My first week in Berlin passed by so fast I didn’t even notice and all I can say about the city is WOW!
When I decided to go to Berlin to learn German, I didn’t know much about the city nowadays and I didn’t know what to expect… so I decided not to expect anything. This city surprised me in every way. Berlin may not be so beautiful as Madrid, Rome, Paris… but Berlin has that something. Numerous historical locations are surrounded by the modern architecture and the city is full of the tourist and foreign residents who decided to spend a part of their life in Berlin.
The other day we were sitting in a bar and a guy from Israel was complaining how bad his German was because he doesn’t have anyone to practice with. I asked doesn’t he have some German friends to talk with and he answered “Really? In Berlin? Of course, I don’t have German friends in Berlin!”. Only by looking people around me, I realized why it is like that. I didn’t meet any German yet either, if I don’t count that few people I meet when I was trying to find the apartment (and it’s also questionable if they are really Germans) and my future flatmate.
Life here is pretty simple. Nobody is in the hurry, the atmosphere in the city is completely relaxed and that is so unusual for such a big city. The city is still full of cyclists… and in Berlin, the cyclist is the king. Almost every street in the city has a cyclist lane and during the warm part of the year you don’t need a public transportation at all. And public transportation… is perfect. In such a big city as Berlin everything works absolutely perfectly. U-Bahn (metro), S-Bahn (suburban train), buses, trams… On every station you can find the time table and all the transportation comes in exactly that time. Also, everything rides more or less every 5 – 7 minutes and when I (once) waited for the U-Bahn for 7 minutes I got pretty nervous already.
From the apartment where I live at the moment to the school it takes around 30 minutes with public transportation and I need to make three changes. First I need to take a bus, which station is located literally at the end of my street and it rides every five minutes. I need to admit I get little upset when I miss the bus and I need to wait four minutes for another one. 😀 Then I need to change to the S-bahn and I usually wait for it a minute or two. In the end I take with the U-bahn and I waited for it two minutes today. There are no delays in public transportation, no standstills and almost no ticket checks, and yet everybody has the ticket. The public transportation rides 24 hours a day and from every point A to point B in the city it takes approximately half an hour. And they have doubledeckers! 😀
I didn’t see much of the city yet because I’m waiting for Jaime to come so we start to explore Berlin together. I saw all “more important” parts of the city and took one touristic tour so I saw the parts of Berlin Wall and passed around Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz and Unter den Linden, but I putted my focus on finding the apartment. In this moment I live in Neukolln, in the part of Berlin I like a lot and which is close to the bars and clubs in Kreuzberg and still it’s very calm and safe part. I found the apartment three days after the arrival and this weekend I’ll be moving to Mitte, just three stations from Alexanderplatz (which is former center of East Berlin and one of two “city centers”). The apartment is great, my”roommate” is going to be an architect who can literally be my mom and who is going to spend most of the time in India so I will have the apartment for myself. 🙂
Until then I will probably learn how to divide the garbage… That is the biggest (and only) problem in my life in the moment.
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