I have never fallen for a city so fast. I felt like a giddy 15 year old girl heading to a New Kids on the Block concert. Berlin gained my loyalty so quickly, I’m not even sure what happened.
It didn’t help that Shaun uttered something that left my mouth gaping and speechless.
“Berlin is so much cooler than Austin.”
I just sat there, stunned. Could this be happening? Did he really say that? The steadfastness to Austin was crumbling inside and I was going through a mini melt down. Well, I thought I knew what I wanted. Thanks for throwing me for a loop on that one.
It wasn’t fair. We only had three days in town before we needed to move on and we were in love. Funny how that happens, right?
So we let the city happen to us. We went with no plans, no expectations, and hoping for serendipity.
It lead us down a path that I wouldn’t have traded for the world.
We went through the traditional route of visiting important monuments like the Holocaust memorial and the Berlin Wall. My insides were twisting in a confusion I hadn’t felt since Hiroshima. How can a city that went through such atrocities rebuild and become a haven? I almost feel as though we find ourselves more connected to cities with a past. They have so many layers that you can peel back as you become more intimate.
…and then we found ourselves getting the local’s experience with Sebastian from Off The Path. During the day we walked through the flea markets, scoping out the unique arts, crafts, and fashion-forward items with a cup of piping hot mulled wine in the fresh autumn weather. Nights were spent eating kebabs, currywurst, and spending long evenings over bar tables conversing and laughing with a beer in hand at some of the most rad and quirky bars.
We also got to experience our first autumn. Austin doesn’t have seasons. It goes from HOT to warm and from green to brown and back. I had never realized that it really was that bright. I was inspired by the change in seasons. For the first time ever I felt connected with the passage of time through the year. I could get into this.
Most of all Berlin has personality.
I loved the fact that we, in all our dyed hair and tattooed glory, were largely ignored by the general populace. There are lots of us here in Berlin. We weren’t different. We fit in. And most of all, we weren’t followed around small stores like we were going to steal things. Stupid things like that make me want to call Berlin home.
Have we found it? Have we finally found that elusive place that I feel like we have been looking for?
Only time will tell – but I can tell you that Berlin is at the top of our list. We’re heading back in March and hoping it still has its magic and lustre.
Wish us luck.