Oh my… Ya’ll… I am loving this place. Seriously! The vibe is just right, good food, great cafes, cool people… Just LOVE!
Before I got here in Berlin, my dad (HI DAD!) sent me a list of ancestry- names and locations. And a lot of these people were from Berlin! Maybe that contributes to how much I am enjoying it- Maybe I am feeling the “family roots” vibe here. Whatever it is- it agrees with me. The city is both edgy and urban and then classic and oh so European.
I have really enjoyed learning about the history of Berlin and talking to people who grew up on either side of the wall. The city has only been unified about 26 years- so any Germans I meet who are even close to my age spent most of their childhood in a divided city/country. One guy I was talking to grew up in East Berlin and def has moments of looking back on that time as the “good old days.” Days when “everyone had jobs, you all got training for your trade, and you knew what you were going to do with your life.”
Another guy I met was telling me how even now there is a lot of Anti-Semitism, it’s really growing again. Also like in the US there is a large population of people who feel disenfranchised from the whole and it is starting to cause issues. The economy is still finding its way to true stability- remember only 26 years as a unified economy, country, city, culture. So interesting. All of it. (These poor guys I am always asking them a million questions!) They all want to know about how could we, as a nation, support Trump and every single person I have met outside the US is terrified of what will happen if we elect him. (Please this is not a place to make comments about the election- I am just giving you straight observations and direct comments from my European friends.)
I love that I can walk all around Berlin and feel safe in most of the places I have chosen to go. Also the public transport is pretty easy to use as well. You can just put in both locations in Google Maps and it will give you the correct U-Bahn or S-Bahn or bus to take to get where you need to be. Even though nothing is written or said in English (this IS Germany after all) it is all so well laid out, it is easily managed.
Speaking of not speaking english- there are a lot of english speaking people here. In every country we take language classes, and in Morocco we really needed to use the darija we learned because very few people spoke english- Here? As much as I am enjoying learning german- I def do not need to speak it here in Berlin. On every train ride, every walk down the street I hear english being spoken. Almost every shop has someone who speaks english- it’s quite easy to make your way without german. I am still practicing all the polite good phrases- but even then- not 100% necessary. I have actually been speaking quite a bit of spanish too. Berlin is a very diverse city and I have met at least 4 people who don’t speak english, or speak just a little english, but they speak spanish- so that has been fun too! )I was actually a little worried that I would lose all my spanish but here, I get to practice!)
I love the night life. And believe me I am too old to be partying all night every night… but I mean I am enjoying the timing of things here (though it has taken quite a bit of getting used to…) Dinner is hardly ever before 8, going to drinks AFTER is pretty standard. My average bedtime is 2am.. quite different from my 10pm days! LOL I admit- my average rise and shine time is around 9am though! So.. I am still getting my 7-8 hours a night! Just pushed back a bit… 🙂
Also- Let’s just say- Germany is good for Lala’s ego.. Cute men? Yes please. I’m having a good time meeting new people, going out for wine, coffee, dinner… It’s nice- and there is such a variety!!! That’s all I am going to say about THAT! LOL
Have you been to Berlin? What did you like about it?