Little Berlin highlights and delights
12.10.2013 - 14.10.2013
I arrived one week ago today and am pretty much over the jet lag (i.e., any remaining inclination to sleep until noon can safely be considered my own laziness). I am, of course, still discovering Berlin. Loving it, really. We are in the honeymoon phase. It has jerked me around a little – for example, it rained spitefully on Kristina and me as we made our way to a party Saturday night – but on the whole, it has given me a grand welcome.
Yesterday it wooed me with a flea market in a community garden (the rather famous “Prinzessinnengarten”) not five minutes’ walk from my front door. The German term for flea market is a literal translation, Flohmarkt, but this particular one called itself the Flowmarkt in hopes of helping secondhand goods flow to new users. I went with my roommate Sara and we sat in the garden’s leaf-shaded, sun-dappled café talking for a couple hours.
Today I visited an old favorite from my last stint here, a café in Charlottenburg called “Frau Behrens Torten." Cakes and tortes and pies – oh my. Every bit as good as I remember.
Then there is Marameo, a dance studio in an unassuming brick building with daily professional classes.
I believe I packed my ballet stuff only out of a vague sense of nostalgia, as opposed to actually intending to use it. But Marameo is about ten minutes’ walk from home, the classes are lovely and very affordable, and for all the parts of my body that no longer work properly, there is a dancing soul in there that still manages to get out and enjoy.
All that said, I have had some funny little in-between moments. After enjoying my slice of cake-heaven this afternoon, I took the M29 bus back across town. It is a just a regular city bus, but double-decker, so if you are lucky you can sit right in front on the top level and feel like you are on a private tour. It was a cloudy yet potent sunset, giving the buildings a deep evening glow to match the red and yellow leaves in all their fall(ing) glory. Watching the city glide by, I felt a little… homesick? I love this city, but it is not MY city. My loved ones are far away. I wondered if there will come a time when I get tired of exploring and discovering, tired even of Frau Behren’s illustrious desserts, and long for home. Might happen in the course of ten months. We’ll see. Meanwhile, however, classes start tomorrow, and I suspect that processing lectures and readings in German will command much of my mental energy.