Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP Worldwide > The International Automotive Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 8th September 2008, 23:10   #691
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,989
Thanked: 1,453 Times
Default YetiBlog - 27th August 2008 - Potsdamer Platz

I walk on past the Potsdamer Bahnhof and look around at this modern miracle of architecture.

Potsdamer Platz was bombed along with all its glory in WWII, along with many other architectural victims of the Fatherland's glorious past. The curious thing was that nobody restored it.
For over 30 years, Potsdamer Strasse and Platz served as a ghostly reminder of WWII, simply separating the east from the west with neither authority bothering to undo the great damage that the war had done.

Until the wall fell.

While Roger Waters wailed out the live version on "The Wall" at Potsdamer platz, the unified berlin Government was signing papers to private investors willing to rebuild Potsdamer square. Amongst the largest investors and builders was the Daimler-Chrysler corporation.
Amongst other investing companies (Like Sony) Daimler Chrysler made sure that the new Potsdamer Platz stood as a modern testament to German engineering and efficiency.
It was finished well within the stipulated time frame and was completed by 1998 (yes, not long ago)

Today Potsdamer holds the Daimler-Chrysler building, the Sony Centre, LegoLand and of course, NC's favourite - The utterly incredible DeutscheBahn (DB) Tower - the German Railway office.

Name:  DSC_1592_thumb.jpg
Views: 577
Size:  142.2 KB

I walk around the tower before decidng to walk around the Sony Centre. I have been here many times and yet it amazes me.
Looking at this crowd of people, eating drinking and enjoying the clean air, I am at peace, a little envious sometimes.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1594_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1596_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1595_thumb.jpg

I leave the Sony Centre, walking past LegoLand. I think of Navin with a big grin while doing this.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1593_thumb.jpg


Amongst the other great buildings in this area is Potsdamer Platz Eins, the Kolhoff Building.
The top of this building is the Panorama Punkt. What is also super special about this building is that it holds the fastest elevator in Europe, built by Thyssen Krupp.
The prospect of getting up to the viewing platform in a matter of a few seconds excites me.
Soon I am clutching my ticket and Enschuldiguning and Danke Schöning my way into the lift.

A few seconds later I am there. Ears all popped and a huge grin on my face. I can see my house from here!

To be continued...
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2008, 23:11   #692
Team-BHP Support
 
navin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: mumbai
Posts: 22,509
Thanked: 3,885 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitesquall View Post
I want to touch you once in my life
I dont know if Jenny will appreciate this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
every now and then to fool everyone into thinking this thread is about cars
Of late you are AWOL at ICE too. :-(

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Oh but I am back already :(
Hopefully with a case of MS100s.
navin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th September 2008, 23:15   #693
Team-BHP Support
 
navin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: mumbai
Posts: 22,509
Thanked: 3,885 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I leave the Sony Centre, walking past LegoLand. I think of Navin with a big grin while doing this.
Thanks. I will be visiting Cologne and Munster again on Spet 29-30-Oct1 so warn Jenny! LOL.
navin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 17:21   #694
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore/Gulbarga
Posts: 161
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
I dont know if Jenny will appreciate this.
I don't think TheOne will mind that since I am straight!!! he he he he , what do you say Jenny?
whitesquall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 17:37   #695
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,847
Thanked: 7,246 Times
Default

Sorry, but I just happen to know that she belongs to a very orthodox German Brahmin family, and will only consent to be touched by her father or her husband.

So get practicing your "Namaste"!

Thad E Ginathom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 17:39   #696
BHPian
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Bangalore/Gulbarga
Posts: 161
Thanked: 30 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
Sorry, but I just happen to know that she belongs to a very orthodox German Brahmin family
Thanks for the very important info and the advice! I will stick to it!
whitesquall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 17:52   #697
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 84
Thanked: Once
Default

A "touching" post I must say!
rahuldeodhar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 18:06   #698
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,989
Thanked: 1,453 Times
Default YetiBlog® - 27th August 2008 - At the very top of Potsdamer platz

It is simply beautiful.

