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Brussels/Berlin 2023

Monday 17th July 2023 – An Old Friend and Some Time Off

During my morning ablutions, I received a message from a very long-standing friend and one I had not seen in many a year. Michale Bryan and I were at Primary School together at Cuiken Primary and later on High School at Penicuik High School. He now lives in Berlin with his wife and two children and had some time to reconnect with me.

It was a huge pleasure to see him. We ate “Bánh mì” and discussed the delights of Berlin, as well as reminiscing about school experience and other friends. Michael was kind enough to fill me in on a few detail, namely; how not to get arrested on the transport system for not having a ticket, and also why there is such a large Vietnamese diaspora in this city. The answer to the former is to buy a day ticket if one intends of taking more than one journey. The latter is explained quite simply by the fact that East Germany was controlled by the USSR which in turn was allied with other communist countries, such as Veitnam. I was pleased to have this mystery solved.

After food we took a stroll around the area with Michael pointing out many of the sites and establishments of information I could choose to visit during my time here. There is much to see in this fantastic city and while I will undoubtedly frequent some of these, to cover them all would necessitate a stay of many weeks. We eventually parted ways with Michael departing on his bicycle and me on my feet, back to my accommodation at Schönholzer Straße.

I decided to have a quiet afternoon on my balcony. I was feeling a little like I may have not had enough to drink to some time replacing fluids seemed wise. I passed the afternoon reading my book, some articles, and drinking plenty water.

I took dinner at a local Mexican establishment and had an early night.

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