Imagine a life that you have to start over where everything is brand new. You have no clue, no idea, no expectation nor imagination. The only thing that comes into your mind is just you have to go, for your own sake.

You pack your 24 years in life inside a big suitcase while singing “Leaving on A Jet Plane”. That day you don’t sleep at all, tired of holding your tears to burst, pretending that you are okay and everything will be fine — though you know there’s no such thing as free lunch in this world.

That night you don’t need to set your alarm, because Google completely understands to do you a favour, reminding you that your flight is only several hours to go.

Imagine in this new life, you also have to start a new relationship with a guy. This time you’re the one to make a move, but you know and already know, this guy won’t be easy. Tomorrow at this time, you will be meeting this “New Guy”, and you hope he’ll be just nice.

So that’s the background of my mutual relationship with Berlin. In a blink of an eye, Berlin already lingered his cold fingers on me. Captivated by his toughness and roughness, what I could do was just smiling. Smiling to his stiff body, grey aura, passive-agressive personality, and many in my long list I couldn’t name it.

Ignorance is a bliss, that’s what he said to me the first time we met. And that became the basic principle of my life ever since.

In order to get him, I needed to pass several tests, he said. What else? Isn’t living a life labeled as migrant enough? No, he said. To be with me you have to be screened first, and be emotionally stable.

What the heck? Oh, whatever.

And so was I. Being so helpless, I got rejected many times until I didn’t know what to do anymore. Many papers to be filled, countless rules to obey, stupid fine to pay. I was so exhausted that I had no feelings.

Until one day I finished all my tests. That was the first time he smiled to me. You are accepted now. Accepted, oh what a word — which came from an uneasy person.

And once I got accepted, I could see his bright side. I felt his warm hug in chill, windy nights, surrounded by lovely ambiance. He poured me hundreds of spontaneous smiles. He spoiled me with beautiful sceneries here and there although snow kept showering. He showed me that being cold is not the same with being mean, by having compassion to those refugees who did need help.

He could drive you crazy too. He could splash bottles of beers to somebody’s hair in new year eves. He could easily annoyed you by his punctuality. He had so many gangster, pickpockets, hobos dudes — you name it. He also saddened you with hellos and goodbyes.

Until one day I realised I started missing him when I was away. I missed feeling secure when I was around him. I missed the certainties he gave me. I missed the comfort silence between us while doing nothing. So I just missed him, and perhaps, I fell in love once again and began to call him home.

I completely understand that this won’t be forever — and when it comes to an end I’ll be feeling so lost, but Berlin has taught me many good and bad deeds in life, and the number is still counting.

After months we get to know each other, I guess this is just the beginning of my love-hate relationship with Berlin.

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