When I landed in Berlin as a wide-eyed Ausländer a mere 45 days ago, it was easy to write about all the new experiences: my first currywurst, my first döner, my first späti crawl... Berlin was uncharted territory waiting to be explored.
I used to get around by closely watching the map on my phone. Only knowing hallo, bitte and danke, I solely went to restaurants where I could point at the food I wanted.
Now, I know Berlin's layout by heart. Bismarkstraße gets you to Friedrichstraße, and it's easy from there. My German grew from three words to a rudimentary grammar and my once lengthy list of must-see places dwindled to half a dozen obscure landmarks. I have my favorite restaurants, my favorite reading spots and my favorite sights in every borough.
However, it becomes increasingly hard to write about my trip. The highlights of the past two weeks were not places but people. I have made some great friends in Berlin, but anything I would write about them would not do them any justice. Nonetheless, I have still visited a few interesting places, so here are the highlights from the past two weeks.
Last weekend, I went to another späti crawl and ended up in a club that played anything from Queen to House of Pain. Needless to say, it's a new favorite. We all left for croissants early in the morning, then parted ways to never see each other again.
The next day, it was 34 degrees outside. I met with Simona at Treptower with the intention of meeting a group of couch surfers for a picnic. We stopped at the Soviet war memorial and laid in the grass there instead. We met again in the evening and had our picnic in Potsdam. We raced the sunset down a 4 kilometer trail to get a perfect shot of Schloss Sanssouci, but we were too late.
This Friday, I ran alongside my colleagues from Nokia HERE at the Berlin Company Run. We jogged past the Brandenburg and the Victory column. It was my first 6K, so I am darn proud of this!
Yesterday, I went to the Berlin Beer Week (not to be confused with the much bigger Beer Fest) with Maxime and Raffaele. 6 euros got us two microbrews and a nice glass. Naturally, we paired the alcohol with döner kebabs.
There is an antique cars exposition on Kurfurstendamm this weekend, but it pales in comparison to the Voitures antiques in Granby, where I used to live. Nonetheless, I was able to see a WW2-era Jeep from up close.
I also caught myself looking at plane tickets for a weekend trip. Paris, Prague, Munich and Madrid are just one very cheap plane ticket from there. Paris is already on schedule, and so is Sicily!
I used to jokingly say that home will always be where my panini press is, but as I am settling down in Berlin, I feel less and less inclined to return to Montreal. I would miss the various accents, the gorgeous architecture and the proximity to other countries. At this point, I am not sure if "back home" is an assessment of where home is, or just a convenient term.