Mauerpark Flohmarkt (Flea Market), Berlin

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Germany is known for its flea markets & Berlin more so. This Mauerpark one, I guess, is the most popular one in Berlin and the best thing about this one is that it combines the best of two worlds – German flea markets & Berlin’s eclectic culture.

No, truly, this is not something just for the sake of saying it. Berlin’s Mauerpark flea market offers tidbits, unique things & useful things to some people just like any German or other flea market. At the same time, it represents Berlin’s eclectic & diverse culture as closely as possible. Berlin stands for being the land for artists, illustrators, designers and entrepreneurs – a place where they can be themselves & do what they want with full acceptance, because Berlin accepts everyone & everything.

This is something that Mauerpark flea market also represents in one way. Unlike regular flea markets, it doesn’t only have vintage stuff, there are artists selling their latest creations & many people selling their handmade stuff. To add to this, the part of the Berlin wall here is also getting constantly painted & repainted by people/artists. On the sides, there’s a huge crowd sitting atop a hill & cheering Karaoke participants. If you enter the food area, you’ll see that you can literally expect anything in the stalls, Vietnamese, food from Uruguay, Mexican, Bao Buns – you name it. Yes! this is what Berlin is – everything & anything at one single point only.

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‘Mauer’ is German for wall, so I believe this park is called Mauerpark because it is around a section of the Berlin wall. I went here for the second time this past Sunday & thought I’ll do a photo tour. Thing is I didn’t click as many (or should I say as varied) as I wanted, but still here’s what I have. 🙂

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The main entrance

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Right adjacent to where all the flea market action happens, is an open ground where people come over for picnics, although its not a well-maintained or even a clean park.

The park is also lined by a hill sort of surface, as in part of it is high up and that high up surface has Berlin wall bordering it. Have a look!

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That graffiti laced wall that you see is the Berlin wall and, as you can see, its on a height.

On the top, you see the spirit of Berlin, people showing their artistic sense on the Berlin wall, people chilling on swings or just sun bathing!

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Picnic people, as seen from the top

Mauerpark is also famous for one more thing, something that quite exemplifies the young & hipster spirit of Berlin. A Karaoke that happens in the ‘bear pit’. A small area of the Mauerpark flea market is called bear pit & summers usually see Karaoke happening there. The happiness & energy of people there is purely infectious! The way crowds cheer for whoever is performing leaves you with a very positive feeling.

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I am standing here & clicking!

I totally feel that Mauerpark flea market & Karaoke is definitely an experience worth having while you are in Berlin. It happens on every Sunday & you can totally keep some time for it. If nothing else, you will love it for the food variety, for sure.

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You can literally find someone with a robot they made themselves!

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If you have been here or plan to head over, I would love to know your thoughts in the comments! 🙂

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and that is just Germany gearing up for the Euro Cup! 🙂

4 things that I miss terribly about India!

I have been meaning to write this one since the longest time, but so are a 100 other posts. Better leave it at that. You know how you go somewhere & miss things that you left behind. I don’t mean loved ones & memories, even things. I had few strange revelations regarding  what all I miss from India after I moved to Berlin. That’s why I felt the need to document it. Some are really obvious things, but read on to know the weird ones:

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  1. For-granted things: There are many things whose existence I didn’t even register in my daily life and I miss them. No, I am not talking about easy access to water instead of toilet paper in the toilet :D.  I am talking of things that I really didn’t register in mind while living in India! Coriander, for example. My mom is a coriander lover and she puts excess of it in every dish if she has coriander at hand. I used to be super mad about it and tell her that I don’t want coriander leaves in my food every time and that too so many. Now, here, many times, I miss coriander leaves in my food & I don’t like the other breed available at regular supermarkets (is it parsley?). So, I sometimes buy it for a very high price at Indian grocery stores. Imagine, dhania (coriander), something that is given for free many times by veggie sellers in India! 😀 I can also mention missing Chole Bhature, something that is definitely not one of my favourite fast foods back home but I still ordered it once while eating out.
  2.  Street Markets: Talking of veggie sellers back home brings me to street markets. This is a fairly obvious one. Indian street markets, especially if you live in Delhi, have a character of their own, each one of them and I miss every one of those. Be it the strictly hipster Paharganj, the book lover’s paradise on Sundays – Daryaganj, the shopper’s delight Janpath, the truly Tibetan experience – Majnu ka Tila or the shiny, bling-y wedding shopping haunt but with tiny, dirty streets – Chandni Chowk. Phewww! I miss all of them. cl3a5jd
  3. Street Food: This is so cliched, it isn’t even funny. It’s hard to find someone who has lived in India throughout their lives and they do not miss Indian street food while in abroad. I am going to go ahead and put a picture here so that everyone is salivating right on their laptops! Go people! 😀 I think I should also mention here Berlin is very cosmopolitan when it comes to food & it’s so much easy to find Indian food, even if not street food. By the way, a place near my house here sells Indian street food, yet to try it.IMG_0423_Fotor
  4.  Fabindia: Haha! Never could have even imagined this one. The only article I have from Fabindia right now is a toner spray, which is actually a gift. The last thing I bought from them was Kurtas for my father with his money. Fab India is expensive for my student life right now but whenever I am near a store, I enter it for window shopping & now I miss doing that. 😀
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    Source: http://www.urbandesis.com/2014/10/urban-bites-fabindia-singapore/

