How I got scammed in Berlin!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

It’s summer!

And that means going on holiday/vacation.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as the sun comes out, my brain begins to fry and I’m not as alert as I ought to be.

As you know, I’ve been living in Berlin for more than seventeen (17) years, and it really is one of the best cities ever.

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

But it wasn’t always that way!

Yep!

My beloved Berlin used to be quite a different place back in the 90’s.

Back in the day, I used to go to the Love Parade every summer, and electronic techno clubs Berghain and Tresor practically every weekend!

In fact, the gentrified areas of Mitte and Prenzlauerberg in East Berlin (where I live) today, were quite trashy, horrifying, and in some places, even dangerous!

Hence, I lived in arty, grungy, student, alternative Kreuzberg in West Berlin.

Love conquers all. We had controlled rent, but we didn’t have a bathroom in Berlin!

My boyfriend and I lived in a huge rent-controlled apartment near the river.

It didn’t have a bathroom.

It didn’t have any heating.

Hauling up steel-buckets of coal every week in Berlin, wasn’t as romantic as this!
Hauling up steel-buckets of coal in Berlin, was more like this!

And I had to haul up steel-buckets of coal every week!

It was worth it though ‘cos we were living in a 19th century building, and my share of the rent in those days, was a mere €17.00 per week!

It took me just six (6) weeks to get a well-paid teaching job, and six (6) months later, I was the Head of not one Corporate Language School, but two (2)!

One day, I went to the bank to pick up some money for a summer-BBQ party that I was organising for all our schools in Berlin at the time, and on that day, I got scammed!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Scammers are everywhere through Europe!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Woah there.

Tell us what happened?

I’m coming to it.

Hold your horses!

Well, I made a few mistakes that day, and really, I shouldn’t have been so gullible.

But I was.

MISTAKE NUMBER 1:

I went to the bank & collected loads of Deutsche Marks!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I went to the bank, collected 500 Deutsche Marks or about €1,000. (Yep. it’s that long ago!) And then decided to go into “town” a mere 10 minutes away from my establishment.

I should have gone straight back to the office instead!

MISTAKE NUMBER 2:

Most sane people would run away. I walked towards it instead!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I saw a large crowd gathering at the town square of East Berlin’s most popular tourist attraction – Alexanderplatz. And went to investigate what people were looking at.

Most sane people would run away if they saw a crowd.

I tend to do the opposite, and walk towards it!

I should have just kept on walking!

MISTAKE NUMBER 3:

There were some men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guessed right, you win!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

There were a group of men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guess which cup the dice or ball is under, you win.

I should have just minded my own business!

MISTAKE NUMBER 4:

I stopped to watch other tourists and lost all my cash!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I stopped to watch the other “tourists” playing and “winning.” Each and every “tourist” that played won. I thought it would be a laugh, and I could easily “win” too!

To be honest, I don’t even know why I even bothered, as I’m not the gambling type.

I don’t play cards or games for money.

I don’t play scratch-cards.

I don’t play slot machines.

I don’t play bingo.

I don’t even play the lottery.

And I’m not in the habit of “playing” with my money.

I’m far too stingy!

The cost for each “go” was 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I gave the man the money.

And I lost it!

I should have just taken it as a done thing, and gone back to my office.

MISTAKE NUMBER 5:

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse. And lost that too!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I didn’t.

I’m arrogant and stubborn.

I was so convinced that it was a “game” and that I could beat them.

I decided to “play” again.

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse, so I gave the man another 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I lost that too!

100 Deutsche-Mark banknote or €200 – © 2016 – 2018 Bank Note World

I was quite annoyed and convinced that something was up as I had looked quite closely, and didn’t take my eyes off the “cup.”

Now I’m not mad enough to spend more money, as that cash wasn’t really mine, and I would have to replace it once I got back.

And 100 Deutsche Marks or €200 was still quite a lot of money!

So I stuck around.

And watched really carefully.

And then I saw it.

