Middle Europe Weekly Small Pleasures #25 – Winter is coming!

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Like Thistles and Kiwis, I’ve reached 25 posts for the Weekly Small Pleasures Blog Event! The organizer, Mani of a New Life Wandering, is on number 100 already, that’s amazing! In this blog event you record the little things that make you happy during the week. This week mine seems to be mostly about food. Maybe that’s because the temperatures in Berlin have plummeted. Last week we were on temperatures of 30 degrees Celsisus during the day and 20 degrees or so at night, and this week we’re having night time temperatures of 8 or 10 degrees! That said, the days have still been mostly sunny. I suppose now that it’s cold the leaves will start changing colour too, so that’s something to look forward to, although it’s still hard to accept that summer is over.

Anyway, here are this week’s small pleasures (in no particular order!)

1. Discovering a new restaurant with great teriyaki chicken and other assorted kebabs, as well as green tea ice-cream! My favourite has to be the barbecued beef slices filled with cheese (on the right in this photo). The sauces they put on the kebabs are amazing. I think we’ll be going here a lot in future as it’s not far from our apartment.

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2. Still on the food theme, now that it’s autumn, the Irish pub we often go to after my German class  is serving stew again since it’s got cold. There’s nothing like a stew when it’s cold outside.

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3. A friend from my institute also introduced me to my new favourite work snack: crunchy little peanut, cashew and sesame slabs. These have come in handy this week as I’ve been in and out of the biosafety lab which takes quite a lot of energy, and there’s still no cafeteria in our building since the person running it resigned.

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4. In the weekend we took a long bike ride to and from Lake Tegel. We discovered this lake last week when it was still summer, and although now it’s too cold for swimming, we decided to go back in search of Dicke Marie, the oldest tree in Berlin. This oak tree is 800 years old!

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The lake itself is beautiful and surrounded by nice forest with walking or bike paths.

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We also found a kiosk there that serves good fish and chips, another food-related small pleasure!

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Another thing I enjoyed on our bike ride was when we cycled past Tegel airport. You can watch the planes flying right overhead, which is fun.

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Another thing we spotted on the ride was this bird painting, which I really liked.

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5. J also cooked a tasty meal this week. Maybe it doesn’t look so tasty from the photo, but it really was. The meal was potato dumplings with bacon, onion and sauerkraut, also cold-weather food. Home-cooked meals are always a pleasure (especially when someone else is cooking it!).

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6. Federweiβer (new wine) is also in the shops at the moment. I think I mentioned how we were cycling through the countryside in search of it two weeks ago! This new wine is made from freshly pressed grapes and is very fruity. The batch we bought was not very alcoholic at all and had a lovely grape flavour.

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The funny thing about buying a bottle of this is that the lid is never screwed close as otherwise the bottle would explode due to the gases (the grape juice is busy fermenting). I realized this after buying a bottle and then had to take it home on my bike. Of course some of it spilled all over my jacket and bag in the bike basket, even though I tried to keep it upright. It was the week of spillages as today I also knocked a cup coffee all over myself just before I was going to leave for work. They say everything happens in threes, so now I’m wondering what the third spillage will be!

That’s all for this week, hope everybody has a lovely week ahead!

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