Category Archives: travel

Berlin 2022 day 1

Manning and friends were to arrive around 15:30, which gave me an entire morning to snooze, find a croissanterie, take my rings to the park and have a nice lazy workout in the sun. If you bring your gym with you, you never have to worry about finding a gym!

I focused really hard during this trip on calibrating my circadian rhythm with sunlight queues. Up at a reasonable hour, sitting at a café in the sun by 09:30 to get loads of sunlight in my face, and then being out biking as the sun went down. Worked exceptionally well, I was calibrated onto local time by the second day, almost trivially (helps that I kicked the process off by eating an unreasonably large amount of THC edibles to knock myself out on the flight from Portland to Reykjavik. Before I passed out, I did spend what felt like an eternity being Far Too High in the window seat.).

I got a bunch of cheeses and cured meats to welcome the boys after their trip from Frankfurt.

Regardez! Paradis du fromage:

Eventually the Alexes and Victor arrived, and we were off to the races! Everyone mounted a velo-steed, and we proceeded to procure Budweisers and various big-brand beers at the kiosk. Alex had recently swapped clips on his bikes for flats, and while carrying 2 or 3 liters of beer in his hand, lost footing on his bike, dropped the beers, and nearly sliced the tip of his finger off. This lovely gentleman appeared out of absolutely nowhere, and staunched Alex’s bleeding just enough for us to bike over to a hospital and get the repair process started.

Alex is notorious for injuring himself on his bike during adventures.

The remaining three of us posted up on the banks of a nearby canal, drank our beers, and trolled swans (humans in this shot are not in our party).

Bless their souls, the fellas had lined up dinner with a friend of theirs in venture capital in Berlin. We got jumped to the front of the line at a hot Korean fried-chicken joint, and I challenged myself to rise to whatever spicy level the Koreans wanted to eat. Lo, did I sweat.

Apres, the Koreans invited us to a literally-and-figuratively underground karaoke joint, poured endless Heinekens into our faces, and insisted on shoving vodka shots down as well. Gracious me, but do those folks love to drink. At a certain point, I had to bow out of the drinking, but realized that entailed leaving a beer 3/4ths unconsumed so that they’d not try to push another one on me. One of our compatriots had sung opera for many years before going into tech recruiting, and it was amazing to hear her pick up on pop-song melodies for songs she’d never heard before and harmonize on the spot. Humans are amazing!

At something absurd like 3 in the morning, with Alex fully exhausted from several hours waiting for glass extraction and re-stitchment of his hand, we emerged from karaoke and biked home. On the way, I discovered precisely what Germans think about American food:


Berlin 2022 day zero

I’ve been sitting on tickets to see Seeed since 2019, and my friend Alex pointed out that the concert was actually happening this year, and that I better book tickets and lodging if I intended to see them this decade. Kara graciously picked up the childcare slack for a  five-day sojurn (two of which will be occupied by travel). This is very sub optimal trip design in that I’ve not amortized the very expensive part, the plane tickets, across a longer trip. However, I’ve been trying to see this band for about two decades (during which they lost a vocalist, RIP Demba).

I flew from Portland to Reykjavik (sedated myself with edibles right into oblivion), and then woke right up for the transfer and to get bright morning light in my eyes to start recalibrating my circadian rhythm).

Hello, mountain!

In the Schengen passport control in Reykjavik:

The whole world runs on Nginx, dontcha know?!

Icelandair won’t let you put your bags on the floor in the exit row during takeoff and landing, as takeoff and landing are when very nearly most aircraft problems hit. The 22 year old fight attendant was very stern with me about this, which veritably gave me the tingles.

Icelandic women are impossibly, ethereally, brain-meltingly beautiful. Imagine the Teutonic, Brunhilde-esque paragon of cancelled Aryan wet dreams, and add in a touch of the fey, and an English accent like you’ve never heard. Their children are also adorable, and that is all that I shall say on that topic.

I would have loved for this eco-lid to be awesome, but it turned out to just suck.

I’m exposing myself to the human flux along the  canal (augmented by motherfucking SWANS), crash-calibrating my circadian cycle to local time by getting real live sunset rays into my eyeballs (it’s important that your brain sample the sunlight as the fire god himself drifts below the horizon…), and sampling local brews. Next step is to get some more beers, bike around the abandoned airport, and then rustle up some dinner before stopping in at the jazz club (Donau115) that I just discovered around the corner.

Signing off from the canal!