After a rigorous pace of touring Berlin for two days, the third day was about slowing down. Having a good time. Balling, one might say. Balling gently.
So, how did we spend our free day of relaxation? We engaged in two activities very near and dear to my heart: taking pictures for Instagram and eating.
Our first stop was Five Elephant, a café and coffee roastery.
As our Berlin trip was coming to a close, I began to distill my thoughts into an overall impression of the city. I asked the crew about their thoughts on Berlin and what they hadn’t expected to find out about Berlin. Nuggets of knowledge include:
- “It’s a city, but not busy or crowded. It’s actually pretty quiet!”
- “German people say ‘ciao!’ to say ‘bye.'”
- “It has a very different feel than any city I’ve been in previously and every person we encountered spoke English. Which was kind of a bonus, but also made me feel bad about not speaking German.”
Our second stop was the courtyard of Café Cinema.
- “Found out it’s ‘oo’-bahn not ‘you’-bahn.”
- “I feel like it’s a pretty progressive area, even though historically it’s been through a lot. You can def feel the history everywhere you go.”
Some observations of my own are my convictions that:
- Everyone has their punk derivative aesthetic down pat (multiple piercings, short fringe, the whole bit). Or if not explicitly punk, Berliners have a punk rock sense of individualism, especially when it comes to personal appearance.
- Everyone in Berlin drinks… a lot.
- You’ll see someone ordering another round of drinks. But no one will be eating anything or drinking any water. Are they all right? Did they hydrate before they met up at the pub? Will they ever hydrate between those long, tall classes of stout? I don’t think so.
Finally, we made it to our intended destination, Tadshikische Teestube tea room.
Other things noted about Berlin:
- In the same vein: the U-Bahn warns against food or drink in the cars. We tossed ours before we got on. Next thing we know, men are crowding on with beers in hand. One guy and his mate were swigging beers and doing Jagermeister shots.
- Also, U-Bahn doors will close quicker than you anticipate.
- Prior to visiting Berlin, I found out about Killa Hakan, a rapper from Kreuzberg. Near the Berlin Wall, I saw an ad for a rapper called Rin and ended up falling in love with his music. He’s like if the best parts of Kendrick Lamar’s production, Travis Scott’s energy, Drake’s danceability and The Weeknd’s attitude spoke German. Naturally, my heart has been all aflutter listening to his debut album “EROS.”
- There are a lot of Mexican restaurants, which is neat. I’m sad I did not get the chance to go. I’m also impressed with the bounty of Vietnamese and Thai restaurants.
- Getting Euro cash from the ATM is imperative.
- Everything really is smaller in Germany.
Overall, I had a lovely time in Berlin. I loved the intense and fraught moments as much as the pleasant and light-hearted ones. 11/10 would come back to this city. I just know there’s so much more to uncover here.