Thursday, April 28, 2011

Berlin2. Scatter

I do not remember much of the first day of the Pictoplasma, it's been all a blur. This posting is shallow in content. I try not to be shallow, but attempts fail me. You can look at photos though :)

Circus hostel has a wonderful breakfast buffet. I ate so healthy because all I could eat were vegetables and fruits. They had this amazing carrot coleslaw. I saw them everywhere in Berlin. Maybe it's a German food? I have no idea. I miss it. And SAUERKRAUT, dude!! I've never had sauerkraut until then. That unsatisfiable itch in my life, that little emptiness in my heart.... what's been missing was SAUERKRAUT! My friend's boyfriend told me that it's because I'm Korean. sauerkraut is like kimchee. Yes it is! Despite people looking at my plate with puzzled looks, I had heaping plates of sauerkraut and carrot coleslaw over, and over and over... I had to resist an urge to buy a huge bag of sauerkraut at a grocery store. How on earth am I going to carry it oversea? And I've seen sauerkraut in Canada too. I'm going to eat that like there is no tomorrow.

I ate enough for me to skip lunch. Sounds pathetic, I KNOW.
Awesome hot chocolate at Circus Cafe
 I actually worked on my travelling portfolio at the Circus Cafe. I'm grateful for them being chill about it. I've been kicked out of places before for collaging. I really am careful when I'm using glue, I swear!
I was going to finish my travelling portfolio while in Toronto, but like everything, I just didn't have time due to the last minute illustration job. Because of jet-lagging haze, I glued my prints in a wrong order.

Circus Cafe Menu

I'm kind of a psycho who asks strangers to take my photos and actually POSE FOR IT. Otherwise, I'll only have close-up self-shots. I don't look good close-up

Oh man Meomi! I love you people so much. I still use their illustrations for my computer wallpaper. I absolutely love them. I bought their Cloud Seeding book at the Pictoplasma table. I was a bit surprised to see it there. For those who don't know their work... they did branding for Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Motomichi postcards
 I always try to send postcards when I travel. I sent Motomichi postcards to some of my friends. I wonder if they got them. When I sent round of postcards from Mexico last year in July, my friends received them 9 months later. Let's see if German postal service does better.

Asking another stranger to take my photo. I put shame aside while I was there
 Below photos are of Roman Klonek. He is one of my favourite illustrators, one of the greatest inspirations. My teachers taught me not to look at contemporary illustrators (but look at Master's work), but how could I not look at his work? They are so magnetic. I always do block printing with rubber, but tried wood printing because of Roman Klonek. My arm hurt like hell. How on earth he does all his work with wood? I have such respect for him.

I really wanted to buy this print, but it was sold

Gallery with Roman Klonek works and his wood printing workshop

Roman Klonek had a wood printing workshop. There were 3 sessions. I went 40 minutes early for this, but the seats were already full. I stood around, waiting for some more chairs. More chairs came, and people who came later than I sat on them. My friends told the gallery people that we were there earlier. They told us, "ask and take their chair." What? I can't take people's chair. I just stood around awkwardly, listened to the lesson for a bit and left. I went back the next day early again to find out there is no seat. I gave up. I already knew how to wood print... but it was Roman Klonek teaching!

Oh yeah, and I was too scared to actually talk to him in person (this is going to be a repeated theme of this trip). There were lots of opportunities. But I didn't want to look like a crazy person. I've been his fan for a very long time.

Master at work

Mr. Klonek explaining how to use the press

We had some time until the next workshop, so we explored the more of Character Walk (Pictoplasma-related gallery shows around the town) Jeremyville took over the whole building and covered with his wonderful art. Him and his wife were such a nice people. I actually got to talk to them at the closing party on the last day. How wasn't I scared to talk to them? Because I didn't know it was them... I saw this lady with a Jeremyville bunny bag from LeSportsac. I saw them on their website before, and I was looking into ordering a small one. So I asked the lady where she got it from (maybe a shop in Berlin sells them, and I don't have to pay shipping). She said, "This is our design"
"This is our design. We designed them"
They gave me bunch of stickers and pins. So sweet of them. Please do order their wonderful bunny bags.

