Meine Damen und Herren,
Let’s say you’re already in Europe. And perhaps you’ve almost maxed out the legal amount of time you can stay there, with the exception of Romania and the UK. Maybe one of your best friends is currently living in Germany. What’s that? You’ve never been to Germany before? Flying between European countries is cheaper than three nights’ worth of dinner in Rome? I guess it’s settled then — you, my friend, are going to Berlin.
In the week that I was there, Julia and I carefully divided our time into equal parts sightseeing and power-napping. We skipped the expensive museums in favour of a walk along the East Side Gallery (an open-air gallery where artists have painted giant murals along the remaining section of the Wall), several impromptu street art stops, and many, many cheap falafel and currywurst meals. Other highlights included when Felix (Julia’s main squeeze and our gracious guide) brought us to the Ritter Sport chocolate factory on a rainy day, because why the heck not, we are talking about chocolate here; hopping on the train to visit the lovely town of Potsdam for an afternoon; hitting up the massive flea market at Mauerpark and, on a friend’s tipoff, staying for the amazing open-air karaoke; and, of course, the requisite all-nighter at one of Berlin’s excellent clubs, during which Julia and I sported hand-drawn Canadian flags on our arms in honour of July 1st, and all the boys were wearing deep v-necks and dancing in a way that resembled a very stiff, one-leg-at-a-time boogie-woogie.
But here’s the thing about Berlin: it was the people that made it worthwhile. Not only was I lucky enough to see Julia again, and halfway across the globe from our first reunion on this trip, but the people who put me up (and put up with me) — Felix, Doro, and Georg — really made the visit to Berlin worthwhile. Just wanted to say thank you for the bed and the cheese, the neighbourhood suggestions and the German lessons (I’m sure ‘augenbraue‘ will come in handy someday), the sourdough starter recipe and the homemade dessert wine, and just thank you, thank you, thank you for the warmth and the laughter.
From Berlin with love,