Continued from Berlin Day 2.
Looked outside the window first thing this morning. It’s cold and grey, but no longer wet. It’s Berlin minus wet today. I need to go to Starbucks and do some hardcore blogging this morning. I am way fucking behind. I feel depressed in this city, and I don’t even know where all of my energy and time goes to so that I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog. Sigh.
I’ve been thinking about why I am having a terrible time here in Berlin. I am not going to lie, I am straight up unhappy here. I think this is due to several reasons.
I came into Berlin expecting greatness. Some places live up to high expectations, and others don’t. Istanbul did, but, Berlin did not. I expect greatness out of Berlin because it came highly recommended from many others. They all just said “Berlin is great! You’ll love it!” What does that mean? I have no idea. It was never elaborated to me, so I came into Berlin with an abstract idea of greatness. Now that I am here, I’ve been on this constant search for greatness that fits into this abstract idea in my mind. Nothing fits, and its frustrating. Sightseeing in this city sucks for a historic city of its size. This may be due to the whole city being new due to WWII though.
I think I may be also getting very homesick. I know I am homesick. I realized that I have about a week of traveling left. The first thought that came into my mind was one was relief and elation. No traces of disappointment could be found. I even entertained the idea of leaving Berlin early and going somewhere else. I even entertained the thought of just saying fuck it and going back home and ending my trip early. Those were fleeting thoughts though. I am hard headed, I don’t give up easily. I could never cut this trip short.
Got our day pass that’s good for all metros and buses. The public transportation system works on an honor system here. No security checks of any kind. I believe they do have staff that walks around and does random checks, but I have yet to see one.
I got to Starbucks at around 12, and started blogging away. I am way behind, and even when I am blogging here in Berlin, I don’t feel my usual energy and the going has been very slow.
4 hours later, at around 4, we are back on the bus to catch a metro. I spent a couple of hours blogging but felt like I didn’t get much done. I am still 2 days behind. It feels like it takes us 30 minutes just to get back to our hotel from the Starbucks. Walk out, wait for bus, get on bus, get off bus, wait for street lights, walk. It’s not even that far away!!!!! Berlin is walkable, but it isn’t. You can walk it, but everything is so far away. The time it takes us to get from our hotel to a neighborhood Starbucks, we could have made it all the way across the city in Istanbul.
Bunny suit. Finally on the bus to somewhere. Original plan was to go visit a museum, and then go eat at the currywurst place that the Austrian couple I met in Udaipur suggested that I go eat at. Well, so much time gets wasted here in Berlin just going from one place to another that it’s too late to go to the museum. I guess we’ll just head to the currywurst place.
Blue sky! I can’t believe I am seeing this in Berlin. It doesn’t look like it’ll last long though. We took the 10 minute walk from our hotel. Waited for a bus, got on a bus and now we are at the metro station. We’ve traveled for almost 30 minutes and we are just now walking to the correct metro line that’ll take us to the currywurst place. WTF Berlin!
Ugh! Why! Our train terminates at a station that’s short of where we wanted to go. We are at Potsdamer Platz, and instead of waiting for another train that’ll take us to currywurst, SO suggested that we go above ground and have a look around. Potsdamer Platz is an area that I should see here. SO said something about Sony center, and that’s all she could come up with for an attraction. Sounds lame, but I guess I’ll go up and have a look.
Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe. When I saw this, I remembered that this was on the list for the bike tour that we planned on taking tomorrow. The weather is going to be nice and sunny tomorrow, allegedly, so I figured we’ll go take a bike tour. I didn’t take many photos here because I knew that I’d be back here tomorrow.
Down the street is the Brandenburg Gate. This is probably one of the most popular images of Berlin. Brandenburg Gate is on one end of Unter den Linden, the other end leads to Alexanderplatz, way the hell away on the other side.
We came here, snapped a few quick photos and left. We’ll be back here tomorrow, so I didn’t want to spend too much redundant time here.
The currywurst is the one at the lower right corner. It’s basically a sausage with curry powder in it and it’s invented here in Berlin. The other two sausages are bockwurst, to the left and wiener wurst to the top right. The currywurst was alright. It’s just kind of what I expected, and nothing more. Kebabs are still the best German street food!
Konnopke’s is located in Prenzlauer Berg. When we got here, SO, remembered that there’s this cool Turkish cafe in this area that she came a long time ago with her friend. It looks like a really cool neighborhood, so we walked around looking for this said cool cafe.
Sometimes, I’ve got an eye for things. This is a well known and renowned coffee shop! A coffee connoisseurs shop. There are really almost no places to sit in here. There are some coffee bean bags to sit on, and a small counter with only a few seats. I wouldn’t even call it a counter, but more of a table serves as a working surface for the roasting operation and counter for customers when not roasting.
I felt at peace here. I love this place. It’s one of those rare times when you walk into a place, and everything just…works. I felt like I was in an altered universe. I stepped into a different world. Heaven, perhaps? While enjoying the different world, I realized that all the other customers spoke English. The barista even greeted us in English when we first came in. I had to ask the barista, and he said that its because there are a lot of expats living in Berlin, and there’s a very high concentration of expats living in Prenzlauer Berg. Bonanza Coffee is supposedly the center of the expats universe. I make fun of all these artists and creative types and how they love the romantic idea of being an expat, blah blah blah, but I like the exact same things that they like. Fuck, I am just like them…
You can say that again. Fuck Yoga! I wonder what’s on that website? OK, I just looked and I feel like I need a Fuck Yoga T-shirt now. I don’t have problem with yoga, I just have a problem with the self righteousness of some hardcore yoga people.
We sat here and chatted about life. Unfortunately, we chatted mostly about the challenges in life, and the conversation depressed both of us. Berlin is quite the downer, and it’s starting to affect our conversation topic choices. Life continues all around us though, and the restaurant gets filled up while we feel depressed.
I went back to the hotel tonight with a sick feeling in my stomach. Berlin is kicking my ass. I am very homesick. I am pretty depressed. I’ve traveled for so long by now that I’ve reached my regular mood equilibrium. The excitement of being on a trip in a foreign country has long worn off. Now, I wake up and it’s just life as usual, it just happens that my daily agenda is to sight see and I wake up in a hotel room on the other side of the world. All the ups and downs of life has caught back up with me.
To be continued in Berlin Day 4 Part 1.