I am at the top of the tower, on the terrace. A little higher than the DB tower. I will not waste your time with my words - let me show you what I see.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1599_lowres.jpg
Looking towards my hotel, you can see the Mercedes office.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1600_lowres.jpg
Potsdamer Strasse, that runs between the East and West. God, this beautiful busy city has massive green patches where people can relax and breathe. Where did we go wrong?

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1601_lowres.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1604_lowres.jpg
A peek into the working day of the wonderful people at DB.
Hey!! My friend Gautam loves your job!!
Unfortunately the good folk at the DB tower will move out when their lease expires in 2010 and will set up office at the newly constructed Berlin Hauptbahnhof.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1605_lowres.jpg
To the left, the grey area is the Holocaust Memorial to the dead Jews. I decide to visit it again later. There is something beautifully ugly about this memorial.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1607_lowres.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1608_lowres.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1613_lowres.jpg

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_1607_lowres.jpg
Views:	74
Size:	125.2 KB
ID:	47253
Looking down at the top of the Sony Centre.

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_1605_lowres.jpg
Views:	75
Size:	170.6 KB
ID:	47252

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_1608_lowres.jpg
Views:	85
Size:	111.1 KB
ID:	47254

Click image for larger version

Name:	DSC_1613_lowres.jpg
Views:	66
Size:	149.4 KB
ID:	47255

I take my time here, I am never in a rush on holiday. After a few hours I take the elevator down and resume walking.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 9th September 2008 at 18:18.
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 18:17   #699
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,989
Thanked: 1,453 Times
Default YetiBlog® - 27th August 2008 - The day is over

I call Jenny from Potsdamer again. She is free for a bit. I take the U-Bahn back to the Messe.
On the way I take some photos. I am falling in love again with Berlin and I keep forgetting my deal with the moderators to keep this thread about cars and bikes.
The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1614_lowres.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1615_lowres.jpg

I meet her again. Even though I've seen her this morning, she seems super happy to see me again. And she does that every single time. Amazing.
Later we return back to the hotel. It is going to be a quiet evening. We catch up with a few colleagues at the bar, knock down a few (drinks, not colleagues) and chill.


The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1616_lowres.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1617_lowres.jpg
I take a couple of photos of the lobby. Jenny and I aren't terribly fond of the Maritim. It's old-school, gold and opulent and of course, very luxurious. Still, the level of service here is high, by German Standards. Even if the water costs 6 euros a bottle.

Time to get to bed. Tomorrow the Indian paltan will arrive early.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 9th September 2008 at 18:19.
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 18:19   #700
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Thad E Ginathom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 7,847
Thanked: 7,246 Times
Default

whitesquall, It was my duty to warn you

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 9th September 2008 at 18:21.
Thad E Ginathom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 19:16   #701
BHPian
 
prabuddhadg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 731
Thanked: 45 Times
Default

Apart from some dry leaves on one roadside, there seems to be no dust in Berlin. The glass facade of buildings, even the bike tyres are clean. German efficiency.
prabuddhadg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 9th September 2008, 21:06   #702
Senior - BHPian
 
normally_crazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 4,367
Thanked: 387 Times
Default

Jeez !! Look at that DB office !! Awesome ! Superb !!

ps - just compare that building to our Indian railway offices at CST and Mumbai Central.
normally_crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 01:22   #703
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,989
Thanked: 1,453 Times
Default YetiBlog - 28th August 2008 - The Indians have arrived!

I wake up by 8am. Jennifer has already left for work.

A quick breakfast and soon I am sitting in a taxi on my way to Tegel airport. I am a bit excited that my Indian colleagues and friends are arriving into what already seems like my country.
I have made every arrangement for their entertaining and comfortable stay here with a lot of help from my German colleagues, especially Jenny.

On the way there I call the taxi service.

Herlich Wilkommen...
English please.
I'm not taking any chances with my German on this one.
Ein Moment.

Hello, how can I help you?
Yes, I'd like 2 Grossraum taxis bitte.

A Grossraum taxi is a large van, this seats upto 8 people. There is an extra charge but it is comfortable, makes sure there is less chaos and eventually is cheaper than 2 taxis.

From Tegel to Stauffenberg Strasse please.
You are at Stauffenberg Strasse?
No I am at Tegel.
Actually I'm in a regular taxi on my way to Tegel, but I do not want to complicate matters.