    5. Taking my friends to Big Chill: Not a thing about India this is, but it is on my to-do list when I am back. That’s why the post is not called ‘5 things’ 😛 Big Chill is one of Delhi’s favourite places to dine at, including myself, when wanting to have Italian and I don’t know how I have never written about it. I wanted to take my B-school friends once there because none of them have been there. We came to our respective campuses in Europe before that could happen. So, yes, it is on the cards once I am back!

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    Source: nomadicrider.com/2011/02/khan-ka-khaana-eating-out-at-khan-market/

     

That’s all I could think of. I know many of you are living abroad since so long, PB, Shruti di, Bikramjit & so many of you whose blogs I love reading! 🙂 Do share what it is that you miss, if anything at all!

 

Campus Life :’)

Hello there!

I don’t feel good about not writing here since a long time. However, this is not the only thing in my life that’s facing the wrath of procrastination, almost everything in my life is a witness to that.

I am a promise keeper though, I mentioned that I’ll do a post about my MBA campus in India before moving to Germany for the second leg of my course. I wasn’t able to write a post because the last few days in college went by super fast, before moving to Berlin, but I took lots of pictures on my last day in college, simply to save for this post. 🙂

So, here it is, MDI Gurgaon, India in all its glory. I should also mention here that campuses outside India are usually not very huge but then, I have a hundred more reasons to miss my campus life, definitely one of my most cherished times!

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That would be ‘Gurukul’, the block where all the classes and lectures happen. Gurukul is a Sanskrit/Hindi word meaning the place of the teacher where people used to go for studies in olden times, the name of this block is quite fitting!  That small pantry like canteen you see is always booming with people despite the fact that everyone hates the canteen guy in this particular canteen. After all, its the easiest way to grab a bite in the 15-minute breaks between lectures.

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This is the garden in front of the block that you just saw and some set of hostels.

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‘Change Masters’, fancy name for our mess and few hostels are also situated in this building. Since the girls hostel for my batch was a little far off, most of our time was spent in this particular building only. Oh, I miss having hearty breakfasts in the mess now! 😛

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This is the customary campus picture, if you search for images of MDI Gurgaon, you’ll find prettier and photoshop versions of this block – ‘Scholars’! I cannot say why. 😛 This block houses library, auditorium, faculty offices and other such things.

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This is the other side of Scholars and I believe that this side also deserves some love when it comes to the pictures on-line of our campus.

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I really, really miss walking on this road. It was simply perfect, taking strolls on this road. It is the main road in our campus connecting all the blocks.

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I consider myself lucky that the dual degree has given me an opportunity to have a taste of studying here in abroad, as it is an altogether different experience. However, even before coming here, I knew that nothing would be able to replicate the charm of campus life. Chilling in hostels all day long when you have so much pending work to do, going to places only because you have a discount coupon or a free Uber ride for that place, taking strolls at midnight in the campus or playing cricket ( 😀 ), checking the autowallahs right outside the campus smoking up, walking up to the tea stall right outside the campus and feeling immediately secure when you enter the campus premises after coming back from somewhere in the night. Every campus has some peculiar and fun things attached to it, one that is gloriously peculiar for MDI is ‘Jha ji’. He is a parantha (Indian stuffed flat bread) stall owner who comes to our campus only at midnight, say, from 12 am to 5 am. He probably makes the best paranthas I have tasted in my entire life, and a lot of people can vouch for that. Keeping aside the paranthas even, this guy Jha ji is so peculiar in himself. He is a super slow guy and probably a lazy one at that because he skips coming to campus many a time. Finally when he comes, the crowds outside his stall are huge in the middle of the night and due to his slow nature, people have to wait for hours to get a single parantha (no exaggeration there). Well worth the wait though. In the bone chilling Delhi winters, he reduces the frequency of his ‘campus visits’, so during that time, whenever he comes, a mail to all the batches is circulated by someone who sees him coming or whoever calls him to check whether he is coming. ‘Jha ji on campus’ is a celebration time.

Writing all this, I am now acutely aware of how much I miss the campus life. All kinds of experiences have their own charm but campus life is literally irreplaceable in the strictest sense. I wish I had lived more semesters in hostel during my engineering too because engineering life is anyway so different, a good hostel life on top of it would have been perfect. I really envy NITs & IITs people (two major engineering colleges in India) where it is almost compulsory for students to live in hostels. Not to mention that NITs & IITs have gorgeous campuses! I am sure for many of them, their engineering time was the best time of their lives. For me, it may be my post graduation time, the time that I spent in this campus! 🙂

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