Friday, September 28, 2007

Little by little

Things are moving along nicely here. I got/chose my timetable and start lectures on Monday. My week goes something like this: Monday, German from 2 to 5; Tuesday, International Management from 10 to 1 and Corporate Finance from 2 to 5; Wednesday, International Marketing from 5 to 8.30; and finally Thursday, Innovation and New Technology from 10 to 1 and Cross Border Investments from 5 to 7. It looks ok on paper but it'll be interesting to see how it goes when i'm actually doing it!! Oh and I have Fridays off, just cause I felt I needed a day off!! Plus it makes travelling easier!!

In other news, i've added a few things to my room to make it a little more homely. I found some great posters in the gift shop at the Film Museum.

They've really made a difference and the room looks more inviting now that the plain white walls have a bit of colour on them. I've always had a thing for foreign movie posters, even if I already know the movie, it's just the language thing that appeals to me. Like the Amelie poster, (the one with the girl in the bed). I have no idea what language that is or what it says (apart from Amelie of course) but it just looks great. They'll definitely be coming home with me when I leave.

The weather has taken a turn. We had a nice week, mild and sunny, but the rain has arrived and the whole place becomes a bit depressing. A grey sky and housing blocks don't really go well together. But it's all part of the experience and it's nice to see Berlin as it really is, without the make up, if you get my drift!?!?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Before I begin, just thought i'd update you. I put that link over there >>>>>> for the pictures from the Berlin bus tour that I promised last time. Oh and the IT guy has given up on us Mac users who can't get wireless in our rooms and told us just to ring for our money back. Very dissapointing, but onwards and upwards I guess. Anyway, onto the good stuff.

The college lavished us with another welcome present yesterday in the form of a tour of an art exhibition. When I signed up for this I imagined a big fancy art gallery. You can imagine my surprise when we arrived outside a large office building with "Allianz" in big blue letters on the top. It turned out that when Allianz built their new headquarters (called the Treptowers they commisioned a number of artist and sculptors to create pieces for the numerous corridors and open spaces within the building. Quite a smart idea, but I imagine it wasn't cheap!!

There was art all over the place but I took some photos of my favourite pieces. And here they are!!

Firstly we have this peice by some German lady who's name escapes me at the minute. From the side it looks like this:

But from the front it looked like this!!

The other cool thing about this piece is that she didn't paint on the picture but, from what I could understand from guide, blasted it with some sort of powder that stuck to the reeds. It's kind of hard to explain.

The next artwork was a big log. But not just any big log!!!

The artist lady cut long pieces out of the log and replaced them with similar shaped pieces of perspex creating this smooth/rugid look. Very cool when the light shone through it, like in the photos!!

One of my favourite things in the building was on the 5th floor. This floor was given over to one artist who took the long narrow corridors and used them as optical illusions. You'll have to excuse the poor picture as I had a security guard standing right behind me ushering me on, but here goes:

He painted similar patterns in each of the corridors so that when you look at them head on they look normal but as you walk down the corridor, some of which were 700m long, the pattern had been painted the whole length of the corridor. I would've gotten better pictures if the security guard hadn't been standing over me waiting to move on.

The other artwork that I really liked was on the 3rd floor and was based on office clothes. I really should've done a better job of remebering the names of the artists but they were mostly Germans with really long names. Anyway, this artist took apart sterotypical office clothes and hung the remnants on the walls, like so:

The pockets were my favourite!!

The next exhibit we were shown was fantastic. It consisted of a number of thin metal poles with small light bulbs on the top. On these bulbs were tiny pictures of face,s that when lit up, were projected onto the wall, like so:

The final peice we were shown in the offices was along a 700m corridor, and again thanks to the security guard the hurried picture didn't turn out too good. Along the floor was a strip, a couple of inches wide, that lit up as you walked along. It followed you as you walked and was supposed to make worker feel more involved in the business. I don't know how it did that, but apparently it does!!

The exhibit also extended outside into the nearby river.

The large sculpture of three men is entitled 'Molecule Man' and is placed near to where the three borders of Berlin met.

That concluded our tour of Allianz's lovely new offices. Definitely one of the most unusual tours i've been on. But I suppose, when in Rome, or in this case Berlin!!!

We were WRECKED!!!

Classic Apres Match!!

Monday, September 24, 2007

My bad!!

I mentioned in my last post that I put alink to the pictures from the Berlin tour. I'm having so technical difficulties again but should have them up tomorrow along with pics from the tour of an art gallery i'm taking to today.

The IT guy is coming this evening so fingers crossed he has some answers for me about the wireless in my room!! Fingers crossed!!!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

We begin our broadcast!!!

