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My Last Five Days in Berlin

January 3, 2010

In 5 short days, the lease on my apartment will be up and with that, my time here in Berlin. It’s been three-and-a-half months of curry wursts, U-Bahns, glühwein, berliners and history lessons. As I pussyfooted my way home on the slippery snow-covered sidewalks this afternoon, I wondered if I would miss it here.

Berlin and I are like two individuals who, despite sharing quite a few personality quirks and similar interests, never seem to click. We get along really well when others are about, but left alone, somehow we struggle to find a shared rhythm. There are definitely things we dislike about each other, but that and the awkward silences aside, we do have a healthy enough respect for each other.

While we both love the creative, I like my chaos organised; what more would you expect from a someone who’s ethnicities are pedantically systemised (Swiss) and militarily ordered (Singaporean)?!? Also, I’m friendly and open and warm; Berlin, on the other hand, is not. She is an artiste. She has her friends (fellow artistes and musicians, of course) and they are above all the materialism and capitalistic hoo-hah that goes on in other cities. Surprisingly (and rather disappointingly), her creative pursuits don’t seem to extend into the culinary arts at all. At all. I find food shopping and eating out rather depressing in Berlin compared to other cities. On the upside, her Christmas markets are great (despite her nonchalance about the whole matter) and I missed them immediately once the holidays were over. Then there are her beautiful buildings, her museums and markets, her history and her well-informed citizens. I will definitely miss walking around Berlin.

Berlin is a city of opposites, of complexities and of sullen determination to be artsy and different with a quick-shot of indifference. Perhaps that’s the problem… perhaps she’s just too ‘artsy and cool’ for me? I guess I do wish we had made more of a connection though. Ah well.

I have 5 short days to pack (how am I going to make everything fit?!), clean the apartment, say goodbye to Berlin and figure out where I’m going from here. Yeah, that’s right… I still haven’t figured that out yet. D’oh. Cash is pretty tight and I’ve been looking not just at flights, but at ride-sharing. I’m thinking maybe Hamburg (3 days), Amsterdam (4 days), then Madrid or Barcelona or perhaps somewhere in France… ayyyy dunno. Must figure this out asap! Aarghh!

N

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