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Berlin #14

Folk night at the Laksmi Bar in Kreuzberg.

Suddenly a whole new place far from the Baltic north; the gritty, graffiti streets of endless bars and cafes of a big city full of people – and those long German street names to grapple with. It’s my 4th language to deal with but it seems to be getting easier to remember names and places as I go along. Apart from the buses and trains I soon learn there are three forms of urban transport in Berlin; the S Bahn, which is the older raised-level network of trains, the U which is the Underground, and the M, the Trams. One ticket gives you 2 hours on anything long as you verify it in a machine to time stamp it – pretty easy.
But I start with a Bike Tour for six and half hours, absolutely fantastic with Matilde, a French woman who gives a very good summary of the history of the war and The Wall in a chalk drawing. We wander through the maze of the Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe. Later that evening I use the Underground, (which actually goes over ground mostly), from Oranienburger StraBe, change lines to the Kruzeberg area and get off at Schlesisches Tor and walk a few streets to the Laksmi Bar open mic night. Apple Maps for the transport and Google Maps for the venue location seems to be a good system. It’s a dimly lit place with the smell of hash and a crowd that actually listens and seem to like that Cohen and Nico-style of folk music. Lucas, the host, gives a few of us one song each at the end the night and I give it my best shot, the only performer there who’s actually throws their voice, seems to go down ok. I leave for the Underground but at 11.30pm it’s shut and I share a cab with two others who also played at the Laksmi Bar, and get dropped off back to my hostel.
It’s interesting how the wifi at the hostel is not as good as the 4G and 3G on my phone. For example, I can’t access my Westpac account via the wifi but the mobile network is fine. The connectivity thing is the most important asset of all and I’m constantly charging and recharging both my phone and my power pack – I’m pretty well streaming two maps apps, auto-uploading pics, running a calender, storing tickets, emailing, WhatsApping, and reading guide books on-line continuosly – I’m a heavy data kinda guy <-;\

By Tony Richards

This is a travel journal for family and friends interested in my stories that I've continued as a general blog now I'm back at home. I chat about design, music, pastries, the people I meet, and new thoughts and ideas – I hope you'll tune in.

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