Well sort of. I finally got the wireless internet in uni to work so I can finally use my laptop the way it should!! Next step is getting it in my room in the dorms!! Then we'll be sorted!!!

So here we go with the pics and all the stuff I was talkin about. First things first, my accomodation.

Roughly speaking, this is the area where i'm living.

We're in an area called Biesdorf, which compared to other areas of Berlin, is rather sleepy. It a suburb of Berlin basically and is mainly residential with not a whole lot going on.

Moving on to the room itself!!

This is the view you have coming in the door. I just got the beanbag yesterday. €20 in the bargin bin at Kaisers Supermarket, for all your beanbag needs!!

This is where the sleepin happens.

This is the view out my window. It looks out over our gardens and thanks to some nicely placed trees, you cant see the great big housing blocks that you see everywhere in east Berlin.

Which brings us nicely onto my wardrobe and shelve thingy with the kitchen in the background near the door. The kitchen unfortunately doesn't have an oven. Just two gas rings and a sink, more or less. Its nothing fancy but it gets the job done!!

Last but not least, the bathroom. Slighty pokey but again it gets the job done.

The one annoying thing about the building itself is the corridors outside my room.

They're long, high and very very echoy!! The unusually large gap under my door doesn't help either but i'm slowly getting used to it.

Well thats a start anyway. Now that this is up and running i'll be able to post more often and keep you all up to date. I've added a link on the right hand side there to a page with all the pictures from my tour on Thursday. Have a look!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Song de Jour

The Thrills - Nothing Changes Round Here. They did a great collaboration with Kila for Hot Press not so long ago. I'm gonna try and get it up here cause it's really good!!

Some technicäl difficulties!!

I'm still having troble getting wireless in my room but i'm still hopeful. Me and a few other Mac users who also can't get access, went to the IT place, cornered one unfortunate IT guy and made him swear that they'd do something about it. We even convienced one of the girls to cry which added some much needed drama to the occasion!! He said he'd let us know on Monday so fingers crossed. God help him if he doesn't!!!

I've been here about a week and a half now and i'm really settled. I moved the furniture around in my room and put up some posters and stuff. Since I can now use the computers in uni (it's not college anymore, it's uni!!!) I will be able to put up pictures and the like so you'll all get the guided tour soon. I also tried a 'Berliner' last night, which basically is a jelly doughnut with a bit of jam inside. Still really good though. While on a grocery trip yesterday I found one of the things I miss the most, KERRYGOLD BUTTER!!! And not the tub stuff, an actual block of Kerrygold Butter. It's not exactly the same as home but pretty damn close. Thats another thing to cross off the 'Things I miss from home'list.

The colege booked us all a tour bus yesterday as one of the welcome presents they gave us. It was really good as they glossed over everything and gives us the oppurtunity to explore it more on our own. At least now we know where we're going!! Next week they're taking us on a tour of the Government District and some art gallery that they highly recommend. Should be good.

And before I forget, and I nearly did, I passd my exams!!!! Yeay for me!! I'm still not sure what marks I got but i've been told I passed. There was a bit of a fiasco with the exams office in DIT that had to do with late fees and cheques but I won't get into that cause we'll be here for a while. So bar the internet, everything is set over here. oh and I learned the alphabet in German today and next week we get on to numbers!!! It's like pre school all over again!! Only instead of a woman called Cora, we have large German woman called Ingrid. Ya can't have everything!!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blöödy Keyboärd!!!

Sorry for ot posting since I got to Berlin. I've been having serious problems with getting internet access. They student accomodation i'm in only has 10 computers for a couple 100 students which makes it quite hard to get anything done. And then when I do find a free one, all the keyböards are in German and really sticky, and I find myself constantly hitting the wrong keys or searching for the y button which is where the z usually is!! And then there's all the ö and the ä and the ü to figure out as well. And don't get me started on the ß's!!!

But apart from that everythings great. I've settled in better and faster than I tought I would. The first few days were hectic enough with getting contracts signed and registering with different people but once that all died down it's just like home, except in German. My accomodation is grand, a tad small at times but it as everything I need, well nearly!! It consists of a room that has my bed, wardrobe, shelves and desk. In the hallway bit is the kitchen. Thats the onöy downside as the kitchen doesn't have an oven so no frozen pizza for a while. Then there's a door that leads to the bathroom.

I'm living in an area called Biesdorf in East Berlin. There's a train station nearby so we can get pretty much anywhere from there. There's not a whole lot around the dorms but luckily there is a supermarket next door. The dorms have a few nice features like a small gym, laundry room, computer room and a photolab, if the fancy takes you!!

