Dienstag, 7. Juli 2009

It's about healthy fast food and love, sent around the world

Last Tuesday my incredibly respectful neighbors didn't stop partying until 3 in the morning. Since I was reading a really entertaining part of the book I started to devour three hours before, I decided to read for some more minutes. At 4.20 am the birds outside my window started to sing and the sun slowly turned my room from black to bright and I couldn't resist the idea to stay up all night long. At five I took a quick shower, finished the book and got myself ready to check out a new vegetarian fast food restaurant I had read about the day before. If you're unemployed and usually sleep until noon everyday it's quite shocking to find out the trains are overfilled at 7 am. How can so many people be awake so early???
20 minutes after they opened for the day, I arrived at Supergood for me! on Friedrichstraße. This shop opened on 06/19 and is supposed to be the first of many shops all over Germany. Their concept is to provide healthy vegetarian and organic meals from 7 am - 11 pm, that are fast to make but still nutritious. The first thing you'll recognize is the nice to look at lounge style. Everything is held in nature-like colors, such as green, sand and brown and the shape of the furniture is probably meant to be organic.
The girl at the counter was very friendly, but strangely didn't know what vegan means (which is always surprising to me, when I'm at a vegetarian restaurant). Sadly I have to say the breakfast options were extremely disappointing! None of their sandwiches are vegan nor was I able to find vegan cereals. So I opted for a small fruit salad and a soy latte. The latte was too bitter for my taste, but the salad is a good offer. It doesn't include anything special, but I don't say no to completely organic fresh-cut fruits for 90 € cent! And although I was a still hungry and in a bad mood, I enjoyed spending some time in this place. They played old Motown hits and it's always fun to watch people who pass by. All in all I think, to form myself an opinion about Supergood for me, I have to go there again to see what I can get for lunch or dinner. But I certainly don't recommend going there before 11 am!
After this I set off towards the Gorilla branch in Zehlendorf to try the food of these pioneers of healthy vegetarian fast food for the first time. You can't imagine how sad I was to find out all their shops had been opened for the very last time just the day before. Due to "some minor and major mistakes" (quote Gorilla team), they had to close their company after three years. RIP Gorilla :(

But you all know: Where there is darkness there is light, and if this maybe isn't true for the Gorilla team, it indeed is true for my mood. Today a large letter from Emeryville in California, home of Erika aka strange and violent arrived and turned myself into a very happy person. I met Erika in May, after our mutual friend Melisser recommended my couch (and hopefully me) to stay with during Erika's Europe trip. I am absolutely thankful for getting to know Miss Strange (and violent), we had so much fun together and really like each others, as you can read here: http://eeeadventure.blogspot.com/ :) I have to admit I was unhappy when she left after four days, but since San Francisco is on the top of my list of places I want to visit, I'm sure I'll see her again sooner than later.
And besides meeting people in real life, sending e-mails and tweets, there is also this old-fashioned but wonderful thing called mail. You probably all know, that presents can't be judged by their material but by their sentimental value. So I was immeasurable happy to find this letter from Erika in my mailbox including the East Bay Express featuring a long article about my most favorite band of all times Rancid. Thank you so much Erika!!! As soon as I completed this post I will start to read it!
You see, living so far away from new and not-so-new friends might be difficult and even hurtful from time to time, but with a little help, there are ways to get over your loneliness, especially in a city like Berlin.
XO to all who deserve it!

Montag, 22. Juni 2009

It’s my new life in Berlin

Finally, after five long months of living at my man's small place out of two bags, I got a flat in Berlin. This blog was meant to be about the life of a vegan in Berlin, so I'm really happy I can now say: Ich bin ein Berliner!
My first weekend started with the always exciting 1st of May. As some of you might know, there is some sort of traditional riots going on in Berlin on this day and it started with a little surprise. Usually the last night of April is most troublesome in the Mauerpark in Prenzlauer Berg, but this year I was quite happy not to have attended on a free festival just 15 minutes away from my new home, because this is where the action was. The police was absolutely not prepared for this situation, so it took a while to stop the violent protesters.
The morning began with the wonderful Myfest in Kreuzberg. This is a neighborhood party people started, to show that 05/01 can also mean a peaceful come-together of people of all ethnics and beliefs. It's really fascinating how several blocks are closed for cars, in every second street you can find stages with Hip-Hop, Punk, Hardcore or all sorts of ethnic music acts on them. Residents are selling food and drinks, Restaurants offer their meals outside and artists of all kinds impress you. It really was a nice start in the day with wonderful weather, good music, cool people, ice cream and Yellow Sunshine burger. I really appreciate YoYo Foodworld in Friedrichshain to be all vegan, but they just can't keep up with the burger at YS. During the last month they changed their buns and now the Double S chicken cheese burger with hot chili sauce is perfect! Me and the man spend some lazy hours in the SO36 neighborhood before we heated back home, just 10 minutes before the big street fighting began! It was crazy! Next day we read about what was going on that night and a week ago it was confirmed that this year, for the first time ever, the police was even attacked with chemical weapons. You can think about the riots whatever you want to, but chemical weapons? Man, that's serious...
But let's come back to my life in general. The most recognizable change since my move to Berlin is, that I started to host couch-surfer from all over the world. In my first seven weeks I had visitors from the Netherlands, the USA, Sweden and Brazil, and I enjoyed having these people around so much! It's a fantastic way to get to know great characters and to spend money you don't really have ;) Since I live alone (I'm not the right person for flat-sharing) it's nice to have someone around for two or three nights. It always feels a bit like a pajama party. You talk way too long, giggle about everyone and everything and share all your inmost secrets. You wouldn't believe what I now know about some of my new friends, incl. genital piercings...
After almost two month in my new home, I can say: I'm really happy! I enjoy this city so much, know that there still are so many places to explore and people to meet. I look forward to have more couch-surfer and friends visiting me and show them around. If I only had one wish, a job would be nice, so I can buy more food :)
XO Marijke