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done. But what a scam!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

The “tourists” who had “won,” weren’t tourists at all!

They were friends and mates of the game organisers and were involved with scamming pretty much each and every legitimate tourist.

Not only that, but the guy issuing the cups somehow kept the ball in his hands so that all the cups were empty!

And if, like myself, you insist the cups be checked as evidence that the ball was actually still under one of the cups, the guy then dropped the ball under the cup, in the same motion as lifting it up!

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done.

But what a scam!

I protested, and asked for my money back, but they insisted that I leave their space.

And like I said, Alexanderplatz was a rough place in those days and I still had 400 Deutsche Marks or €800 in my purse, so just to be sure that I wasn’t being followed, I took a taxi back!

What an idiot and a fool I was!

And that was how I lost 100 Deutsche Marks or €200, just like that!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Images of Berlin Alexanderplatz.
How I got scammed in Berlin!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and stupidity, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

For more of what to do if you’ve been scammed, and how to avoid it in the future, follow my blog!

You might be well-travelled, but you can still be scammed!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

Have you ever been scammed? Do you think I’m an idiot? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!
An Affair with Chocolate – ©Sarah Robinson

I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but for the first time ever, I didn’t write a post in a week!

You might wonder why that was so.

After all, I was all geared up to write about the lovely time that we had in Slovenia.

Well, firstly, something rather wonderful happened and equally, something rather awful happened too!

I’ll be telling you about the wonderful thing in about a fortnight (two weeks), but I probably won’t ever tell you about the awful thing, as it concerns people who I love.

Hello from Germany!

I live in Berlin.

In Germany.

And let me tell you, events have made it crystal clear how lucky I am to be living here, and the speed and efficiency in which things are done.

The German Way!

And since it’s been some time since I’ve actually written about Berlin, perhaps I should.

Book your hotel here!

Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

On that note, I’ve decided to write a compilation of the best articles that I’ve written about Berlin.

If you’re here for the first time, join in the fun.

I know I will!

If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up. Eek!

However, before we start, you might notice a tiny change on the blog. If you’re a new reader, you’ll see a Mail Chimp subscription pop-up. Eek!

There’s nothing to fear. As always, you’ll never receive any spam or weird emails from me, however, in September, I’ll start sending out a newsletter so you’ll get the latest update as to what I’ve been up to. And let me tell you, it’ll blow your mind!

If you haven’t already done so, please join up.

Berlin – very British – rbb

For those of you who have been dying to hear how I sound, there are a few videos on the side bar. Sadly, the documentary and various other TV show that I did in German, are no longer available online, but if you’re a member of the press, and wish to see them, copies are available!

A couple of weeks ago, I went to London, here’s what you missed:

24 hours in London: 24 things to do!

Good times!

And now, without further ado, here the best articles that I’ve written about Berlin.

Enjoy!

Book your hotel here!

BEST OF BERLIN – 4 YEARS AND COUNTING!

The beautiful French Quarter – Gendarmenmarkt – in Berlin

Book your hotel here!

Best German meals to try out in Berlin – Currywurst!

Book your hotel here!

At the Berlin Music Video Awards (BMVA)
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

Book your hotel here!

Hugh Jackman – Logan – at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
©Berlinale

Book your hotel here!

Backstage
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin SPRING/SUMMER 2017
©Nass / Brauer

Book your hotel here!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin Spring/Summer 2017
©Lupi Spuma Fine Photography

Book your hotel here!

Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner for Bild am Sonntag
©Christian Spreitz

Book your hotel here!

Eddie Izzard
ⒸSerious Fun Quatsch Comedy Club, Berlin
On the border between East & West Berlin in Germany.

And my two favourites:

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

BEST OF BERLIN – 4 YEARS AND COUNTING!

The TV tower in Berlin.

This article is not sponsored and all opinions are my very own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

I’ll be there. Will you?

It’s all about the beer – Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Best of Berlin – 4 years and counting!

