We had decided that we would meet up near my colleagues flat and get breakfast in her local baker called Bäcker Wolff. It was like Greggs but with a touch more class. I had a little square of cake that, and I’m using the closet thing I can to describe it here, an apple crumble topped with icing sugar. The lack of custard didn’t stop it being a delight and the perfect friend to a cup of coffee.
My colleague went a little more route one and had a child’s treat. It was about 30cm long, made our of dough and shaped like a small child with facial features added with currents and trousers made of chocolate. We looked quite classy, especially as I went back to the counter and bot extra doughnut bites for the bag to keep our energy levels up for the day!
Full of sugar we walked the mile or so to the venue and arrived in good time ahead of the opening. We had met up with a client who had told us about a special restaurant for members of the press. We looped and walked through various buildings with a sense of purpose that made me feel like we were in a detective drama.
There was a lady manning the door through to the press area and it was here that I noticed the difference between the German and English attitude to work. If this person manning the door had been in the UK, there would have been a cursory glance at the lanyard and you would have walked right past them without a worry.
This older, stern looking lady looked like a cast member from Prisoner Cell Block H. It didn’t feel like her manning of this doorway was her job, this was her calling. This was why she had been put on this earth, to stop non-members of the press getting to the press banquet. Having shown her my pass, scanned in with a QR code, proved by mask was safe and shared my family tree to the seventh generation she was happy to, begrudgingly, let me past.
This same attitude to work and delivering on the task to which people had been set was a joy to watch, especially when it was people who were tasked with making sure that Covid masks and passports were accurate and verified, it really did make you feel very safe and secure and in no doubt that anyone not complying wouldn’t be allowed into the venue. I just didn’t feel this was in the event I was at In London earlier in the month where, I would guess, around 75% of people had chosen NOT to wear masks.
Again, I won’t bore you with the work and skip to that evenings entertainment. We got the tram into the old town and tried to find a nice place to eat. I don’t want to repeat what I have already written about the suburbs that I was staying in, but it’s very hard not to. The town was dead, you could hardly spot a single person walking around the streets.
It was weird as the bars and restaurants were not empty, but it was as if the people inside moved from one to the other using secret tunnels under the street rather than walking through the streets, it was the only way to explain the lack of people outside.
The only exception to this were dog walkers, there were a few walking around and I tried to stop and say hello to almost all of them. The problem is that German dogs seem to have no interest in, or love of, me! Story of my life really.
We found an old fashioned looking restaurant that was full of hip young well to do types. My colleague asked for big drinks and menus and decided for us that we would be having currywurst. We had been talking about them most of the day and so it seemed like a great idea. It went down a treat, this traditional German dish!
We wiped our plates clean and readied ourselves for a pint before we headed back to the digs. As we made our way to the exit there was a huge display stand with another typically European find, a display board full of postcards. You just don’t them in this country!