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As Daniel, (my boyfriend), has kindly pointed out, most of the last few posts read as though I’ve been referring to myself in the 3rd person.

This is not the case; I’m not THAT much of a narcissist…

So, just to clarify for anyone else who thinks I’ve been a tool, there are 2 Joe’s on this trip; myself, and Joe Smith.

That is all.

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Once again boys and girls, it’s time to go home!
There’s not really anything one can talk about in terms of the journey home, so I’ll keep it concise.
Joe stole breakfast, I stole glasses, (fucking sexy ones), and we all stole away to the train station, once again bidding farewell to Berlin.
Again, nothing really happened, (except for security suspecting Joe’s iPod dock to be harbouring cocaine, prostitutes and terrorists), and so here we are, on our final descent into Manchester. Soon I will have to stop typing, as an aircraft designed to survive storms, lightning strikes and the increased radiation of the upper altitudes cannot cope with the electrical signals oozing from my phone, each keystroke knocking us another hundred kilometres off course, all the interference from my currently receptionless brick dashing against the rocks all hope of communicating with air traffic control. 

I can hear the engines failing now.

Perhaps the WASD keys will save me.

Oh shi-

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Maybe the Raki wasn’t such a good idea…

With a mouth drier than Ghandi’s sandals, I awoke to the sound of Matt, Nathan, Zoe and Jade getting dressed for Potsdam, (a city not far from Berlin), with all the quiet and grace of an antelope falling down a spiral staircase. Then came the lights, and within seconds my eyeballs dissolved into ash, leaving space for hard UV to slowly roast what was left of the inside of my skull.
Mr. Kilroy was kind enough to bring water, and as soon as the stampede of sound and light was over with, I ingested half a pack of Ibuprofen and gratefully passed out, still spooning my water bottle.
Several hours later, I awoke with the hangover hunger, which was rapidly alleviated by Joe’s suggestion of a fat Burger King. SteakHOUSE!
Fully recovered, myself, Kilroy and Joe set off to meet the others at Checkpoint Charlie, en route to which I was informed that filming for the Dark Knight took place in Berlin, which makes plenty of sense. Berlin looks a bit like Gotham, if Gotham was stretched out and had it’s top half amputated. 
Once our rendezvous was complete, we headed towards the Jewish Museum, which is architecturally astonishing. 
I’m not going to go into much detail about the museum, as it’s filled mostly with the kind of exhibits that leave a chilling and lasting impression of what went on during the Holocaust, such as the echo chamber, a pitch black room lined entirely concrete, and the Memory Void, an exhibit which consists of 10,000 cast iron faces covering the floor of a dark room, intended to represent those killed during the war, (No Jade, we can’t walk across it). 
With my faith in humanity all but gone, (seriously Germany, what the fuck?), we left the museum, only to be greeted by rain. How apt…
Depressed and hungry, we began the long journey home, stopping on the way to see the Jewish memorial garden near to the Brandenburg gate . The garden is made up of hundreds of concrete pillars of varying heights, at about knee height around the edges and the reaching well over 5m towards the centre. In the rainy dark, it’s an ominous sight, and venturing into the shadows sends chills up one’s spine. It’ll come as no surprise to anyone that our solemn respect quickly gave way to ‘memorial pacman’, and shortly after that we bailed.
We returned to our favourite restaurant, (that I STILL don’t know the name of), for yet other mighty meal, and then it was back to the hostel to play cards with Kilroy the unreasonable and co. 

Drink beer.
Pack bags.
Sleep.

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Post shops, we set off back to Alexanderplatz, towards a fate we’d known was coming. Nothing we could do, no protest nor feigned illness, would prevent this particular appointment. 
I’m talking, of course, about the Tv Tower. “What on Earth’s the matter with the Tv Tower?”, I hear you ask. “Is he afraid of heights?”, they pondered amongst themselves.
In fact, I’m a big fan of heights. I’m not a fan, however, of standing inside of the clouds. Sure, it’s wonderful to know that man is capable of such feats of engineering, and it’s not often you get to stand in a bar 200m above Berlin, but when you can’t even see the lights of said city due to the aforementioned cloud cover, it gets pretty old pretty quick. Also, it was about a tenner for a drink, so we couldn’t even be drunk in the clouds. Just stone cold sober and eerily warm…
Back on the ground, we decided to split up, myself, Matt, Jade and Zoe heading back to the Hostel to get changed and get food, and Joe, Kilroy and Nathan venturing further into Berlin in search of a bar.
Arriving back at the hostel, I decided to crack open the wine, and was soundly upset to discover that I’d bought a bottle with a cork in it. To Google I posed a question, and in return received a long list of methods that were sworn upon by many. “Wrap it in a towel and bang it on the wall!”, “Pry it open with a knife!”, “Use a screw!”, the result of which was a partially emerged cork with a broken screw stuck inside of it. For all the wine I managed to get out of that bottle, (clue; none), I might have had tried to force it open with my brain. The bottle was having none of it however, and left many dents in the metal railing that I tried to snap the neck on. Did sheer kinetic energy provide results? 
Negative.
Still thirsty and unfortunately un-wines, the coolest 4 amongst us dined on awesome spaghetti bolognese pizza, minging risotto and awful, awful raki, (Matt thought I was bullshitting about needing water with it, until the Turkish waiter lol’ed at him and recommended water with it).
Drunk on pizza and wine, (and awful, God awful raki), we swayed, (admittedly I swayed whilst everyone else seemed to remain unaffected by the burning posion), to the train station and into Berlin, where the guys were busy getting hammered on €3.90 cocktails. Font aint got shit on those things, and after a couple of Zombies the rest of the night became a blur. A hilarious blur, in which Kilroy tasted fire, Joe ran inside a train station with a cocktail and didn’t spill a drop, Nathan got staggeringly drunk, and the 4 of us, (The 3 girls set off home for an early night. Aww!), met a Polish man, (we’ll call him Juliusz), who seemed more wasted than the lot of us combined. Jules acknowledged our language barrier thicker than the wall itself, and continued to chunner on about vodka, building sites and other stereotypically Polish things, until we eventually managed to flag down a taxi, leaving our comrade to continue the party on his own. 
Our driver for the evening was a lovely chap who wouldn’t give Nathan his name for some reason, (earning himself the name ‘Merrhhh’), played Bon Jovi for us all the way home, no doubt wondering why he’d stopped for us at all, kicking himself when not busy using the clutch. 
We arrived at the hostel, and within about 30 seconds were being told off for sounding like a herd of drunken goats. All was saved however, when I noticed that our tell’er-off’er was wearing a Bazinga! T, and then loudly voiced my approval in his general direction. 
Matt, Jade and Zoe were no doubt thrilled when we came stumbling in, but I don’t really remember their smiling faces, or anything much after the Bazinga! guy for that matter.

Zzzzzzz…

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Hah! Today I woke up with the worst sinus headache man has known! Thank you whatever the fuck caused that little bundle of fun! 

On a lighter note, breakfast was a mildly disappointing combination of awful deli meats n’ cheeses, delicious yoghurt n’ cereal, and then shit bread and chocolate with cherry jam, (What was I thinking??!?).
On we went to the Reichstag, more PC’ly known as the Bundestag, which was absolutely fascinating, and involved a tour of the building and many thorough descriptions of events historic and influential both. Naturally, Matt and Kilroy had no fun at all. 
Did you know that the Bundestag still contains walls covered in Russian graffiti and bullet holes? I didn’t, but what makes it better is that one particular piece of writing is a fake, being the reversed name of a maintenance guy. Lol!
After we’d had our fill of political history, we set off back the hostel to pick up Jade and Zoe, only to discover that Nathan’s wallet had gone. Searching frantically but to no avail, we decided to ring the Bundestag, resulting in a hilarious series of failed attempts to communicate our predicament in English. Clearly, Nathan’s well pronounced, “Spraken ze English”, did not go down well. Or at all, as when it was finally my turn to mong-talk to the phone-mong, we were booked in for a Thursday afternoon tour. 
Eventually we had to yield, and had the hostel receptionist do the talking for us, “You should ring them yourselves first, everyone there speaks English”. Lying bitch; Matt’s phone bill is going to be through the roof! Luckily, Nathan lost his wallet in the only place guaranteed to find it; the security building! Wallet goes into X-ray tray, does not return…
On our way to collect the package, sailing along on another billion trains, we encountered a drunk man who thought I was Bob Marley, which offends me greatly, as I assumed that the ‘fro would garner shouts of “Hendrix!”. Alas, it would seem that that isn’t the case, and with a disappointed heart I continued onwards with the rest. Well, the train doors closed and I had little choice in the matter, but the sentiment remains the same.
After a while, (and some delicious pancakes), we reached the KaDeWe, (Kilroy and Joe, in their attempt to return to the hostel, spent about 2 hours going to and fro on the same shuttle train, between about 3 stops. Thumb the map Kilroy!), when Jade had a minor panic over how scruffy we looked and how sexy the shop was by comparison. Continuing forth regardless, we took the fancy drinks bit by storm and discovered that Rice Crispies are to Berlin what lucky charms were to Selfridges before they replaced the world foods section with a shitty perfume shop that reeks of overpriced eau de pensioner and that crap that Brad Pitt’s started peddling. 
Fight Club? More like poncy long haired faggot club. 

I digress! 

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Awaking just in time for Beer Time; Generator’s delightful revamp of the classic ‘Happy Hour’, we realised that perhaps sleep was an error, as everyone had gone from tired/giddy and up for lols to tired/fuckoffanddie and barely capable of communicating more than 1 syllable at a time. Still, Beer Time is Beer Time, and the rules must be adhered to, and with that knowledge in hand we headed to the bar.
A few pints worked wonders to lighten the mood, and before we knew it Matt had the pool table set up. 
Clearly, someone is losing their touch, as not only did Jade give him a good thrashing, but you could also visibly see the concentration sweat dripping while I was playing him. The match ended 5-3 to not me, so either I’ve gotten a lot better, or Matt sucks. 
After a while even Matt got bored of pool, and because all of the dubstep was being hoarded in the bar room in which we weren’t, we stepped out for a beer mooch, while Zoe stepped upstairs to void herself of the sandwich she’d enjoyed so much only hours earlier. Like, full on, omnidirectional projectile voiding. 
What a mess.
Nothing really happened, but we did meet a lovely girl who wanted us to buy all the mint schnapps in the shop. We also saw an advert for ‘Dildoking’, whatever the fuck that is. 
Eventually our mooch came to an end, and shortly after I’d purchased the most delicious looking of kebabs, Kilroy said something yummy about a coat hanger and reaching a uterus with one, at which point kebab went in the bin. 
What a bastard.

Shit.
Shower.
Shleep.

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Monday proved, as most first days anywhere generally do, to be a disorganised doss. No one said that’s a bad thing however. 
After the usual arrive/look around/dump bags (amongst other things…) routine was done with, we went for a walk to ‘see the area’. Anyone who’s been to Berlin will know that’s plain crazy talk, seeing as “Just down the road” often means you’ll be walking down said road for a good half an hour, without really reaching anywhere or achieving anything other than an equally tedious walk back. “So then we got on the tram” [He sang!].
We rocked up in Alexanderplatz, and the lack of anyone was immediately obvious. I mean, no-one likes Mondays, but it felt as though Germany’s coping mechanism is to shut itself away in it’s room, shut down and wait it out. Which is fantastic! Unless you’re a tourist, in which case every thing seems a bit crappy and dull. What’s more, to everyone’s, (especially Joe’s) dismay, the bars seem to remain closed well after midday. It’s as though they didn’t know we were coming! 
Forced to occupy ourselves with something other than being drunk, we marched onwards, looking for anything. 
We didn’t find it.
Eventually everyone realised that, having been here a couple of times before, I was more than content to walk in any which way without finding anything at all. The mutineers took charge, and started following Matt’s directions again, which led us to a square so effluent, so rich and full of culture, that the puddles are made of fucking mulled wine. 
I’m not joking.
Potzdamerplatz houses the Sony Centre, within and surrounding which are a film museum, a lego museum, a cinema, (which in 2011 we saw undergoing preparations for the premier of Cowboys v Aliens; very swanky indeed), and other delightful media based distractions. 
We ignored all of them barring one Lego giraffe, and entered the closest diner, ordering the biggest plates we could find, and a pitcher of (FUCKING AWFUL) Pilsner for myself, Kilroy and Joe, because walking around all day is hungry work yo!
After tearing through ribs, burgers, schnitzel and sandwiches, we waddled our fat arses back to the nearest train to the hostel.  
Tired, full and content, we unanimously decided that a nap was in order, which obviously went rapidly downhill as soon as people started leaving the room for showers and such, leaving their beds and belongings unguarded in a nest of arseholes who love to hide yo shit. 

Sleep came easily after that. 

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Guten taag! 

This newest instalment features a brand new all-star cast, and sees the return of some fairly familiar faces.
As our heroes and heroines take to the continent once again, we’ll watch them sampling some of Germany’s finest cuisine, witness them necking the best beer that Berlin has to offer, and most definitely not fucking about with any so called ‘Ghost Tours’. 
Not. Even. Once.
Their options of attractions range from a genu-INE dungeon tour; no doubt featuring an endless parade of pantomime/gothic-crapctors, (not to be mistaken for Craptors, which would be fantastic), and Madame Tussauds Berlin, full to the brim of giant, autonomous waxworks of engineering magnificence, all the way to ‘Base Flying’ and the Panoramapunkt, one of which is Europe’s fastest lift, the other being exactly what it sounds like.
Whatever the gang get up to this time, you can be certain that it’ll be very cold whilst they’re doing it! 

