I have decided that I am going to have a relationship with Berlin. Yep, that's right. A full-time, committed relationship with this city. The whole thing began with a blind date in which I took a chance and said "Hey you seem cool, let's chill" and to be honest, I'm still not 100% sure that we have enough in common to make it work in the long run. I suppose if nothing else it will be an experience. I'm going to go ahead, dive in, and give it a year.
When we first met, neither of us knew anything about each other. In fact, we still barely speak the same language (here we go, self-taught German). My first impression was that Berlin was not incredibly warm or welcoming. But since then, as I've been meeting people, seeing things, and getting more involved in the rhythm here, it's been growing on me. The place is oozing with creativity. From the street art on every corner to the constant lists of performances and gallery openings, there is always something inspiring or thought-provoking to see or do.
Berlin, you are a huge city. Just give me time to get to know you and see where I fit into your life. Maybe you can fit into mine.
On our first several dates, I've been skimming the surface of what the city has to offer in terms of sights and culture. It's been a mixture of doing the slightly more touristy things like seeing the stony yet powerful Holocaust Memorial,
visiting the East Side Gallery,
and going to a couple museums, my favorite so far being the Käthe Kollowitz museum,
and then there's the more day-to-day getting-into-the-groove-of life-here things like buying a bike and riding all around Kreuzberg (where I live),
taking long walks along the rivers,
and finding the best cafes and drinking endless cups of coffee. Of course.
Relationships are always difficult and complicated and this one is going to be no different. But this is going to be my life for a little while, at least, and I'm up to the challenge.
Berlin? I think we can learn to make each other happy.