Montag, 13. April 2009

It's me, books and airplanes

Few weeks ago my dear friends Melisser and Ryan visited Europe for two weeks. While they were staying in Berlin, we enjoyed some beautiful days together with lots of food and walking.
After Ryan left towards home, Melisser and I headed to Stockholm. We were lucky to stay with new friends in their lovely flat and had an awesome time. Thinking about these days reminds me of two certain things: books from my childhood and me having problems with airplanes.
Let's start with the nicer memory. My parents are totally addcited to books. Their house is filled with hundreds and hundreds of novels, biographies, coffee-table books, travel guides, monographies, detective stories, architecture books, thriller and, of course, children's books. I was raised with so many differents stories, many of them I already forgot, but some will remain in my heart forever. While exploring Stockholm I couldn't resist to search for some of my favorite books. As expected is was not hard to find all the Astrid Lingren stories (Pippi Longstockings), especially the ones about my all-time favorite character Karlsson. But I was very happy and surprised when I saw the "The Big Mumin book" by Tove Jansson and even a swedish version of a Richard Scarry book. If you have children I really recommend these authors! Back in Germany I read a tweet about a movie coming out this year, which story is adapted by one of the most amazing books ever been written: "Where the Wild Things are" ("Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen"). I think this book is more famos in the States, but here in Germany it's kind of hard to meet people who know it. It was first released in the 1960's, so it was already twenty years old, when my parents discovered the book and started to read it to me and my brother. I am a bit afraid of the movie's quality, because it's hard two make a 1 1/2 hours movie out of a 385 words book. But otherwise I already love the trailer. The atmosphere, the cast, the music and of course the Wild Things are so good, I can't wait to go to the cinema!!!
The not so nice (but more exciting) part of this post is about the problems I seem to have with catching my flights.
It started last year in November, when I almost missed my flight from San Francisco to Berlin. I was really early at the airport and checked in about two hours before the departure. While walking around in the duty-free area, I did a little window shopping and ate some snacks. Then I found an express manicure/pedicure shop and the (almost) disaster began. For what reason ever I started to think that the departure time is when I should be at the airplane, not the time the plane actually wants to leave. So I was sitting in a massage chair, getting a manicure while they announced my flight over and over and over again, what I couldn't hear because of the music in the shop. Luckily something inside of me started to make me feel nervous, so I checked my papers again and finally realized my mistake. Gosh, I would have never thought I could run that fast with a big bag and my purse. The stewardesses literally shouted at me while I ran down the hall: "Come on, hurry up! Everyone is waiting just for you!" SO EMBARRASSING!
Sitting on my seat, I have never been so relieved in my whole life - not before or afterwards. Never before? Absolutely true! Never afterwards? Also true - until the 18th of March, when I lost almost every hope to catch my flight home from Stockholm.
Melisser and I started on time to the central station to get the airport bus. The schedule on the company's homepage said the busses leave every 20 minutes, but for some reason not on that day. So, when we found out we had to take the next one, we realized the bus would arrive at the airport the same time the check-in counter would close.That was the worst busride ever! I really tried not to think about missing the flight, but I was so nervous, I started feeling kind of sick inside. And then the bus even was behind the schedule! So we ran like hell into the building, found the check-in counter closed, ran to the next one, begged the people in the line to admit us and finally got the OK!

Please World, never again!

Freitag, 13. März 2009

It's the love of my life!

No, this post is not about the man. It's about my little monster.
There are dogs, where you guess someone accidentally pushed a mute button. Strummer is one of these dogs. Something really extreme has to happen before you hear a single tone to come out of their mouths (like a hit from a 18 pounds cat).
But also there are dogs, where you wished you had at least a button to turn the volume down. A bit, at least a little bit, just for a second, GOD DAMMIT CAN'T YOU JUST SHUT UP?
Wether they are barking, whimpering, howling, singing, muttering, growling or whining.

