Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Berlin Part 1 …

From October, easyjet will fly direct to Berlin from Manchester so this ought to be my last schlep to Liverpool for the privilege. My dear friend Matthew and I get to the airport in plenty of time but somehow we almost miss the flight so our names are called out and we have to slope onto the plane like naughty children who’ve brought the wrong shoes on the school trip. We can’t get seats together, we are separated by a party of leather boys and daddy bears, amongst whom we blend seamlessly.


A mighty tail wind gets us to Berlin twenty five minutes early. No sooner are we reunited on the tarmac at Schonefeld but we get separated again when we accidentally get on separate trains. It’s like Carry On Germany. Before I know it I’m knee deep in commuters on the worst labelled platform in Europe. Alone. I weep with gratitude when I eventually reach Alexanderplatz where Matthew and Geordie are impatiently waiting for me. But these things come in threes. After we’re shown up to our fantastic fourth floor apartment on Christinenstrasse we head out to stock up on groceries but can’t get back into the flat again because neither of the keys work (clarification: we can’t make either of the keys work). Cut to us sitting at a stranger’s dining table while she bathes her two children next door and we wait for the apartment manager to arrive. Best to get these things out of the way on the first day I suppose …



Everyone knows that foreign crisps and balconies are the two best things about any holiday, and we have both in abundance. ‘Erdnussflips’ are basically peanut flavoured Wotsits. I’m not kidding. They’re vile. I eat just short of a kilo of them. Our balcony has a beautiful view of a bright bone-white moon and the silver space station on a spike that is the Fernsehturm. It looks just like a tower in the underwater city I drew for an art competition at school. Reader, I won that competition.



It’s already late so we head to a low-key neighbourhood bar for Krombacher and Berliner Pilsner and Schofferhoffer and lots of laughs, lots of laughs. Our street borders the two districts of Mitte and Prenzlauerberg and it takes a while before I realise it’s just a couple of streets from where I stayed last time. The city was feet-deep in January snow then, it looks like a completely different place in September. Next day I wake to fresh coffee and ‘King Of Limbs’ and square windows instead of round ones. I am far away from home and happy.


2 comments:

bitter69uk said...

Too funny: I just got back from Berlin, too. Was there between 10-13 September. This weekend was Folsom, apparently -- we spotted plenty of bearded leather daddies and bears at the airport, too! And just like you guys, the friend I was travelling with and I had a few anxious moments with the key to OUR flat, too -- there was a trick to getting the door to open again once you locked it. Luckily we mastered it but the first time it happened was pretty panic-stricken! I sank my share of Berliner beer, too. God, I love Berlin!

Gregling said...

A-ha, I THOUGHT there was a large contingent of bears around, even for Berlin! Sounds we were on a similar karmic thing there! Glad you had a good trip. Back again soon I think ... :)