The Russian does Berlin

When Anna first visited me in Riga, I delighted in trying to poison her with the local Black Balzams. So, when she said she wanted to come to Berlin for more torture, I wondered what fun and games we’d get up to. Her wishlist was, thankfully, pretty straightforward. Do a boat tour, go to a couple of Christmas markets, see the Berlin Wall and, most importantly, go out and meet people or, more specifically, men.  I had absolutely no problems with that.

I briefly considered trying to hook her up with my new half-naked, opera-singing Asian neighbour. I hoped that it might shut him up for 4 to 7 minutes. Then the thought that he might get louder put that idea out of my head.

When Anna arrived, like most tourists, the first thing she wanted to do was visit the… post office. Yup, it seems that in Russia, you can’t post something and expect it to actually arrive, so good old Deutsche Post would have to step in.

Lovely, reliable German post office...
Lovely, reliable German post office…

She decided she would like to use DHL and was just about finished filling in the form when we got to the top of the queue. It was the wrong form and she had no envelope. So we left the counter, picked up some envelopes and rejoined the queue. We got to the counter again, but she should have taken the envelopes out of the packaging, filled in all of the information, and then brought it to the nice lady. So we left the counter again. Anna filled in the form, I lost patience at the thought of having to queue a third time and went outside, and Anna rejoined the queue.

I needed a drink
I needed a drink

After a massive glass of wine for me and a tiny cappuccino for Anna – the waiter actually brought her a free second cappuccino as he must have felt sorry for her with her puny drink – we set off for Gendarmenmarkt. Pretty lights, a beautiful backdrop, oodles of ridiculously cute tat, little wooden huts, sausage and Glühwein – Anna was in heaven. In fact, when the choir started singing, she even shed a few tears. Normally, this sort of behaviour might result in a slap but, even I have to admit, there is something pretty magical about Gendarmenmarkt at Christmas. (Don’t judge me.)

We hit the town where Anna was horrified to see that Germans keep their children out so late.

Me: It’s 7.30…

The next morning, we were up bright and early for breakfast. Not really. We made it in time for brunch though. I was manhandled away from my food so that Anna could take a photo of it first. As everyone knows, “if it isn’t on Instagram, it didn’t happen”. I wondered what I’d been doing for the last 37 years.

Massive German portions
Massive German portions

We’d lucked out with a truly beautiful day so it was definitely boat tour time. We arrived with seconds to spare before the 2pm tour and hopped on the boat. While I wondered what the hell was wrong with my headset, Anna hopped from side to side, photographing everything to within an inch of its life. Because, you know, if it’s not on Instagram, it didn’t happen…

Watching someone else run around like Usain Bolt on speed can be thirsty work, so it was off to try the Feuerzangenbowle at Charlottenburg Palace. As I’d really liked it, I thought Anna would feel the same. Judge for yourselves…

Brave little Russian lamb
Brave little Russian lamb
Uh oh...
Uh oh…
Is she going to puke?
Is she going to puke?
She can't puke in front of a palace, can she?
She can’t puke in front of a palace, can she?
Breathe, breathe, little one...
Breathe, breathe, little one…

I think we can safely say Anna will not be trying that again.

After a night spent drinking vodka with a bunch of Russian men, there’s nothing I like more than getting out of bed and going sightseeing. And so, off to the Berlin Wall we went.

Anna: Is that it? 

Me: Yes. 

Anna: Oh. 

Like my mirror image that day
Like my mirror image that day

Anna had also mentioned that she quite fancied seeing some street art (more of it), so I escorted her over to my old hood, which is quirky to say the least. I’m not sure what kind of pretty, fluffy street art she was expecting but, well, this is Berlin.


Anna: Oh my god, oh my god, what IS that?! Why is it all so scary and creepy? What does that baby have no head? Why is that little girl trying to kill her cat? Why did you bring me here? I’m going to have nightmares after this…

Me: Heh heh heh.