My doggy is one of the latter. Her name is Frenya and she is a 70 pounds heavy, 27'' high (plus neck and head) Giantschnauzer. Her date of birth should have been a warning. You just can't get a normal dog when she was born on April 1st!
Seven years ago I read an ad in the newspaper, that a new home was really needed for a 13 weeks old Giant schnauzer girl. A farmer near Potsdam hadn't watched his dogs carefully and suddenly there were puppies everywhere. Frenya had been allready adopted, but was then brought back after ONE week, because the couple have had split up. And no one wanted to care for her anymore. Strange!
So I called afriend to pick her up and two hours later I was the proud mom of a monster pup! I had to fight really hard for her attention and to make her listen to me. Schnauzers are real bullheads, they need to accept you as the leader before they will do anything for you. But because the giant ones don't grow up until the age of 3, you first have to deal with a huge baby pup for years.

Because I planned to stay in San Francisco for a year and my ex-boyfriend (Frenya's dad) was studiying in Mexico City, we decided to give her to a hostfamily for six month. Since I returned from the States I am homeless and had to leave her in the hostfamily until Philipp finished his semester in Southamerica.
It was so hard for me to know her just 30 minutes away from me and not to be able to see her at all. She wouldn't have understood, if I had left after visiting her! I cried a lot during these weeks, but the joy when we finally picked her up compensated me for everything. And so I couldn't hold me from taking thousands of pictures and videos of her during our first day together in Babelsberg since September.

She cost me a lot of strength, nerves and sleep, but I will never stop loving her for being silly, annoying and loud in every single moment of her life!

Sonntag, 22. Februar 2009

It's dinner time!

The 22th of February is always a special day in my life. 29 years ago my parents tied the knot in Berlin-Neukölln, the same day Mrs. Sabine D. gave birth to her first son, who is now and forever the man in my life (and I DON'T believe in destiny).

Since the man wasn't interested in celebrating his day in any way, I had no bad conscience to spent some time wth my parents and my brother. We decided to have dinner at La Mano Verde, Berlin's first 100% vegan restaurant. Three month ago I applied for a job there, but decided not to take the job due to the bad working atmosphere, so I wasn't really neutral...

After a bad start with the waitress (you should never argue with a customer!), my parents started the menue with a tomatoe-coconut soup, my brother choosed the Avocado Gazpacho and I had some sushi.

Everything tasted really good and made us feel for more.
The main course was amazing to all of us. My gyros plate surprised me, since I didn't expect anything interesting by ordering typical snack stall food. The other orders were two filled flaky pastries, a mushroom risotto and astonishing exquisite mushroom ravioli.

After two hours of eating, talking and laughing my dad and I ended our gluttony by having Mousse au chocolat and a coconut cream. The cream was simply perfect, it was not too sweet, had a full but not too pushy coco taste and was topped-off with a fresh mango sauce. I can't wait to eat this in summer again.

I don't remember the last time I had such a nice evening with so much good food. The La Mano Verde exceeded all my expectaions, it is a restaurant I can really recommend to every one who wants eat in an exalted setting with interesting and remarkable vegan dishes, herivore or not!

La Mano Verde
Wiesbadener Straße 79
12161 Berlin

Mittwoch, 18. Februar 2009

It's puppy time

Since I and many of my friends are vegans (or at least vegetarians), it's no wonder we love animals. If you live with a cute cat or dog, even carnivores can go crazy about your hairy friend and so do we too!

My friend Melisser happens to be the mom of one of the most amazing and adorable pups in the whole wide world. Not only that Strummer is a raving beauty and herbivore but she is also well-behaved and smells like caramel (no joke!). And because of all these fabulous characteristics, it's no wonder people want to hear about Strummer over and over again. To supply this want, Melisser decided to create a new blog, so everybody can have as much Strummer as often as they want. What a wonderful and generous idea. So, if you now feel like wanting some cuteness overdose: http://strummercalling.blogspot.com/ (visiting on your own risk!)

Donnerstag, 12. Februar 2009

It's a vegan!

Righty righty right!

It's a little newborn vegan blog. Me, the proud mother, wants to tell everybody who is interested in about being a vegan in Berlin, or rather about me and my life.

At the moment, I live in Potsdam but I was born and raised in Berlin. A city which alienated me for about ten years, but is now going to be conquered.

Last year I spend two amazing month in San Francisco, where I met wonderful people, such as Melisser, Ryan, Laura, Meave, Kristen, Jordan and so many more (please don't be offended by not being named here!). Not only, that they made this trip to a life-time experience, they also showed me the world of vegan blogging and are my little baby's godmothers and godfathers.

And with this hommage to my friends who I had to leave in California, I will end my first blog entry. I hope you'll enjoy my fluffy blog and please feel free to let me know, if one of my sentences does not make any sense at all!