I’ve got many, many thoughts to unpack regarding my month in Berlin but for now, a couple notes:
I didn’t fall madly in love with Berlin as I thought I would. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it immensely, it just didn’t grab my heart the way places like Florence, Lisbon, or any city in Spain has. (Or Prague, for that matter, but Prague is a special case.) More on that later, but essentially, Berlin was “just” a cool urban space with all the things I love about Europe. I think I’m drawn more to places that have a kind of fiery, passionate atmosphere (see: Florence, any city in Spain.)
On that note, when we grabbed a last drink and dessert at an Italian place owned by our very Italian server and I switched from German to Italian to speak and banter with him, I had a typical Nikki thought – “Sigh. Maybe I should go back to learning Italian instead of German.. there are refugees in Italy, too, after all!” Tempting, tempting… as I looked over the languages offered at UW I also considered going back to Russian (which will certainly prove useful now, no?) or Chinese or… but no, no. If nothing else, I’ve learned when I should ditch my impetuous ways and stick to things over the past couple of years. German and second year Arabic, it is. I can go back to learning Italian on my own. (Also, when people keep telling me German is hard: nope. After Czech and Arabic, nothing is hard. German? Please. *LOL*)
I really loved having time to walk and get lost in playlists again. Once upon a time I would spend hours and hours making playlists and just listening to music. One of my best memories of living in Prague is all the time I spent walking from one corner of the city with only my iPod for company. I made several playlists in Berlin and I could tell by the quality of the playlists and how they began to sound different from everything I’ve made over the past few years that I was finding myself again, regaining pieces that I’d lost or forgotten.
On that note, having met and become friends with “refugees” really made me think about how we (holders of “the golden ticket”, i.e. passports from Western countries) talk to ourselves about our travels. I’d always thought I was adventurous and well traveled, up for anything. Then I began to think about how easy it is for us to travel and how “adventurous” is it, really? But more on that later, as well.
Lastly, thought I might not have fallen madly in love with Berlin, I definitely appreciate the fact that there is no other place quite like Templhof Airport. Truly magical.