Have you ever been to Berlin? What do you think is “best”?

Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin – Because German food isn’t as rustic as you think!

Hello from Germany!
Hello from Germany!

Omigosh!

What a week!

Last week, I reiterated over the #InterestingTimes that 2016 has produced, not knowing that just a day later, we too would have a fatal terrorist action that occurred on our very own doorstep, of my beloved Berlin.

The Christmas market in Osnabrück
©Osnabrück Marketing und Tourismus.

In one of the most culturally vibrant German activities – the Christmas Market!

The Christmas Market in Germany, isn’t just any old market.

The German Christmas Market is a way in which we can socialise with our American friends in Berlin!
The German Christmas Market is a way in which we can socialize with our American friends in Berlin!

Oh dear me no!

The German Christmas Market is a way in which people can socialize with their friends, hang out, and just have a fine old time.

The Christmas Markets isn’t Disneyland or some sort of recreational park, it’s a German tradition of browsing at skilled crafts, shopping, eating traditional German Christmas streetfood, and drinking to the heath of one and all, with hot mulled wine, otherwise known as Glühwein. And for those with a far stronger alcoholic tendency than my own, trying out the “Feuerzangenbowle.”

Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!
Trying out the Feuerzangenbowle. Again!

It can reduce a grown man to tears if care is not taken…!

And then the attack.

The Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz. In Berlin © Jens Kalaene - picture alliance dpa.
The Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz. In Berlin
© Jens Kalaene – picture alliance dpa.

We were all so shocked at the carnage and death at the very popular Christmas Market around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (the Gedächtniskirche) at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin, where the attack took place in the photograph above.

It’s a Christmas Market with more than 100 beautifully decorated market stands and Christmas booths, 70 fairground rides, and lots of  German and Austrian delicacies, not far from the High Street, the zoo, and the aquarium.

We cried, and we talked about what to do next.

And let me tell you what the next step is.

Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!
Get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

The next step is to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! 

Berlin is the safest West European city that you can ever hope to find.

Germany is open for business, and always will be.

But if you have any concerns about safety, feel free to contact me. I live here. I’m on the ground!

And so, my post this week after much reflection, and because I tossed and turned as to what to write this week, and I have a family…. this post is on:

FOOD IN GERMANY: 10 DELICIOUS BEST MEALS TO TRY OUT IN BERLIN – BECAUSE GERMAN FOOD ISN’T AS RUSTIC AS YOU THINK!

Here we go:

German stodge, such as Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut!
German stodge, such as Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut!

1.  When people think of German food, you can’t blame them when their impressions tend to lay on the stodgy side of things such as the Mutzen, otherwise known as a German fried doughnut, above!

Not very exciting!

And greasy!

However living in Germany has shown me that of course, German food does lie a little on the heavy side, since it was originally designed for working class peasants, but you know, the modern-day German isn’t a peasant!

Well, not all of them…

Savoury German food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!
Savoury German food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!

So you can get lovely food such as croquettes, green beans, brussel sprouts, rich venison and home-made gravy! Oh my!

2.  In fact most Germans are intelligent, tolerant, internationally minded, and open to different life experiences, and that is reflected in the food. In fact, in Berlin where I live, you’d be hard-pressed to find “real” German food!

A most delicious Bosso Spätzle! How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!
A most delicious Bosso Spätzle!
How to eat cheaply in Luxembourg!

Austrian food. Yes.

Berlin food. Oh yes!

But German food. Eeeh! Umm!

Not quite.

“Typical” German food has a hard, long reputation of being rather stodgy and boring. Pretty much like British food actually! So let’s see what we can find, because our Christmas Eve dinner above, reminded me that food in Germany can be pretty awesome.

If you know where to look!

3.  For those of you who don’t know, the most popular meal in Berlin is not the sausage.

That very famous, most popular, Berlin speciality: The Döner Kebap!
That very famous, most popular, Berlin speciality: The Döner Kebap!

Nope! No sire!