I'm gonnä cut this one short cause i'm hank (Hank = Hank Marvin = Starvin, i've been reading Ross O'Carroll Kelly and it kinda rubs off on you!!). I should be getting wireless in my room so when i do i'll be able to use my laptop and add photos and maps and other fun stuff. Till then!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I am a Jelly doughtnut!! (Ich bin ein Berliner)

Just a quick note to say that i'm off to Berlin tomorrow morning for 6 months or so. I'm all packed and have everything ready to go. Still tryin to decide what coat i'm going to bring and how to fit it into the suitcase but apart from that, i'm all set. I also tried the Aerlingus online check in thigy which is really handy. i printed out a boarding pass so I just drop off my bag and head to the gate. Pretty sweet. The flights at 6.40, ya have to love the red eyes!!!

Thats about it for the minute. Nothing much else exciting. I'm not going to comment on or discuss the sharade that was the Ireland rugby match because..... well because I just don't want to!!!

I'll post again when I land.

Auf Wiedersehen!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Dark Knight

In the words of the Amstel guys, 'This is gonna be great!!'. Summer 2008 will see the release of the next installment of the long running Batman series. 'The Dark Knight' is the 6th movie and stars Christian Bale as Batman and Heath Ledger as the Joker. Michael Caine returns as Alfred, Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes (fair play!!) and Morgan Freeman and Aaron Eckhart take their previous roles. Christian Bale did a prett good job last time. He had the that scary deep voice down to a T!! And who doesn't like Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman!! Word has it that they have resurected the Batbike with lots of fun weapons and other implements of destruction.

From the look of the pictures and the variety of teasers and trailers the movie should be the dark sinister style that all Batman movies should be. The same director who directed the last Batman movie, Christopher Nolan, is directing again, so if Batman Begins is anything to go by we're in for a good one!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Song de jour!!

Jamiroquai - Little L

Just don't do it again!!!

Were you watchin the rugby last night??? Definitely one of the best games i've seen in a while. France didn't have a clue what was goin on!!! At first I thought it was just the first game jitters and it being their home ground and all that but as the game went on I couldn't believe what I was seeing!! After watching the French team steal our victory in Croke Park back in February, I thought they'd beat Argentina, not easily but definetely beat them. That wasn't the case last night. They lacked confidence, structure and the skill they usually show. They did have some good moments, especially in some of the scrums. The one point that I thought said it all was when they subbed their own captain towards the end of the game. Not a good sign!!

Now as long as Argentina don't do it again with Ireland we'll be laughing!! That'll leave us in a better position to secure aplce in the finals!! I entered a team in the Loreal Men Fantasy Rugby and one of my players is Mario Ledesma who played a cracker yesterday but DIDN'T SCORE!!!! He better next time or he could find himself in the transfer bin!! After last nights performance I got three points for Ledesma playing a full game but after today's matches that should hopefully go up a bit.

Also to remind you to visit the excellent Irish Rugby World Cup Blog, The Fear of God, to keep up to date with everything thats happening.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Pure quality!!

I'm so glad Halifax Ireland aren't using those stupid ads you see on British TV with the goggled eyed bank guy singing those stupid songs!! Thankfully, they've gone for this.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Exams & Apple

Sorry for not posting anything in the last few days but it was crunch time there for my repeat exams in college and i was a bit of a recluse for the past week and a half or so. But its all good!! They're over now and everyones happy. I'll get the results in about a week or so. They went well. A few speed wobbles here and there but overall, i'm happy. I didn't realise it till I got in there but there was a good few repeating. One guy even had 7!!!

But enough about that craic!! I'm sick of the exams at this stage!! On to more exciting and interesting things!!

Apple released a LOAD of new ipods and ipod related things today so i've been having a right good look at whats new. But i'm slightly disappointed. Maybe disappointed is a bit strong because the new stuff is nice and a step in the right direction but it's nothing revolutionary in my opinion. The new iPod Touch is a basically scaled down version of theiPhone which, personally speaking, could've been done a bit better. I don't think it should look exactly like the iPhone, a bit of variety wouldn't have gone astray!! And the new iPod Nano doesn't appeal to me either. The old Nano was elegant and stylish whereas the new one looks overweight and cumbersome. The newly named iPod Classic has got a overhaul as well with massive capacity and a slimmer body. But I wonder, why bother keeping it when they could have replaced it completely with the iPod Touch???

Thats just my opinion of the new stuff. Maybe this is just a stepping stone and the next release will be the more important one!! Who knows!!!

Saturday, September 01, 2007