Hi All, so I went to Berlin recently and kept diary while I was there for the week. I intended to post while I was holidaying, but a less than stable internet connection prevented it. However now I’m back and ready to share my experience for – well no real reason I just thought it might be fun. I’ll be posting a new day everyday this week so make sure to check back in!
So it wasn’t the easiest getting here. A flight where you have to get up at 3:00 is never easy, but it was certainly exacerbated by the woman behind me on the plane choosing to attempt to quieten her baby by braining it on the back of my chair. At least that’s what all the screaming and banging would suggest was happening.
Anyway I got here and I have to admit I was in a bit of a foul mood on arrival, the plane didn’t help. I finally escape the squealing spawn only to get stopped at customs because they don’t believe my name is real (I’m convinced I’m the first white person to deal with this problem.) Then I got lost on the tube, or S – Something… as they call it here, and apparently I also had the wrong ticket for my lostness so there were some very stern words and very nearly a fine – which I only avoided by tearing up and hiccoughing loudly. Then when I got to the hostel I got felt up by a hyperactive Scandinavian, which the staff thought was very funny, and me markedly less so, so I got off to a bad start. But you know what, I’m still having a great time.
Part of it is that I just love visiting new countries, I love noticing little differences. Like all the Graffiti here, don’t get me wrong, some of it’s atrocious, but some of it looks like this:
And every time I see a little difference like that I just wonder what else I have to discover.
Well I feel the above, but I phrase the thought less like a complete tosser.
Also a note about taxis in Germany, you know in NY you get the Yellow cab, and in England you get the Black taxi? I have now discovered why Germany does not have a famous cab colour; they picked cream beige. It’s a hideous car colour, the taxi rank looks like a sea of dirty belugas.
Anyway I carted myself off to a coffee shop for a while to cool down and my spirits were lifted somewhat by this:
You can’t look at that and be in a foul mood.
Calmed by the loving bread and finally able to check in I dropped my heavy bag and went off to explore a bit of Berlin. It is beautiful. But then again, Greece is beautiful and the Germans stole pretty much all their architecture. I mean the Battenberg gate is ‘inspired’ by the Parthenon the same way a photocopy is ‘inspired’ by the original document. But still, it was no less spectacular and I had a great time wandering up and down the streets, learning my way around and sitting down to make some sketches of some of the more spectacular pieces. I’ll put them below, even though I’m no artist, more or a scribbler – I just like to share my experiences:
Originally I intended to actually show you some sketches, but later on in the particular expedition my sketch book was, the best way to put it would be torn to shreds. So I’ll just be showing you photos unfortunately.
So I familiarize myself with the city, only to realize the only thing I’ve eaten all day was the affectionate bread, so I go off in search of food. My meal was a bit… fine? I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t find a place that was German to be honest, it was all Italian. Lovely cuisine, but not really what I’m looking for in Germany… at any rate I ended up having a swish burger and beautiful glass of wine. Food aside the meal was nice because I bagged a window seat and watched the canal and people go by for nearly three hours – it was all very soothing and contemplative, and I felt like a true pretentious bohemian because I used the time to shade in my sketch book as well. I shall have to start wearing shapeless cardigans soon to warn people.
So the days been all very nice but I feel a bit anti-social, so I return to my hostel, wary of any horny Scandinavians and get myself a drink. End up speaking to a Dutch student whose left housing too late so is living in the youth hostel, and we bond over the fact we both love snow sports and we’ve both worked for cemeteries’, me digging graves, him carrying coffins, don’t ask how we got onto the subject. I’m pretty tired by this point, but he suggests bar hopping another night – so I’ve made my first friend, lovely.
On the way to bed though I’m caught by a German, who wants to know all about my day. Flattering, if a little exasperating when my legs feel like mush and I’ve started to slur. Turns out he works at cern on the super collider, very interesting, if he hadn’t been so keen to explain it when I’d been awake since two. But on the plus side I mention the museum I’m thinking of going to tomorrow – so it appears I have myself a travel buddy to go with!