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Berlin >>> The Ever Changing City

GERMANY | Monday, 6 September 2010 | Views [519]

I love Berlin so much more than I though I would! Actually, I didnt have any expectations. But none the less, I have really grown to like it here. There is alway so much happening! Most likely the reason being that there a several different parts of Berlin. There is Mitte, Kreuzberg,Prenzlauer Berg, Charlottenburg, etc and they all are made up of very different people all looking for something new or fighting to keep things how they are. Also, they are still rebuilding from all the bombing that happened some 60 years ago. Sometimes they get a little rebuild crazy and want to tear down really old, still intact buildings and thats why the people have to fight. These are the reasons I think Berlin is an ever changing city. (If this was a school paper I would be graded badly for my thesis)

When my bus arrived in Berlin I thought I would have to find a hostel to stay in, but when I got off the bus there stood Tom! It made me so happy to see him, I literally dropped my bag and ran (or skip-jumped) to give him a hug. He brought me to the flat that him and his girlfriend, Elena, share with 5 other people. Everyone here is so kind! Since I got in at night we didnt see the city, but Tom and Elana brought me to their former schoolmates house and we had some wine and sat around talking. The next day, Thursday, we had a lazy day. We bummed around the house, made a big lunch, and then went to meet their friends at the sand volleyball grounds. I didnt really feel like playing and part of the Berlin wall was right next to the area, so I went and explored a bit. This part of the Berlin wall is called the East Side Gallery. Its part of the wall on the east side that is still intact that is covered in artwork. Each artist from varying parts of the world got a good section of the wall to do what they wanted. It is truly beautiful! I met back up with Tom and his friends to go check out this old abandonded squat. It was this huge building covered inside and out with graffiti. Very cool! Tom and Elena wanted to go back to their friends house, but I kind of felt like going back to the flat and doing my own thing. So we parted ways. Tom tried to give me the keys, but with 5 roommates I figured someone had to be home. So I made my way home, went up the stairs, rang the bell, no answer.... rang the bell again... no answer. I sat on the stairs waiting for someone to come home...nope. Oh and to top it off the light in the hall way turns itself off every 60 seconds or so to conserve electricity. So every 60 sec I am up turning the light back on in fear of scaring one of the neighbors by being the creepy American lurking in the hallway. So I remember there is a McDonalds down the road and I know that it is 24 hours and I was pretty sure they have free WiFi (to make clear, I did not want to go to McDonalds. When arriving here and seeing McDs, BK, and KFC I vowed not to go. I dont even go in the states! But desperate times calls for desperate messures). So I go to McDonalds and get a sunday. Internet isnt free. They wont give me water. At this point I am thinking dark hallway is better, but to top it off, the drunk old man who had been posted by the door is now putting his bag on the table infront of me and walks to the counter to get some food. I decided this is a good time to leave. So I start to leave and he puts an orange juice in my hand and motions towards the table. For some reason I go back to the table. My naive side is kicking in. He sits across from me. His eyes are so blood shot and I can just tell he has to be wasted. He keeps trying to talk to me and I keep saying I dont speak German. He wants me to drink the OJ. Hell no am I drinking the OJ. I decide to stop thinking everyone is nice for once and just get up and leave. When I go back to the apartment and ring the bell someone answered!! His name is Sebastian, he is a roommate I havent met!

Friday Tom and Elena made us a delicious breakfast. Then I went on the Free Tour around Berlin. It was wonderful! It took 3.5 hours and the guide was this Irish guy who was really knowledgeable of Berlins history, and he was funny. That took up a large chunk of my day. Other than that I just wondered around the city. I like to wonder because you run into things you would have never of seen if just sticking to main streets. The part of town where the tour took place is in the more high end part. That includes Mitte and Charlottenburg. All the huge buildings, expensive stores, and fancy restaurants are in this area. But it also includes sites the the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, part of the wall that still looks how it did years ago, churches, Museum island, and a lot more. When I got home I hung out with the roommates, all very funny and like to imitate my american accent. 

So, I am going to break this up into two entries, but that was my first few days in Berlin

Tags: berlin, free tour, locked out, the wall

 

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