Monday, May 23, 2016

Commencing

I somehow managed to find myself in Berlin, Germany a few days ago. I'm still jetlagged, but I've begun to explore the urban landscape. My first official sight was an improvised reaction to the realisation that it was a sunny Sunday, and people would be gathering in parks or park-like spaces. And that I wanted in on the action. Google and Lonely Planet directed me to Mauerpark, which promised markets and food stalls.
On the way to my destination, my metro carriage came to life with brief bursts of conversation on behalf of the locals. That probably wouldn't happen in Stockholm, I thought. It may not happen regularly, as the ride home suggested, but I felt caught up in these people's casual friendliness to each other, and it made me feel at ease.
Ricardo was, like me, a LCT - a lost and confused tourist. Together we found our way to Mauerpark and told each other a bit about our lives. He was from a small town near Milan, and the first thing he had done in Berlin is to check out the melting pot (and gaybourhood) of Kreuzberg. I felt this was a good sign, even though the items that took his fancy at the markets indicated taste along more conservative lines. The guy had beautiful teal eyes with light green centres, which made looking at him a pleasant thing to do.
I tried artisanal, mint-flavoured honey, ordered Moroccan mint tea, and, finally, did something quintessentially Berliner: munched on currywurst for lunch. It was all delicious.
I came away with two posters of the City's skyline, splattered in multiple colours, passed on a handmade wallet, and also picked up a cute postcard.
Back at my hotel several hours after leaving it, I felt like I had experienced something worthwhile. I look forward to exploring more of the city in the weeks to come.

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