On Leaving Berlin

Sunset from Ryanair: Berlin to Barcelona

Leaving Berlin came with memories of late nights, great friends and the 2nd Bridget Jones Movie (‘The Edge of Reason’).

I should explain the Bridget Jones reference.

In the movie, Bridget and her friend ‘Shazzer’ are going to Thailand. On the plane, Shazzer is sitting next to an unknown, handsome man: the pair bond when they realise they are reading the same book. Shazzer, without realising the man’s true intentions, enjoys a fling with him during the trip. At the end of their trip, the man gives Shazzer a gift; like Charlie, Shazzer’s suitcase was bursting and so she gave the gift to Bridget to take back in her suitcase. The gift, now in Bridget’s suitcase, turned out to be filled with cocaine. Bridget ended up in a Thai Prison, only to be saved by human rights lawyer and distant lover, Mark Darcy.

A similar event happened to me:

This lovely lady and I got on really well during the flight; I am now in a Thai Prison and I really hope a handsome human rights lawyer (and potential lover) is coming to save me.

When I say I am in prison, I am only partially joking. This is our hostel in Barcelona:

It uses the Grand-Theft Auto font everywhere in it’s advertising.

That said, in the few midnight hours that we have been in Barcelona, it seems incredibly nice – perhaps more lively than Berlin. It seems that in the early hours of the morning, everyone in Barcelona is still eating, but everyone in Berlin is submerged in an underground techno club. I have no photos, probably because it’s illegal to take photos of so many people on LSD at once.

Or high-up, on a rooftop. This is the House of Weekend. You do not have to go on a weekend.

Or in a warm and cosy toilet-themed bar. That one was my choice.

We may have drunk well, but there’s only so much you can do with food on a budget. ‘Lidl’ supermarket became our Holy Land. At first I was stunned by the insanely cheap prices of alcohol. I very quickly realised that this alcohol is disgusting and we ought to be paid to drink it.

Here are some of our more extravagant meals: a ‘Magic Asia’ Duck Pot Noodle for me. Very nice. Flavoursome. Went well with that weird peachy wine that cost 1.89€.

I did have to third-wheel on Alice and Diana’s pasta dinner date, because they can actually cook food, which meant that it was much nicer than mine.

Here is one of my fave pictures from Pride; Sophie and I are smiling but refuse to be near each other. It reminds me of the Year 4 (aged 8) days, when Sophie came to the school; we kept being put together in pairs for everything, but didn’t want to be friends. It looked a lot like this. How things changed.

Donkey; Camel; now a horse

Here is a photo of Berlin at sunrise. It is an incredibly pretty sight.

And although the city is now beautiful in its culture and it’s people, it carries the eerie burden of the past. Those images of Hitler and Nazi Parades from GCSE History Textbooks come back to mind when walking through the city-centre streets; how recent that was, how devastating it must have been. At the same time, however, how quickly times have changed; a city once intolerant to anyone outside the blonde, blue-eyed Christian category now openly celebrates diversity.

Now the 8 of us go our separate ways for a while; some to Barcelona, some to Prague, others back to the warmth of motherly love and a bed that isn’t a 1.5 metres above ground. No doubt that when we come back together again in London, it’ll be the same £1.50 wine-in-a-box and pot noodles.

Great memz lads x

(I also managed to drop my plate and tray and smash it in the Berlin airport on leaving – a very Bridget moment)