It’s the Döner Kebap!

The kebab is made from small cuts of lamb or chicken meat which is grilled on a spit and then sliced. These slices are put into a Turkish-like loaf of bread with added raw white and red cabbage, slices of onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, and smothered with either garlic sauce, a sort of Turkish-mint sauce, spicy pepper-tomato sauce, or all of the above. The Döner Kebap can be found all over Germany and in pretty much every food corner in Berlin. Yum!

4.  ‘Remember when I said that German food is more than stodge.

Because vegetables...!
Because vegetables…!

It’s true you know, so let’s talk vegetables!

The thing that Germans all rave about is…

Wait for it…

Asparagus!!!
Asparagus!!!

Asparagus!

I know!!

White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!
White asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel!

Asparagus, especially white asparagus, otherwise known as Spargel, is a popular summer dish especially in season. It’s a pretty short one of just two (2) months, so we all run around, looking for the nearest farmers market so that you can get can the freshest produce possible.

Luckily for us, we have two (2) farmers markets in my neighbourhood, and one of them is less than one (1) minute away from my house!

5.  Breakfast in Germany is very different from breakfast in Britain.

In Germany, the breakfast tends to be “continental” in style.

And the best breakfast of all is a home-made one made by the very loving hands of a German grandmother!

A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home!
A most delicious breakfast spread you can expect, in a typical German home!

We had a variety of cold cuts, slices of cheese, slices of ham, freshly cut paté or leberwurst, seasonal fruit, salmon, jam, butter, creams, and sauces, German condiments,  pickles, boiled eggs, a basket of crunchy bread, fruit juice, yoghurt, tea, coffee, and some seafood!

6.  Speaking of seafood.

Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Ha!

Where should I start!

This year, we spent some considerable time on both the German Baltic Sea and the German Northern Sea!

I say old boy! That’s quite a feat.

What!?!

My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!
My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!

There were lots and lots of possibilities to eat some sort of seafood. In fact, all sorts of seafood. I mean, OMG!

7.  Ah yes. Meatballs!

Are they burgers. Or meatballs!
Are they burgers. Or meatballs!

Some might even go as far as to call them burgers!

In Germany, they’re called different things. In Berlin, these German meatballs are huge pan-fried minced balls of beef, pork, or lamb and are known as Boulette.

In fact, so much so that when I first came to Germany, I didn’t know what they were, so I didn’t eat ’em! Imagine my shock when I discovered that they were actually meatballs!

I wasted two years not eating them!!

A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!
A Berlin lunch of Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

In other parts of Germany they are smaller and known as Frikadellen, Fleischkühle, Fleischpflanzerl or Königsberger Klopse!

They are not normally eaten with a tomato sauce but with bread! As you can see above, these meatballs were small, topped with apple mousse, accompanied by sliced brown bread sprinkled over with tomato, salmon, and mustard & cress, or sliced brown bread topped with cream cheese, sliced radishes, with more mustard & cress.

In fact they were quite delightful, so I scoffed the lot!

8.  Yummy in my tummy, heavenly, tasty dessert!

A frightfully enticing profiterole, choux à la crème, a cream puff or simply in Germany, a windbeutel!
A frightfully enticing profiterole, choux à la crème, a cream puff or simply in Germany, a windbeutel!

Scrummy desserts can be found all over Germany, as the cake shops are lovely.

Now I wish that I had taken a photograph of my cream puff before I actually pounced on it, but there it is!

The profiterole, choux à la crème, cream puff, otherwise known as a windbeutel in Germany, is a filled choux pastry ball with a typically sweet and moist filling of whipped cream, custard, or pastry cream. The puffs are sometimes garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar, or simply left plain.

Mine had castor sugar, which I promptly licked off!

The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner! And can be quite a classy affair if taken with champagne!
The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner! And can be quite a classy affair if taken with champagne!

The most popular dessert in Berlin however, is the doughnut, otherwise known as a Pfannkuchen or a Berliner!