I brought her to a local restaurant before she passed out. I guess Moscow is fluffier than Berlin. Who knew? After finishing the buffet  her meal, Anna decided to treat herself to a cocktail. Why she ordered a Swimming Pool I’ll never know, but it prompted the barman to point out where the bathroom was, just in case. Then again, he also said that Russian men looked like East German lesbians, so he may have had a couple himself. I would never insult East German lesbians like that.

Soon, it was time for the pièce de resistance of the weekend – the ice slide at Potsdamer Platz. We met my favourite German-Venezuelan couple – Engelbert and Enrique – filled up our Glühweins with rum from Engelbert’s illicit hip flask, and it was time. The slide was a lot bigger than I remembered but (Scheiße) in for a penny, in for a pound.

You can hear the German cackling in the background. Thanks for the support, Engelbert…

So, Anna’s now back in the land of smiles and fluffiness. Thanks for visiting and I hope you had fun apart from the TERRIFYING street art…

Happy Christmas and New Year to everyone!


46 thoughts on “The Russian does Berlin”

  1. OMG my liver is still recovering from that trip! I just revisited my Berlin Wall Bloat on Instagram… eeek! I feel like you deliberately hid the half-naked singing Asian from me, I am somehow more intrigued now. Then again, we will always have the Purple Unicorn ;-)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can have fun with anyone 😉 Fuck, new year’s in Germany (Silvester) is insane. There are so many fireworks I feel like I’m under fire. And I’m staying in the middle of a forest to try to avoid the whole thing 😉 Happy new year to you too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a funny piece Linda. But then again, all your pieces are hilarious. I’m glad that Anna had a great time but she must have, ‘cos “if it isn’t on Instagram, it didn’t happen” lol!

    Ah, the Feuerzangenbowle! I’m not anywhere near your level of alcohol-inducement and when I first tried it, it was so strong that I literally fell to the floor! I’m not joking, I thought that it was glühwein and took a large swig….!
    As for Russian men looking like East German lesbians. How would he know? There’s a story right there somewhere….!
    p.s. Merry Xmas to you. I gather you’re back in the loving arms of Mammy O’Grady. ‘Hope it isn’t flooded there either…!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It wasn’t 🙂 And Mammy O’Grady’s loving arms were waiting – with food 🙂 Ha ha, can’t believe you fell over when you tried it – now that would have made for a funny photo series 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! And yes, life here is fun 🙂 Sometimes when I read the expat forums I’m like, um, are these people right in the head? How are they not finding it easy to meet people and have a blast?!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this – I particularly enjoy the photo documentation of Anna’s reaction to Feuerzangenbowle. I remember pulling a few similar faces the first time I tried Pernod… Have a wonderful holiday!X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Then again, he also said that Russian men looked like East German lesbians

    I wonder what this was supposed to mean. An insult? A weird compliment? A fantasy? For whom and in what way?

    Alternatively, he might have never seen Russian men nor East German lesbians, so, for him, they certainly look the same: like a blank page.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would seem so.
      They only Russian men she had ever seen were they guys from Speznas, submarine seamen or sovkhoz activists. And (east) German lesbians only on youp… tube. It’s no wonder that she made this euphemistic comparison.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, just an insult? And I’ve been buying a ticket to Leipzig and working on my carpet-licking skills all this time! Has this all been a waste? 🙂

        Btw, remember that picture you posted a couple of times (once here, I think, and once at your Latvian blog) where you pose with two AKs? Were those real, and where did you take the picture? Was it a public range, or were you partying with the Chechen mafia? 🙂

        I’m genuinely interested though – I’m sort of looking for a gun experience and any hints or feedback are welcome. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha, no, it was real! The place was called Walters Sautuve (with an accent on the S!) – it was somewhere over the other side of the Daugava. I’m sure if you google it in Latvian, you’ll find it!


            1. No, you pay per bullet so it can be as expensive as you want it to be. We just had 3-6 shots on each weapon. Can’t remember how much it was but it wasn’t that bad. And great fun 🙂


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