Friday, May 10, 2013

European Research Exchange - Working and Walking

So I've successfully survived my first week in Berlin, so yay. This week I got started on my research project at Freie. I'm working on a project dealing with event processing, which is actually kinda interesting. However I need to like, re-learn Java and to learn Esper, which is similar to SQL, but for events. Thats like blah.

It's not too bad though, pretty relaxed working environment. I have my own little office, room, thing with like a desk, a chair, a monitor and some windows.

They have the same Dell monitors as the Game Dev lab eh.

I've been walking a lot lately. A lot more than I usually walk haha. I need to walk everywhere, walk to the train station, walk from the train station, walk in the train station, etc. Lots of walking. I'm not a pretty big fan of walking.

But yesterday in Germany was a holiday. Apparently its Ascension Day which is like a religious holiday when Jesus ascends into Heaven so it was a day off. It was also Father's Day, which apparently meant all of the 20 somethings were out and about drinking and celebrating. And apparently it was also (unofficially) Victory Day, which marked the day the Soviet Union took over parts of Nazi Germany. So it was a pretty eventful day.

Also random street art.

Since I had the day off I figured I'd walk around and explore the city a bit and to see some of the sites. The day started off kinda sad and rainy, but it quickly cleared up and the weather was really nice. My first stop was the East Side Gallery, which is a kilometer stretch of the Berlin Wall that was arted over.

The wall is really colourful and really cool looking. It was nice walking along it and just looking at all the art (and vandalism). You can really feel the history of the place when you look at the wall from all of the things written and depicted on it. Pretty cool.

There was a section with Batman on it too.

Afterwards I was planning on heading to Tempolhof, but since I was too impatient to wait for that train I went to Treptower Park instead. Turned out to be a good idea because there's a Soviet memorial there. And remember how I said it was also unofficially Victory Day? Well people were celebrating it there.

There were lots of people literally just chilling on the grass, drinking beer and doing random things. Really relaxing. I took a walk around the park and ended up taking a break in a Burger King. Now, I normally don't go to Burger Kings, but I looked at the menu, saw what I saw, and went in and ordered..

Beer and ice cream at Burger King you say?

Apparently Germany is a pretty cool place.

Anyways afterwards I walked to the Soviet memorial. That was really cool since there were a lot of people there celebrating and paying their respects. So people would bring in flowers and such and actually lay them on the memorials.

They have a few monuments in the memorial, and the biggest thing they have is a big statue of some dude holding a child in one hand and a sword in the other. I'm not really sure what it symbolizes but it looks pretty badass.

Large swords are always pretty cool.

So yea, apparently I celebrated Victory Day. Probably the best day to go to the memorial though, so I'm glad I did.

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