19:01 Paul Robinson 0 Comments

30th March 10:35am Park Cafe, Susannenstrasse

I'm just getting breakfast in a cafe in Schanzenviertel, with a view of the former theatre, Rote Flora, which has been occupied by squatters since 1989. There is a conflict in the area between the original tenants and and new artsy/media types who move in and drive rent prices up. Gentrification is seen as a big issue in this area.

Back in the cafe, the waitress reeled off some German to me, so I had to appologise and ask her to speak in English. She did smile when I ordered my "frühstück" in German. I didn't know what I'd actually ordered because I couldn't translate the menu, but it's some sort of breakfast. It turned out to be ham and cheese.

I wasn't sure of the etiquette in eating bread, ham and cheese here on the continent. Fingers or forks? After a few sneaky glances at other tables I noticed that people generally made an open sandwich, so that's what I did. It was a nice breakfast but I really didn't fancy eating bread with every meal!

My phone failed to work in Germany, which scuppered my otherwise flawless plan to follow my Google Map of each city. I'll have to find a tourist map and hope for the best.

Oh, and the couch surfing - it was fine, mainly because Robert slept at his girlfriend's and I had the room to myself. Bringing pyjamas was a bit of a brainwave and it wouldn't normally have been something I thought of. In the morning I spent about 30 minutes just lay on the mattress listening to the sounds of the flat and footsteps of Robert's house-mates, trying to work out if the bathroom was empty. Turned out, it was.

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