What happens when a K-pop freak and a Chinese studies graduate meet up in Berlin for a weekend a few weeks before Christmas? Well, this post might give you an idea.
My friend is staying in Berlin for a whole semester as part of her Master’s study, and as it’s only about seven or eight hours away on a bus, I simply had to go visit her. I had been to Berlin before so I did not need to go sight-seeing, and my friend and I agreed that it would be great to do something unusual yet relaxing and fun. So besides the compulsory shopping and visiting Christmas markets we decided to experience some of the Asian aspects of this multicultural city.
I have to assure you that Berlin is amazing before Christmas. This is its beautiful, traditional face that people from all over the world visit it for:
I like the look of Christmas markets but I’m not such a fan of fighting through crowds of people all day. It’s enough for me to just walk around for a bit and have some baked chestnuts or punch. However, Berlin does not offer just traditional German markets – my friend took me to a Japanese market full of Asian food, fake sumo fighting, people playing with kendama and stalls with cosplay clothing and manga-related goods.
But the ultimate highlight of my Asian experience in Berlin was the food. The city is so lucky to have two branches of the original Taiwanese bubble tea shop Come Buy! Being basically bubble tea addicts, me and my friend went there two days in a row to have their perfect Oolong with tapioka pearls. We also wanted to visit a Korean street food festival called Pojangmacha (“a food stall”), but the queue was so long (and we so hungry) that we gave up and went to have real bibimbap at a bistro nearby.
On Sunday, just before I left, we wanted to eat our breakfast in style so my friend looked up a lovely Japanese-American café “House of Small Wonder”. It served perfect brunch, and had I had more time, I’d have sat there happily all day – such a cosy place!
The three days flew by, and I must say they were great. I really wanted to break the routine a bit, and a relaxing trip combined with unusual cultural experience was exactly the thing I needed!