So I biked all the way to Mickey's Bar on Fuldastrasse in Neukolln and waited for the man with multiple noses and alas he did not show. I can't say I'm surprised to be honest. I sat down outside Mickey's and while I waited another man, a big stocky fella with Terry Venables style brushed back grey hair and a salmon coloured Eldorado-style shirt on which was largely unbuttoned revealing a large amount of grey chest hair underneath a large gold medallion, came and sat opposite me. He was studying a map of the Berlin U-bahn lines. This was Mickey, the proprietor of Mickey's bar, naturally. Mickey was about 60 or so and had moved to Berlin 14 years ago from Southampton. He sat and spared no small detail as he told how he came to be here. In a nutshell (if i told you exactly we'd be here for literally days) he came here to work as a builder, he met a woman, not in a sexual way, he lived with her for a bit, she rented him a room, he spent so much time on the wrong side of the bar he decided to buy a pub, he bought a pub, he paid LOTS of different people amounts of money to make this happen ('every cunt had their hand out, waitin' for me'), he'd been to jail so he wasn't sure if he would get his license, he got his license, he wasn't sure if people would come to his bar, people came to his bar, he bought another bar, he threatened some dutch people because they were going to trash his car, his daughter knows a dentist, he doesn't miss Southampton, his friend Mick supports Liverpool, his friend Mick was in jail too, his barmaid works hard, beer is cheap, he isn't tied to a brewery, the capacity of Mickey's is 28, he has 30 or 40 regulars who come 3 or 4 times a week...this went on for ages but between every sentence was about a 30 second gap in which he would take about 4 long drags of his filterless ciggies. Don't get me wrong, he was a fairly interesting chap and he bought a couple of beers whilst he was telling me all this and I did find it interesting to be honest...just a bit long winded. Anyway, I listened to his stories for a couple of hours and then made my excuses and said goodbye, promising to return soon.
I made my way up Kotbusser Strasse to get myself some food from an amazing kofte place. They do these absolutely wonderful Kofte baguettes with rocket and fresh mint on this delicious bread for €3...if you are ever in the Kreuz-Kolln area you should well check it out, it's just past Sander Strasse. I'll try and remember the name which would probably be useful.
From here I headed towards home but the sun was shining and it was suddenly dead hot so i changed my mind and went back on myself and went to the Sommerbad which is a massive outdoor swimming pool in Kreuzberg (Prinzenstrasse Ubhn). I fell asleep for an hour and a half and got woken up by these kids who were playing a game where they jump over the sleeping man on the floor, dripping water on him to see if he wakes up. I don't know how many times they'd jumped over me - it might have been the first time or more embarrassingly it may have been 4 or 5 or 20 times. Anyway, I woke up and felt stupid and cursed them in English and dead quietly because i didn't want to get into a fracas with some children who were just having a laugh and would probably have battered me because there were maybe 12 of them. I eventually jumped into the pool (literally jumped in, dead ugly, i can't dive, it always ends horribly) and swam for about an hour...it was dead cold in the pool and it took my breath away for a bit but once I got going I enjoyed being outside and in the water - it was dead refreshing. I done about 20 lengths (about 1km) which was enough for me and I got out and got showered and dressed and left.
It was the germany vs Spain football match later that day and I went with Edda and James Slater to this place in Prenzlauerberg to watch it. It was really cool - it was outside an antique furniture shop and they'd put all the furniture from the store out in front of the store for people to sit on and they put a big telly in front of the window and had a bbq too. I met some lovely people too who were dead funny. We all had a splendid laugh and then Germany went and ruined it for everyone by getting beat at football. Oh well, it's only a game isn't it. I don't think Edda was too sad although she did seem a bit sad. We said goodbye to James and our new friends and hit the road on our bicycles. We were really close to home by this point so it probably only took us 7 minutes or something. When we got home me and edda had a glass of milk and some chocolate and then watched a billy bragg interview on youtube before turning the lights off...