My first fußball match! Woohoo! Hertha Berlin vs Mainz. 3-1.
The Crocodiles came to Berlin and a whole crew of us decided to go. Me and Matt went to the Oberbaumbrücke, debated climbing around, and settled on hopping over the grossest liquid on the planet to look out over the water. It smelled awful out there, so we returned, but not quite before I sufficiently jumped right into it, odoring my pants appropriately before the show.
The dress I was wearing was sort of long, but not exactly long enough to wear comfortably without pants. I draped my pants over the railing by the river anyway, though it was night-time so it’s not like they were going to dry, but they did have the opportunity to adorn any of the plethora of spiders which made the railings their webbed home.
We met up with Weimen, Connor, and Alexis, went to the show, got a case of beer, sat by a different part of the river and told stories.
I took a train from Mannheim the Saturday before the Freie Universität Berlin European Studies Program began. My host ma picked me up from the station. She told me she had a daughter my age studying abroad in France – she was also a redhead, and I’d be staying in her room. Once I got my luggage up the stairs, all seemed well, until we came to the living room. She said I couldn’t sit on the couches — I laughed, I thought it was a joke… it is different here.
The first day at Brentanostraße 50, I met Matt. He lived just one stop down from me on the S1, at Mexikoplatz. I heard Roger Waters’ the Wall tour was coming to Berlin. (I mean, the Wall!! In Berlin!! Come on.) No one else at the Mensa seemed as keen on it. Matt and I got our tickets and two weeks later were on the U2 headed out toward Olympiastadion.
The show began in a blaze of fire. Our seats were high enough up that we couldn’t distinguish the shadows on Roger Waters’ face, but technology helped out. A wall of screens behind him illuminated him and media messages, in German and English.
The last time I came to Berlin was a year and some months before, but it seemed a very distant, vibrant memory. It was for a photojournalism course, and the first time I decided Berlin was my favorite city (mein Lieblingstadt). It was a brief stay and I had no idea what was in store.
This time was different. I knew more German. I had a handle on the public transport. But the people were different. There were more of them, and everyone’s uncle was somebody. A network of people who want to move the world.
As an introduction to the city and it’s history, we went to the Soviet war memorial and military cemetery in Treptower Park. We took a boat tour down the Spree. We had a welcome dinner at the Botanischer Garden with our host families. That was the night I met Megan, the only other redhead in the program, which was apparently enough to confuse us till the very end. I went with her to a doom metal show, Obelyskkh, and met some German friends, with whom I proceeded to travel from bar to bar with until dawn, when I finally caught the S1 back to my host stay in Zehlendorf. A true Berlin experience.