My Bar? No Yours Bar!

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I’ve already written about Yours Australian bar before, but about their brunch. I’ve found myself back here a few times though recently, so I thought I’d write a little more about it.

If there are any fellow Nintendoites out there I should start by saying – they take meal vouchers here! Though not for the drinks, I guess. They do pretty good cocktails here though I really love the homemade lemonade. It’s the type that is full of rock sugar to crunch on OM NOM NOM.

Their food is pretty good, too. A burger loving friend of mine swears that this is the best burger in Frankfurt but sadly when I went to burger here I went by someone’s recommendation and got the emu burger which was dry and tasteless.

The picture above is one of the few vegetarian options; a hummus wrap. The hummus was pretty awesome but although it said there was falafel in the wrap, they should have said that slithers of falafel may be hiding in very small amounts in the wrap.

As usual the staff were friendly and smiley and it was pleasant there.

Find Yours Australian Bar at Rahmhofstr. 2-4 (Schillerpassage) 60313 Frankfurt

What Happens When Germans Protest?

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A few weekends ago it was pretty hard to get into town. I live near the main station, and the Frankfurt based protest group Blockupy were having a camp weekend over on the grass and the whole area from the top of Kaiserstraße to the start of the highstreet was closed off. Not only that but the train stops and trams in the area were also not in use. It was a little annoying, but it’s starting to become normal here now.

I guess I shouldn’t have been so surprised that people here protest so much. German people have a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong, and what’s more, they want to make everything right. Japanese people know in their heads what is right and what is wrong but they don’t dare say out loud when they think something isn’t ok. British people know what’s right and what’s wrong but unless it’s affecting them personally, you won’t find them springing to action.

I have no idea how many protests there have been since I came to Frankfurt…and of course there are many more in the summer months. All protests need to be approved (which is why the bike ‘protest’ Critical Mass isn’t advertised as such – it’s not approved) and so for the first year that I was here, most of the protests consisted of a few people protesting and 100s of police guarding them.

Then came Blockupy. They set up camp under the big euro sign of the European Central Bank and stayed there throughout the bitterly cold winter until they were kicked off last Autumn. They are still very active and do fight for lots of causes, and at the camp the other week they focused on educating people about those causes. There were a few other scuffles that they had that were perhaps not as nice, but made it into Buzzfeed so that’s good publicity for them I guess.

The above photo was from the following week – they had one more protest march against how the police treated them during the camp weekend. I was trying to figure out what they were protesting at first but there seemed to be quite a few areas covered in the one march – German efficiency!

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When Blockupy have things going on it is quite a pain because it’s hard to get around and stuff but I guess that’s the point. I don’t really agree with the violence or the extremes that they go to but I think it’s great that so many people care about this kind of thing here.

My Week In Photos

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It may be a new week but the craziness of last week is still with me…

I did some more standup comedy on Thursday. I did a set about language, and about my kids at the school I taught at in Japan. It went down pretty well but I have a little way to go yet… including my posture on stage, apparently!

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There was a Japanese film festival called Nippon Connection throughout last week. I have a whole post lined up about it, but here are some cute kids playing with the Wii U that was on display there. I couldn’t help but back-seat game when they were finding it hard to use, though… whoops.

 

 

 

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And of course the yearly film festival is great for getting those Japanese snacks we crave. I had a pickled plum onigiri rice ball. It wasn’t as good as the “real” thing…the rice tasted really bland for one. I should make more of these at home I guess. I have noticed, as well, that the Asian supermarkets are selling seaweed that has the plastic around it so you can make your own onigiri packaging. Pretty neat idea, I think! 

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I had LOTS of time to hang out with the kitten monkeys last week. Yannik likes to sit ON my computer so I cannot type and only pay attention to him. Because he is the king of everything.

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Whereas Norina likes to do a great impression of road kill on the sofa.

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As it’s getting warmer and we use the balcony more, I get worried that she WILL become road kill since she pays around there all the time. This is her twitching because there was a bird in the tree. I was having 40 fits while this was happening.

 

Being an Expat – The Media Gap

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My brother has just finished up his final exams at uni and is putting together information to go and teach and live abroad. I was speaking with my mum about the things that matter when you’re an expat – she was saying Malaysia would be a great place to live since they have British shops there so it would be just like home, but actually I think it would be a really tough place to live. When you live abroad, it’s really the smaller things that matter the most, like when I was ill, the difference between how we do things in England and how they are done in Germany was a little tough. In Japan, even something like the toilets could get to you, since it’s not all super robot toilets – get to the countryside and it’s all “squatty potties” and I even went to a place where the “toilet” was a massive hole in the ground that stank of ammonia. In Malaysia the toilets often don’t have toilet paper, but they all have little showers and a lot of the time I walked into a cubicle to find the whole place wet. That kind of thing is fun and novel on holiday but could get very annoying if you lived there.

In Germany there aren’t so many things that are different that could cause annoyance or displeasure in being an expat here. Sure, the shops being shut on Sunday is a pain in the bum, and it often feels like you have to have a paper to give you permission to even breathe here sometimes, but on the whole it’s fairly easy. But sometimes I feel like I’m living in a huge cave while I’m abroad. It’s not a German thing; I had it in Japan too. When I go back home I find myself, for example, asking my sisters what the song is that’s playing in New Look and they look at me as if I’ve asked how to boil an egg and say “duhhhhh she’s, like, the biggest thing right now”. Only, she’s not big enough to be involved in this little expat world I live in.

I find I miss out on a lot of things. Not just with music; when I was home at Christmas I discovered Come Dine With Me (no seriously, click it. It’s an awesome show) but it was almost past it’s prime in England by that time. I discovered Mad Men while I was in Japan – about 2 years after it had started showing. It meant I could do a massive marathon with it (though Mad Men isn’t very marathon-able, it’s a bit too dark/deep/complex for that…) but still, I was out of the loop all together.

I do feel very dependent as an expat on media suggestions from people over Facebook or Twitter and now I use Tumblr a lot and find myself asking my friends if I should be watching Sherlock or Game of Thrones. But it is pretty hard to get a good sense of what is good. I turn on my proxy and look over the iPlayer of 4OD and just don’t know what is good, what isn’t… what is being hyped up or what isn’t worth clicking on.

I’m interested to see what the other expats out there do. Where do you find your media knowledge? Do you bother to stay in the loop?

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