A More Quiet Place

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Berlin Supermarkets: A User’s Guide

April 18, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

This was written by me and featured originally on Uberlin.co.uk

Four years after claiming independence and moving to Berlin, the supermarket still feels like the most iconic place of my adulthood and one of the most fascinating Berlin places to write about. While other bloggers document colourful night scenes and vivid cultural environments, I find myself in a complicated love triangle with Lidl and Rewe, and am now ready to disclose the dynamics of these relationships. My user guide to Berlin supermarkets will lead you through a correct, satisfying and 100% German grocery shopping experience.

Dairy CaseDairy Case by Roey Ahram, on Flickr

CHAPTER 1: “I’M A PFAND MACHINE READY TO RELOAD”

First: Enter your supermarket of choice.

Second: Head towards the Pfand machine.

Any respectable trip to a German supermarket includes a mandatory stop at the Pfand machine, which is usually located before the actual shopping area. Not stopping there would be like going to IKEA without eating meatballs.

Glance at the 75-year-old lady who just beat you to the line by one fraction of a second. Using her last remaining life force, she’s carrying seven plastic bags full of bottles and is now feeding them into the machine.

Very. Slowly.

Consider leaving the line but then change your mind: it would be a drag to go through the whole shopping process with a bag dripping a mix of Club Mate and beer (probably a real cocktail recipe somewhere in Berlin). Also, you could do with freeing up an extra three square metres in your room before your flatmate calls the crew of Hoarding: Buried Alive.

Years pass. The lady lets you know she’s done by smiling at you and saying something incomprehensible, which is probably German for “I’m a rich bitch now. So long, suckers!” Watch her pink-haired body floating away with what was probably hundreds of Euros and a smile of victory on her face.

It’s your turn now.

You only have five bottles, so this shouldn’t take long. Unfortunately for you, after the first bottle has been sucked in, the machine notifies you that the containers placed on the other side of the wall are full. “You need to press the red button”, says the Pfand-bot.

The red button is the last trace of a Germany that wants you to feel in control. Clearly, its only purpose is to give you a false sense of safety, just like the numbers on Lost. Don’t even mind the button and do the only rational thing: cry out for help.

Don’t lose hope: someone will come.

CHAPTER 2: “WE FOUND CAKE IN A HOPELESS PLACE” Continue Reading →

I’m on FluxFM – a drinking game

May 17, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

I don’t know how this happened, but on Tuesday 19. May at 10 PM I’ll be on FluxFM (like, the best Internet radio evah) to speak about my 100 Days of German Words project.

The program is called Off the record and is hosted by the lovely and talented Elizabeth Rushe and Charlie Layton.

I’d like to pretend this is not embarrassing news for a second, but life is too short to lie to ourselves.

Deep down I know that if being on the radio is anything like speaking on the phone, we may -Houston – have a problem, ’cause everybody including my mom agrees on the fact that I am a terrible phone partner.

If you decide to listen to the program (it’s a free country, who am I to stop you?) I strongly advise you buy a bottle of something to go with it and take part in the following drinking game.

 

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I generate an awkwardly long silence

DRINK ONE SHOT every time my English is bad

DRINK ONE SHOT every time I sound lost and confused

DRINK ENTIRE BOTTLE if I start crying

At least you won’t be able to see my hair.

Call me Ishmael. I mean Fede – my sixth day in Iceland

April 6, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Husavik is situated in the north-west of Iceland and is – supposedly – the best place where to observe whales.

In order to do so, you need to embark on small boats and wear unflattering vests that make your own butt look like Moby Dick.
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Listen to an Icelandic girl repeating over  and over that “no refund will be given in case the watching cruise turns out unsuccessful”.

You need to wear a hat, hold tight and know how to to wait.
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I’m speaking about long, excited, anxious, impatient waits.

Even disappointed ones. Continue Reading →

17 romantic movie quotes that only truly resonate when addressed to pizza

March 8, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

When Harry Met Sally

New York, New Year’s Eve. Harry’s home alone and single when he realizes that the only thing he needs to be happy is pizza. The supermarkets are about to close and his dramatic, desperate run to buy frozen pizza makes for a heartbreaking declaration.

whenharry_pizza

The Hunger Games

A bunch of strangers are sent to a jungly place and the lack of pizza joints makes them rightfully homicidal.

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City of Angels

Continue Reading →

Just like New Mexico – my fifth day in Iceland

February 26, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

Warning: this post is a filler and lacks in creativity.

I think my brain is drained from writing the unexpectedly successful Berlin Supermarkets Guide for Uberlin, a silly post about Italian expressions and from photoshopping an idiotic modified Berlin U-Bahn Map.

I feel like I won’t be creative anymore. Ever. From next week this blog will be about the weather and will feature tips and tricks on how to file your tax declaration.

Here’s some mediocre photos from my fifth day in Iceland.
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On day number five we kept hanging in the surroundings of Lake Myvatn and hired a guy to show us around.
I don’t know why we did.
His name was Benny.
I don’t know why we did.

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Benny took us to two waterfalls, one of which was Europe’s most powerful one.

It was incredible.

IMG_1609 Continue Reading →

Fifteen Love Songs

February 15, 2015 by Fede | 1 Comment

No better way to celebrate Valentine’s day than to have sex assemble a love songs mixtape.

Hope all of you had someone, something or somewhere to love.

man of the hour * norah jones

At some point between 2007 and 2009, Norah Jones broke up with her long-time boyfriend and bassist Lee Alexander. She then cut her long brown hair and the cheese off her music, releasing a record that sounded more interesting than anything she’d ever done before.

The Fall (this the name of the record) didn’t sell super well, but featured one of her most convincing, realistic and straightforward love songs to date.

Which – FYI – is a declaration of affection to her dog.

[Click here to listen]

norah jones

history of touches * bjork

Continue Reading →

11 Italian Expressions that will make you emphatically spit your espresso

January 21, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

From the creator of the acclaimed  8 Italian expressions having to do with poop (yep, that’s me!), here comes another dive into the darkness of the Italian language.

Delightfully vulgar and creepily truthful, this blog post is not suitable for pregnant women, minors or pregnant minors.

Here we go:

take_someone_by_the_ass

To take someone by the ass or Prendere per il culo means making a fool of someone, joking or even conning somebody.

Usage Examples:

– So you don’t really own a boa constrictor?
– LOL. No, we’ve been taking you by the ass the whole time!
– Haha!

or

– The commercial says I’m gonna lose 20 Kg in two weeks!
– That must be a take by the ass, there’s no way something like that is doable

or

– I was out visiting my friend Micheal
– Really? Too bad that I’ve met Micheal and you were not with him! Do you really think you can take me by the ass like that?! Continue Reading →

Hair – A Tribute

January 15, 2015 by Fede | 0 comments

The internet knows things about you which you’re still not aware of. Anything you’ve ever shared, anything you’ve written while you were drunk or angry or in search of attention, is recorded and delineates a big picture of behaviours and thoughts that is bigger than your consciousness.

In particular, what the internet told me recently is that I speak a lot about hair.

In fact, it turns out hair is the topic I tweet about the most.

Hard to admit it, but that makes sense. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with my puffy, untamable hair. I think it’s a feisty component of my look and (when it gets too long) it makes me stand out against my will. It’s what makes my shadow look like the one of a Playmobil figure and what makes my life motto “Every day is a bad hair day”.

On the other hand it’s also true that 30 years after my birth my hair is still right where it belongs. I’m gonna celebrate that by going down memory lane with a selection of tweets that the Internet is kindly harvesting for me.

 

September 3. 2013 – Porn Hair

September 10. 2013 – Lost Hair

 

September 12. 2013 – Wishful Hair

September 27. 2013 – Tribute Hair

Continue Reading →