It’s usually filled with plum or strawberry jam, but doesn’t have a hole in it, or sprinkles…! In fact, during our wedding, our pre-lunch snack was the Berlin doughnut, otherwise known as a Berliner, with croissants, orange juice and glasses of champagne!

Cool or what!

9.  Since it’s that time of year, let’s throw in gingerbread and Stollen.

Let's throw in Gingerbread and Stollen for good measure!
Let’s throw in Gingerbread and Stollen for good measure!

I’ll tell you a secret, I don’t actually like German gingerbread, and I can’t eat the Stollen ‘cos of my allergies!

Are you shocked!

I love gingerbread men if I make it myself!
I love gingerbread men if I make it myself!

I do love gingerbread men though. The kind for children, and home-made, and that’s about it!

10.  Finally, I’m not going to leave this post without talking about street food.

A Swedish sausage made from venison, otherwise known as Hirsch!
A Swedish sausage made from venison, otherwise known as Hirsch!

The very highlight of a typical German day is the sausage.

The sausage above was served with thin slices of bread, and a venison light brown sauce. Quite yummy!

Alrighty!

All hail the almighty S!

Germany has loads of different sausages and each comes with its own unique taste.

White sausages. I've tried it every which way, but I still don't like it! ©TakeAway - Wikipedia
White sausages. I’ve tried it every which way, but I still don’t like it!
©TakeAway – Wikipedia

I find the white sausage with sweet mustard or Weißwürst quite disgusting personally, even though I’ve tried it every which way.

Ah well!

Delicious grilled pork sausages, otherwise known as bratwurst. Yum!
Delicious grilled pork sausages, otherwise known as bratwurst. Yum!

The grilled pork sausages with mustard, ketchup or both, otherwise known as Bratwurst can be decisively delicious.

My favourite German sausage however, is the currywurst. The currywurst is Berlin’s most famous sausage.

Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!
Currywurst and chips slathered with tomato ketchup, curry powder, and sometimes mayo!

Currywurst!

Currywurst is beef or pork sausage grilled and chopped up, then smothered with a spicy ketchup and curry powder. It’s eaten with a pile of chips and a slice of bread or a bun. It’s such a famous icon that it even has its own Currywurst Museum where you can learn how currywurst is made, smell it, watch a film about it, attempt to sell it, and play around with the french fries and chips. You can sometimes even have chocolate and curry ice-cream!

Berlin's most famous iconic meal - currywurst, chips & mayo!
Berlin’s most famous iconic meal – currywurst, chips & mayo!

Currywurst can usually only be found in Berlin everywhere you look. My two favourite places however, are the 1930’s East Berlin historical establishment called Konnopke’s Imbiß in my own area of Prenzlauerberg, and the 1980’s West Berlin trendy establishment Curry 36, in my old neighbourhood of Kreuzberg!

p.s. They speak English in both places so no worries if you don’t speak German!

That’s it from me.

See you next year!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

FOOD IN GERMANY: 10 DELICIOUS BEST MEALS TO TRY OUT IN BERLIN – BECAUSE GERMAN FOOD ISN’T AS RUSTIC AS YOU THINK!

Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!
Tasty German Bavarian pretzels!

This article is not sponsored, and the exciting food experience that I’ve always had, is my very own!

In January I’ll be making an announcement that will either having me jumping up and down like a Jack-in-the-Box, or crying over my hot cocoa! Find out in January!

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the beginning of  January, I’ll be going to Holland, and at the end of it, I’ll be skiing in my favourite place, Rokytnice nad Jizerou, in the Czech Republic!

January is December is going to be full of excitment!

Have a great festive season, and a stunning New Year!

Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin - Because German food isn't as rustic as you think!
Food in Germany: 10 delicious best German meals to try out in Berlin – Because German food isn’t as rustic as you think!

Do you like German food? Is a German meatball a burger, or just a huge meatball? Let me know!

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!