When my sister asked me to fly in a week earlier than my family so we could spend some sister-time with each other, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the idea. I had planned on staying behind about three weeks after my family left, and moving my plans one week earlier meant less time to explore on my own and more time exposed to the infernal summer heat. I went anyway—begrudgingly (sorry, Beng!)—and realized that, as usual, my younger sister had more foresight than me.
My first time flying by myself beyond Asia! You’d think I’d be terrified out of my mind, and you would be right.
My welcoming committee~
Because we were waiting for the rest of our family to arrive, we saved some attractions for later and ended up mostly going around Kreuzberg, where she was staying—her Airbnb was about 10 minutes away from East Side Gallery—and a bit around Potsdamerstraße, Mitte, and her other favorite places.
Somewhere around Tiergarten
I love this photo, but we went to the Tiergarten before passing by her studio space, and this day was incredibly hot. Hotter than Manila at the time—a fact that I could not accept, but ultimately had to. I literally tore that scarf off my neck at some point during the day.
Beng’s studio space, somewhere along Potsdamerstraße:
So much good type! I’m trying not to post all of them all at once.
As recommended by Reggie: one of our favorite places to eat: Hühnerhaus near the Görlitzer Bahnhof. These two plates are the same two plates in both photos, just so you know.
Iced coffee at a cafe by Modulor (one of my favorite places to look around in but rarely buy from), near Prinzenstaße (the Moritzplatz stop). I really was in an awful mood because it was so hot, haha.
Motto, a small bookstore of sorts in Kreuzberg, is the place I kept meaning to go back to and have a better look around in, but never really got to explore because of overweight baggage scare.
One of the main reasons I went ahead is because I proposed a side trip to Billund, Denmark, where Lego originated from, to go see Legoland, of course. Not the most exciting destination, maybe, but we love Lego (well, I like Lego and she loves Lego).
We also ended up going on a side trip to Jelling, Denmark, which is where Christianity in Denmark started. We got to see a lot of old viking artifacts, so that was pretty exciting. The train ride to Billund is pretty long, and the train ride back was even longer (and meandering!), but all in all, we had fun.
I had a bit of a long-ass panic/anxiety spell; I was glad Beng was there with me.
Walking to Legoland! The side effect of my anxiety spell was me not wanting to figure out bus routes that weren’t straightforward (like how the system was in Berlin), so we ended up taking the 20-minute walk along what I feel like is a highway (?) but it was okay, because the views were quite nice.
Look at how happy this nerd is. She’s always wanted to go and we have always been a couple of hours away from one (e.g. Chicago, Singapore, Munich, Florida), but we’ve never gone. And so I took her!
Our hotel was a few minutes’ walk away from the airport. We didn’t get to go around Billund much, though we walked around two other Danish towns, Vejle and Jelling, before heading back to Berlin.
The flat white stones supposedly mark where the original stones of what they believe to be a viking ship, sailed by the dead to the gods at Valhalla.
Back in Berlin: the Soviet War Memorial at Treptower Park is gorgeous. We spotted a pair of old ladies that looked a whole lot like how we would look in the future. I mean, probably.
After Treptower, we went to Manufactum (but I had to pee, so we had coffee first) and I tried my hardest not to buy too many things, since we were only shy of a week into our trip. And I had to be strategic with my purchases, haha.
My first (and not last) Expensive Food Mistake. Although, I suppose it wasn’t really a mistake because we enjoyed our food. So, we had amazing bulgogi at Gogogi, but had to pay twice the listed price, which was the price of the dish per person. I was thinking we could split the list price, but we were told it was double. Anyway, we decided to stay put, which went alright because it was good. We ate here again with the rest of our family, but nothing quite like the first time!
Caught Tammy before she left! We had coffee around Mitte and hung out at her place in the area, which was v. nice. She wrote about her Zürich trip and I recommend you check the posts out because I really enjoyed them, and they made me miss old school day-in-the-life/travel LJ/blog entries I used to consume all the time. So fun.
When our folks and kuya met up with us, Beng and I were still constantly together, since her Airbnb was paid up until they were scheduled to come back home. So they stayed in a hotel, and we roughed it out there in Kreuzberg (just kidding). Here are some of our selfies:
Most mornings, especially at the beginning of our trip, I would wake up early and paint a little, then put on some coffee using the Bialetti she bought when she first got there. Then we’d have a bit of breakfast—toast, some yogurt, fruit—before getting ready to head out.
Before going to bed, we’d put something on on Netflix.
This is what you get when you ask for a trim. And the picture on the right is the photo I took of us right before I left for Copenhagen about a month later.
I suppose this is more of a show and tell than an actual relaying of fun stories, but I guess I just wanted to show how nice life looked like when I was going around a different country with my sister. Making this also made me miss her a little bit (even though we still live together, haha), just because real life gets in the way a lot sometimes. I think seeing her kind of grow into her own out there made me less paranoid and anxious about my own time alone.