More photos from Character Walk and other galleries:
Tent made of shopping bags. Such a cool idea

Mcbess talk
 I could only catch first 15 minutes of Mcbess talk because I had a dinner plan with my friends. Erika of Canvas Collective is living in Berlin with her boyfriend, working as a designer. I dragged them to this very weird vegan souvlaki place, Vöner. I'm sorry Erika, to make you guys sit through that! It's suppose to be 'fastfood', but our food took an hour to arrive. I forgot to take photos because we were so hungry by the time the food arrived. I ordered currywurst. It wasn't very good. If I had time, I'd give it a second chance. I'll go back next year and order souvlaki plate.
This drink was so good! I want another...
 Erika told me about how there is no tab water offered in German restaurants. I didn't really notice it until then. At my hostel cafe there is a jar of tab water for people to drink, so I didn't know they don't normally do that in other places. She said she asks for tab water everywhere she goes. It started to bug me too. After meeting her, I asked once or twice at a restaurant for a tab water. Now that I think about it, why would it bug me? I went all the other places in the world without drinking their tab water... But it's strange... bottled water is, among many other things, completely evil. From my moral high horse (?) I recommend this documentary if you are not convinced: Addicted to Plastic. Germany has one of the cleanest tab water... let's just drink it. I get sick very easily by drinking other countries' water. I didn't get sick in Berlin. Clean tab water. Hyein approved. Here is Hyein Seal of Approval, Germany:

I'm sorry... I should shut up. I worked for petroleum industry once. I have no right.

Interior of Voner

At Vöner, only one guy in the picture was working. When I went up to pay... he didn't know how to open the cash register even though Erika and her boyfriend paid ahead of me with no problem. He turned the cash register upside down. I wanted to ask, "Dude, are you high?"

I am embarrassed for stereotyping, but I thought everything in Germany would be on time. I was wrong. Everything was laid back. The conferences started an hour late, food comes usually late, everything was late late late. Where did our culture of efficiency come from? I kind of let go and enjoyed the slowness of it all. If the conference starts an hour late? Just show up late. Problem solved.

Alone late at night, I decided to check out Tacheles. It's an artists' squatter building. It was full of graffiti, full of strangeness. I got lost going up and down the stairs, random people talked to me. Again with serious jet lagging, conversations disappeared into abyss. What is wrong with my brain... Am I getting old or maybe I was never sharp to begin with. I thought I wouldn't jet lag because my sleep schedule was already fucked up in my daily life. I'm the most inspired at night, so I used go to bed at the crack of dawn. I can't lose the night - all the magic happens after sun down.

Photos of Tacheles:

skeleton humping a cactus. Exactly what I need in my life

It was a small, smoke-filled bar in Tacheles

I know Berlin is a safe city, but I really wasn't going to walk around 3 in the morning by myself. The streets were deserted and I was getting scared. I got lost and wanted to pull out my map, but didn't want to give away that I'm lost. Not that there was anybody on the street. I walked and walked into the endless night. I found a vegetarian Indian restaurant on the way. What a good price. Man, I love Indian food. Their opening hours were impossible for me (with Pictoplasma schedule), so I never got to go. I'll check it out next year.

This yoga school was offering all-you-can eat vegetarian food

Some floating yarn monsters on my way to the hostel. Part of Character Walk
 I dropped by an organic store on my way to the hostel. I bought some goodies! Hot chocolates & chocolates for friends, vegan hazelnut chocolate spreads, soy yogurt, juice and vegan cookies. It was the best soy yogurt I've ever had. I wanted to go back to that market to buy more, but didn't have time in the end. I bought the exact same chocolate hazelnut spread in Amsterdam without knowing that I bought the same thing already. Once I got back to Toronto, I've been eating it everyday. So good!

This completes my Day 2 in Berlin. More to come! If you actually made it to here, I owe you a cup of tea. My apologies for scattered writing.

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