Germany – The Low Down Adventure
I’m sipping a swanky cocktail – wheat beer dressed up with elderberry juice and a couple sprigs of mint leaves – in a hipster coffee shop with a dj pumpin’ out 90’s jams mixed with the beat of every techno club anthem. All this crazy mixed together seems so wrong but damn it all feels so right. It’s Saturday night, I’m in Berlin and I don’t wanna go home.
My last sourcing trip in Berlin was fun but nothin’ like this trip. Sometimes you go back to a place you loved and you want to put the entire trip on repeat. And other times you want to make it better. This trip was all about bigger and better. Pushin’ new territory, visiting hidden spots and gettin’ first-hand love from locals just hookin’ it up. “Please Don’t Go” is bumpin’ in the background and it’s like the dj is playing this song just for me. Doesn’t matter that I’ve never liked this song – all I feel is that this is my new theme song.
Berlin has a lot to offer – endless hot spots, shopping so good it even breaks me, a bonafide shopper with an endless appetite for all things cool. But the one thing that wasn’t so easy to hunt down – office supplies. Yes, Germany be king of pencils and a whole lotta other goods, but where they be, that’s a mystery to me. It’s like how you do in Berlin… to get to the best goods you push back gates and enter hidden courtyards revealing dope shops and amazing restaurants, you enter unmarked doors that lead to the best bars, you full on accept the mystery that’s just waiting to take you in.
Why wasn’t there a dope office supply shop behind an unmarked door in an über cool courtyard? C’mon Berlin – make it happen! What to do after three days without finding shops selling RAH-worthy goods? Made a journey to our old spot… bringin’ back the old school, but it’s the new school. Our month of all things Germany is back in full effect!
The best part of hittin’ up our old spot? Shop owner remembered us! Nothin’ like feeling welcomed home. Didn’t feel like passing hi-fives was their kind of thing, but there sure were a whole lotta BIG smiles and laughing, and this time around there wasn’t any of that initial shock when I drop my quantity request.
How could I resist my favorite paper goods from the first cycle of the STMT world tour? I couldn’t. Picked up a stash of the grid notebooks but mixin’ it up this time around – added ruled and blank, too. Love, love the covers – big chunky letters paired with the details of the sheet style… super simple and totally perfect.
Now I knew that the Mystery Item had to be a pencil sharpener this month. I’ve been waiting over a year to head back to Germany ‘cause it’s home to my favorite brand of pencil sharpeners – M+R. Lots of options and decided on a compact, blocky sharpener that made me drop my basket of loot and start buildin’ letters that resembled the ones on the notebook covers!
Moved on to the last item to knock out – since we’d gone with sharpeners, felt like a miss to NOT get a rad pencil. Germany has major braggin’ rights – birthplace of the first mass-produced pencil. And guess who won the legal battle in the German court system to rightfully claim to be the oldest pencil maker? Faber-Castell. Headed straight to the stash of Faber-Castell pencils and picked the one calling my name. Love the gray/black colorway and the raised dots that feel so good. It’s like they’re your own hand massager but it’s actually the perfect pencil grip.
Now the dj is playin’ an old school favorite of mine – “Return of the Mack.” The hook is speaking to me… (Return of the Mack) it is… You know that I’ll be back (here I am)… (Return of the Mack) once again… (Return of the Mack) pump up the world… Berlin is gonna have to be an annual trip. Yeah, there’s an endless supply of office supplies, but really, nothin’ beats returning to a place that feels like home. Screw “Please Don’t Go,” “Return of the Mack” is my new theme song. You know that I’ll be back.