Silence.

Why do you not walk to the taxi stand at Tegel Airport?
But I don't know if they will have Grossraum taxis at the stand.
Uhh... I see. When do you want the taxis?
Now.
I don't have 2 large taxis. Why don't you try at the airport, it makes more sense to do that.
OK, danke, bye.

It's still bright and sunny. I quickly pay the old taxi driver. He too, like many of the taxi drivers I have encountered, speaks no English and it is great fun speaking to him in my (improving on a daily basis) bad German.

I walk into Berlin-Tegel and in 15 minutes all my guests have arrived. We say our hellos. They are JBL business partners, each one from a different state of India. We do not see each other often and it is a wonderful pleasure to see them here in Berlin.
We step outside.

I am both stunned and shocked. It is raining heavily and it is cold. In a matter of minutes (while I was inside) the temperature has dropped from 22 degrees to 14 degrees and it is dark, gloomy and wet.
My guests look at me and I can see on their face that it is re-confirmed that they think I am really crazy. I have asked all of them to come in their tee-shirts.
Thankfully some of them have their jackets with them so all is not lost.

We get 2 small taxis and 1 grossraum. Back at the hotel, my Danish colleague in charge of the hotel rooms has done her very best and managed to get an early check-in for everyone. I am greatly relieved.
I hand out everyone's itinerary's and explain things to the best of my abilities. It gives me great pleasure to make sure that everyone is OK.

Someone asks me if the basin water is potable. Of course it is.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is weird under any circumstances for an Indian to drink water out of a tap. Weirder still is the idea of drinking from the bathroom sink. But truly, Germany offers no water to anyone. A bottle of Gerolsteiner in our room costs a little under 6 euros, beer costs less. And the water from the basin is very clean and really quite potable.

No restaurant offers you water and it is generally cheaper to order a coke or a glass of wine or beer, than order the water.

Also while ordering the water, one has to be extra careful to mention Stilleswasser (Still water) otherwise the default water is actually full of gas like soda.
You get strongly aerated, medium and lightly aerated water. Refreshing, but it pretty much tastes likes club soda.
Stilleswasser on the other hand is what we call water. Served in style, in a fancy bottle or in a glass with the same pomp that a glass of wine is served with.

For people coming from tropical countries like India, people who are habituated to drinking between 2 to 4 litres of still water a day - this is truly a great inconvenience.
Also offering water to any guest, be it part of our home or at a restaurant - is our very basic culture, you can find it at the cheapest restaurants, at the medium to high end restaurants (where they will ask you if you want Aquagard or Bisleri) right till the super-high end restaurants.
Serving water is a basic necessity in India. It is served at the poorest man's home and at the richest man's too.

Not in Germany. Nowhere is water even offered by default. Not even in people's homes. There are no Aquagards (no need, probably) and the fridge has no bottles of water. There may be a bottle or 2 of water purchased at a super-market at the most.
Most people do not drink water regularly. The weather does not need them to.

TheOne® drinks even less water than normal Germans do. Upon my coaxing she has now increased her water intake. However strangely, she refuses to drink from the basin and is fussy about the water she purchases in 6-pack bottles at the super-market. Thankfully she likes either still water or very lightly aerated.

This whole water culture (or lack of it) is something that greatly bothers my guests throughout their visit, especially the ones from the smaller states.

----------------------------------------------------------

I have greatly reduced my water-intake in Germany. I am habituated to drinking 4 to 5 litres of water every day. In Germany I have reduced this to less than a litre on many days. Of course I am drinking many litres of glycerine-free wonderful beer which probably accounts for all my liquid needs.

I ask everyone if they would like to sleep for a few hours. While some do want to sleep, most are raring to go out and check out Berlin right away. For many it is their first time into Europe. For some it is their first time out of India.

Soon we're walking past Potsdamer Platz as I play guide to the hilt, speaking clearly and loudly in Hindi to our group. We see no fellow Indians and I feel strangely secure being able to speak in a language nobody else understands around me.
It is wondrous to see the joy and amazement on their faces as they too realise what a truly beautiful and great place we are in. I take great pleasure in describing customs, traditions, people and anything else I know. There are many questions and I answer them to the best of my ability.

