photo., written.

How to have a good day.

Every now and then you get this idea. An idea that you would not follow under any other circumstance. But for reasons you might never understand you still keep the idea and actually treat like it was a good one, an idea that will result in fun and a good time for you and your friends. But it is in fact pretty much the opposite of it.

This has of course nothing to do with what I did today. After sleeping in late, breakfast, dish washing without using the kitchen and cuddling cats on the couch while reading about what to do if everything goes to hell and you want to reboot society, we decided to go to the great outdoors. Or indoors that are outdoors.

We started at the Schönhauser Allee center, a fantastic start of any day trip. The DHL’s trained monkeys tried to “deliver” a parcel this week. Their understanding of delivery does not include actually ringing a bell or leaving a note saying “Hey dude, I was lazy, come pick your shit up”. This special monkey used all the provided notes to build a hammock in his van I suppose. After checking the tracking number I saw that my package was waiting for me in the next shop already for four days, three more and it would have been returned to sender without me knowing it.

I had already an amazing mood, standing in line for god knows how long, hungry, alone. But I got my package, containing some pi with raspberries. To put the cherry on top we went to Alexa which is basically an asylum for the clinically insane where you can also shop stuff. Doro shopped there in the past and now had to follow the ritual of finding a person, convincing that person to follow, explaining that person why the bought item does not meet the requirements of a product that will be kept and then going through all the fiddly bits of receipts, returning money on EC cards, signing other receipts, getting an additional receipt to prove that the first receipt was received and so on. I stood there searching for a cell phone signal in the pink bunker.

This all sounded like it was already quite a good collection of bad ideas, shopping centres, lack of food, people – you wouldn’t wish that on your worst enemy. But this is just my life. What followed was what really accounts for bad thinking.

We headed down karl-marx-allee to find some already slightly disoriented consumers of brewed beverages.

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We had arrived at the beer festival which was brought to our attention by a colleague that I won’t name here. She knows what she did and has to live with the shame.

Last week it sounded like a good idea to go to a festival that features all kinds of beer that are not the usual berliner kindl schöfferhofer warsteiner pilsner that show as much variety as High School Musical 1 to 4. Who would not want to try some bavarian, saxonian, hell, even schwabian beer? A group around said colleague already arrived there a while before us after eating grilled meat for three consecutive hours. At least so I heard. We didn’t meet them for reasons explained later.

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Look at the photo. Look at it.

Middle aged people, dancing in line to some “country pur” music played by a very american guy from the Uckermark or Elsterwerder or Bautzen. If there will be dancing on a German festival it must be well organised, in line, and to some fake country western music to feel the spirit of freedom, endless roads and a life on the back of horse.

It spiralled downward from here. Next up was a “Original Oktoberfest Bierzelt”. Nothing says Oktoberfest like Karl-Marx-Straße on the first weekend of August. The sounds emerging from this tent of doom were beyond anything a sentient being could handle. Cheering crowds, music that featured all three chords and choruses so dumb, the trained DHL monkey would shake its head in shame.

We wanted to give the event a chance. We wanted to meet our friends. But the whole situation of stag party members, forty-somethings with red heads from all the beer, music from hell and pissing people everywhere made us flee the scene. We rushed to the next subway station, dodging drunks in animal costumes and the DJ announcing “and now something for the ladies” while putting on some bad ABBA remix (it is quite an achievement to remix ABBA badly as the original music is already worth considering piercing both ears with a burning needle).

The subway wasn’t safe either, shouting groups of young men sprinkled the scene in beer from the glasses they got on the festival. But we had a plan. If we would change in Alexanderplatz we could reach Senefelder Platz and have a decent evening there. It was risky, but anything was better than this.

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And this is when it became a good night out. We stopped first at “I Due Forni”, a pizzeria run by some Italians, a friend once told they are punks, but I saw no evidence for that. They have simple straight forward pizzas made by nice people. They don’t have abominations like “Pizza Hot Dog” with remoulade, dried onions and Wiener sausages. In the past I experienced how full this place can be but today it was really comfy with a lot of free space.

We had some good pizza, crunchy and well topped. The first beer of the day was drunk in combination with lemonade and tasted a hundred times better than anything the beer festival could have provided (mainly as probably 3 drunken guys would have vomited or peed or both in your drink before you could finish it).

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And because we started the day with the premise to drink some special beer we crossed the street to sit down in a small Belgian bar that features a wide variety of imported Belgian Beers. Doro got the girly and rather sour Mort subite, a cherry beer, and I went for an Orval, a rather bitter but tasty beer with an elevated alcohol content.

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While we drank our beer the sky turned dark and it started to rain. The skies wanted to punish the mortals for holding a beer festival that ashamed the million years of evolution that lead to it. We finished our beers inside. Below is half of the collection of beers on offer.

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The rain soon stopped, or rather paused as it is raining now as I write, and we walked home. I say we made the best out of the shitty situation that the beer festival was. I really enjoyed the last bit about pizza and beer and walking.

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Filed under: photo., written.

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Hi. I live in Berlin, I write about food and photography and everything else. I am a plant scientist and I studied biotechnology in Berlin. I am younger than some but older than others.