It has been 10 Days in Berlin where I came for Erasmus Semester. I did not feel outsider here, maybe since I had been in Berlin before, maybe I know many friends from Istanbul. I want to write my days and my feelings on this blog during my semester. Also I want to share my trips to other cities. Now I will start with Berlin, step by step:
- The first feeling I had was security! I feel here safe because I know everything has a system which works well. I wont comply the over- disciplined and punctual manners of Germans. I needed to foresee for a long time what is gonna happen . I need discipline and feeling in secure. I wont get injured by a falling stone from an installation or a bus wont hit me as I waiting in the station. NO. Here is Germany. The human life is precious.
- What we struggle for in Istanbul like biking in the city have been already got over. We are struggling for awareness still but here there are only rules. The bikes are vehicle and the all vehicles have to respect them. Closed to discussion. They have separeted roads but not always, then they ride on the right side of a road and a double bus driver gets slower carefully before stopping at the station if a bike rider is passing thorough (bus and the station).
- The transportation system is amazing. Buses, trams, subway lines are in service for you. You dont have to think of going back to home on Friday night because night buses are in service and the subways as well. Maybe 15 Millions people dont live in Berlin, the number is less however subway works weekends until morning.
- I love the I dont-care-what-I-wear style of Berliners. They wear cool coats, shoes without brand obsession. The fleh markets and second hand shops are very popular in Berlin and I could not see one of it yet but I will on Sunday. People wear colourful clothes sometimes two jumpers on each other because it is too cold and dont care if it is trendy or old-fashioned. I am sure that this style would be found odd in an Istanbuler subway.
- Berlin is a cheap city. Especially I like the super markets where the food is cheap and healthy. I am gonna write detailed on this issue in following days.
- Everybody says here “Hallo”. If you are paying you have to say “Hallo” to cassier. If you are showing your ticket to bus driver, you should say “Morgen”. A friend of mine said that it is like a subtle agreement between the people. “You greet initially the person who you communicate and declare that you know her/him. After this you can start the communication.” It made me sense. I realised how we became robotic in Istanbul. We dont even look each other during paying. Give the money, take the money. We dont apologise him for hitting someone. We are not aware of that we communicate a person, a human.
- The most spoken second language in Berlin is Turkish. If you are around the Alexanderplatz, you might think that it is English. But I bet that it is Turkish. I am staying currently in Neukölln and 1 of the 3 people definitely speak Turkish. If you live in Kreuzberg, you dont even have to be able to speak German. The markets, shops are owned by the Turkish people. The ticket machines in the city has Turkish option. There are huge markets where you can buy what you miss to eat. Yoghurt, Ayran, sort of the mezes, tomato puree, bulgur etc. I see in the kioks by subway stations “Kısır” called as couscous salad. I guess it is pretty popular.
- The Humboldt University zu Berlin is cool. The building is old and beautiful but also what I like most is that everything is prepared for international students. They have good organisations for students which they can meet, get informed. By the way, I have interesting lectures on transitional justice, gender- law relations, European economy and market etc. Hearing German after a long time is nice. Additionally I have more free time than I thought, because the lectures last only 2 hours and have no practice sessions. I decided to do something which I cannot do in Istanbul. I wish started learning Spanish but the seats were fully booked therefore I had classical languages course which means Greek- Latin. I am excited for the first lesson.
- Read less news, talk less politics, dont get stressed on the way, dont get angry with people but if something big happens, it will break your day dreams with unicorns, so you cant avoid any more. The first days were healing therapies, I was avoiding all the negativities, trying them to leave behind. But of course it is not entirely possible. After my peaceful first days I had the news of bombing in Ankara. The land we are from is a place where the people are killed for nothing. It is the place where the people who demand peace are killed by a bomber and the state do nothing to fight against it. Being killed has turned into our reality and is scary.