But first, the getting there!!
(For reasons of narrative interest and author laziness, the section of this document concerning the journey has been not written).

We’ve survived the plane ride, we’ve survived most of the train ride thus far, and Matt’s already been to the crapper all of 5 times. 
Oh! How the tables have turned!! 

Stay tuned as we keep you updated, in this newer, shorter, less expensive episode of…

The European Crusade! (Episode 2 - The 21st Birthday Bonanzataculariffic!).

Peace!!

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We’re all going to Berlin, (We’re there, you know how this works…), for Matt’s 21st!
With us on this exciting 4 day journey are Matt, Nathan, Joe, Kilroy, Zoe, Jade, and me, the genius behind it all who planned everything and had no help ;D

Ciao!!

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And as we draw closer to the end of our journey, and my motivation to continue writing plummets to an all time low, we arrive in Gent. “Gent?”, I hear you enquire, “But this post is titled ‘Amsterdam’!”.
Well spotted youngster! However as you’ll’ve noticed by now, Matt has a particular fondness for day-trips, and as such we were required to visit the lovely Gent.
Now, as I have already described Bruges, I shall not be spending a great deal of time describing Gent, because as we already know kids, all of Belgium is the same; Boring and quiet and quieter and boringerer.
But, it’d be rude not to tell you what we did.

We went to Gent, the marvellous three,
And whilst in Gent, the things we did see!
A road, a house, a car and a train.
A park, a bench, a duck, (Was there rain?).
Through Gent we slogged for roughly an hour,
The town had nothing! Not even a tower!
We walked and walked, and then walked some more,
Till Kilroy said something like, “Who’s idea was it to come to Gent?”, and then we all nodded in agreement and finished feeding the ducks.
Then we left Gent.
(For anyone who is wondering, it’s pronounced ‘G-ent’ as opposed to ‘J-ent’. Think of plosives).

After enduring Gent for roughly half the time we were in Monaco, we jumped on the train to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, as we discussed at the beginning of this chronicle, is a great place to be and nothing illicit never goes on never ever.
Seriously, nothing happened.
We arrived in the rain, as is custom. I suggested that we take the tram to the hostel instead of walking forever and ever and ever. Matt and Kilroy however fancied a stroll, and so stroll we did.
About 40 minutes later we arrived at the hostel, having not eaten for roughly the entire day, and immediately went in search of chezburgers; yes, we are very fond of chezburgers.
We spent about 2 hours looking for them. Not because of a lack of McDonalds in Amsterdam. Not because of lack of chez in McDonalds. No, our journey was so lengthy because Matt, King of directions, led us in a delightful spiral around the city, and by the time we realised where we’d gone wrong, we were half an hour from the city centre. LOL!!1!
However, as we are 3 magnificent bastards, we did eventually locate our intended source of food.
Hamburgers: €1 = Understandable.
Chezburgers: €2.25 = Unacceptable!!
Seriously! €1.25 for a SLICE OF CHEESE!!
After having a moan at a clearly bewildered staff member, we settled for hamburgers.
They were ok, but what really spoiled it was the fact that about half an hour later we spotted a 20 pack of the shortly little squares of plastic for €1.25.
I’m going to stop talking about it now because my fury is giving me a headache.


I’m going to skip out the rest of the last day and a half.
Not because I can’t be bothered writing anymore.
Not because we didn’t do anything, (We didn’t do much to be perfectly honest, due to having no money).
No, I’m skipping out the final part of our story because I’ve noticed, after reading over the posts describing the final few days of the journey, that I’ve become tired, bitter and repetitive.
This isn’t because of who I’m with, or where we’ve been, (Okay, Gent was really shit but forget about that for a moment), or even the fact that we’ve been away from home for a whole month.
It’s a mixture of things, and I can’t quite put my finger on any of them.
I think that it’s because I’m home now, and as I sit writing this in my living room at 3am, I’m beginning to realise that I’ve left it too late.
The journey’s over, we’ve seen everything we set out to see, (and quite a few things that we had no intention of laying eyes upon), and even though we stepped off the plane less than a week ago, the whole trip is beginning to fade into another fond, treasured yet distant memory.
But as much as I attempt to romanticise my reasons for cutting things short, to sex up the clear lack of effort gone into the last few posts, to add a little jazz to the final page, I can’t help myself for honesty.

I procrastinated, and here is the end result. A shit, cheesy, “We had good times and bad times but ultimately pulled through”, ending fit for a Hollywood shitcom.

My bad.

Joe