely slept. I guess I got lucky because the whole experience didn’t end up being too awful. I did have to make two attempts before securing my visa, but the wait time was relatively short and the employees were very nice. Maybe now that I am completely legal (I think) in Germany I will try to sum up the whole process in a blog post in the future.
With that trial overcome I can now move onto today’s potpourri which, as usual, features parks, beer & food!
1. The purple color in this ice cream is almost as awesome as the flavor that comes from the ube or purple yam. Ube flavored desserts are hugely popular in Asia and Polynesia. It has a deliciously smooth, buttery flavor that reminds me of taro. This scoop came from an ice cream shop up the street from the Südstern U-bahn station.
2. We finally made it over to Görlitzer Park, one of the most popular parks in Berlin. It was a fun spot to eat a picnic dinner and people watch.
3. Now onto another park – Mauerpark! We met up with an expat meet-up group here for some BBQ’ing last weekend. The weather was beautiful, the park was bustling, and the karaoke was rocking! This is a picture of the crowd filling the “stands” watching brave karaoke singers belt out tunes for the entire park to hear. Maybe someday Alex and I will have the courage (probably the liquid kind) to get up there!
4. The Berlin Craft Beer Festival was also last weekend in Friedrichshain! It was small but there were some great breweries & brews we had never tasted before. Naturally, there were tons of Americans there enjoying some non-pilsners while they could.
5. These meat pies from Hellogoodpie were awesome! To be honest, I only tasted the filling (I’m not a big fan of pie crust) but Alex ate the whole thing and we both loved it.
6. More ice cream! This time I tried a chocolate + pandan combo. Pandan is another staple of Southeast Asian desserts and it has a great kind of nutty, fatty flavor. I am really loving living so close to this awesome ice cream shop! Now I just need to figure out the name of the store…
In other news: Next week we will be in Bulgaria! I am very, very excited to get away for a bit and enjoy the beach. Pictures & more will follow, of course! See you soon. 🙂