We spend the afternoon having lunch at the Sony centre. it is difficult to order as many are pure vegetarians and for some of the others it is the festival of Shravan.
Getting vegetarische meals is tough. Especially for some people who have never eaten continental food before.

The baked potatoes with sour cream is not going to close the lunch chapter.

While a few people enjoy their wursts and assorted steaks, the gujaratis are completely dissatisfied.

Prakash has already emptied half a bottle of Tabasco into his baked potato.
Prakash bhai teekha hai.

He eats some.

Arrey kya teekha, yeh toh khatta lagta hai!

Dissatisfied, but not unprepared.

Prakash bhai has come to Germany with kilos fafdas, khakras, theplas, bhakarwadis and more.
From his last experience abroad, he is fully aware that achaar bottles get confiscated at the airport. His family has carefully sandwiched and hidden bits of achar in between the theplas.

He is laughing at the whole thing almost as hard as I am laughing at the humour of it all. What is truly amazing is that through their theplas, all the Indians are laughing at themselves.
Bhakarwadis in Berlin!

He opens up his plastic bag and soon they are sitting around the fountain at the centre and enjoying their little piece of home away from home. They're all laughing loudly and saying Germany wale bhi kya yaad karenge, India se log aaye the.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1619_thumb.jpg
Say what you like - I think in this respect, Indians are truly unique. I have a great time watching everyone's faces. I am not embarrassed at all. This is simply who we are. The world has to live with it.

Later we walk around Potsdamer platz. I take them up the elevator and show them Berlin. It is cold, wet and chilly - but the general elation of the group makes us all forget about the weather.

At the top, the group attacks the symbol of Berlin - the bear. While others pose around it, the Indians climb on top, raise an arm and proceed to sing SInngh is Kinng, Sinnggh is Kinngh Singh is KINNGG at the top of their voices (while another tries to strangle the bear), loud enough to be heard at the DB Tower, lol. It is brilliant.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1622_thumb.jpg

Then we reach the Potsdamer Bahnhof.
The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1625_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1629_thumb.jpg
A little more walking around and we return to the hotel. On our way back, Jenny stops by in her car. She needs something that is in my bag. Everyone waves out and says hello to Bhabhiji.

We get back, rest a little, shower and change. This evening is the private opening of the Harman Booth at the Messe. But that's not important.

What is important is that we are going to see Madonna tonight.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 10th September 2008 at 01:28.
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 02:11   #704
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Sam Kapasi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Mumbai (but wat
Posts: 6,989
Thanked: 1,453 Times
Default YetiBreak!! - It's a FERRARI!

That's right, I've gone and done it again. Just like every European odyssey I'm on, I stray away from the core of this forum.
So in order to rope you back in and to appease the powers that be, I give you a little gift.

This car was delivered from Italy and it was to be returned safely to the boys at Maranello. I did not get to drive it. Now it's your turn to tell me why it is such a big deal.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1538_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1541_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1543_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1545_thumb.jpg

OK enough teasing. Let's get inside this thing and see what the fuss is all about.

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1759_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1760_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1761_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1762_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1763_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1765_thumb.jpg

The Yeti's European Odyssey - It begins again from pg 12-dsc_1768_thumb.jpg
Sam Kapasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10th September 2008, 02:24   #705
Senior - BHPian
 
Dippy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mumbai, India
Posts: 7,269
Thanked: 163 Times
Default

Me likes the post above this very much . Sam anything special about the ICE in this one apart from that V12 under the hood?
Dippy is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Falling in Love Again. The Story of a Czech Maiden - Skoda Yeti Sunilrj Test-Drives & Initial Ownership Reports 251 1st August 2014 12:31
Lord Yeti on TV (Again) SumitB Shifting gears 172 19th July 2010 21:59
Honda officially reveals all new odyssey MPV in Japan sidindica The International Automotive Scene 9 20th October 2008 15:26
The REAL cost of a Himalayan Odyssey! phamilyman Technical Stuff 15 2nd May 2008 17:40
Honda to launch Civic and Odyssey. v12 The Indian Car Scene 13 26th March 2008 12:03


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:24.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks