May-be This Time

(I’m finding it increasingly hard to come up with titles for this blog. I apologise for the terrible pun on an excellent Cabaret song this month, it really is the best I could do.)

The fact I only have two months left in Berlin before I head back to England is beginning to weigh on my mind. I honestly have no idea how I’ll get used to life either back in Leeds or at my family’s house (a small place between a village and town on the outskirts of Sheffield) as Berlin really does feel like home after spending half a year here. My German skills are still dubious at best, but I love everything about the city, from the efficient transport system and plethora of museums and galleries to the strange folk you only meet on the train platform at five in the morning and Germany’s frustrating bottle recycling system.

My Grandpa and Great Uncle visited for Easter which resulted in a lovely five days of dining out and finally getting around to some sight-seeing. At long last I ate some German ‘Apfel Strudel’ and a schnitzel, though I definitely preferred the former. We also dined at what is believed by many to be Berlin’s best burger joint- The Bird. With a sarcastic menu and décor that makes you feel like you’re dining in Brooklyn rather than Berlin, it’s a little more pricey than the likes of Burgermeister or Berlin Burger International (Berlin loves its burgers) it’s bloody brilliant. Also, their cheesecake is unforgettable. Equally important is the fact my Grandpa arrived with a suitcase containing such British staples as Cadbury’s Crème Eggs, Maltesers, and HP Sauce. My life has improved drastically since his visit.

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The 1st of May is celebrated in Germany as Labour Day, and whilst the date has and long and somewhat dark history due to its past appropriation by the Nazi Party, nowadays there is an annual street party in Kreuzberg where seemingly everyone in the city descends on Gorlitzer Park with beverages and food for a day of music, dancing, and general fun. There are still some demonstrations, but in recent years the mood has become decidedly less political, possibly due to the violent clashes between police and demonstrators in previous years. The rain held off until the late afternoon and it was by far one of the most fun days I’ve had in the city so far- next up is June’s annual carnival, which I am even more excited for largely due to my love for an excuse to dress up.

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Between dissertation proposals and trying to figure out module choices for final year back in Leeds, I’ve also made headway on my long list of ‘Things to See in Berlin’, starting with the Technology Museum (not as exciting as it sounds, which is some feat) and the Ai Weiwei exhibition currently running in Berlin, which was great. I think one of things I’m going to miss most about Berlin is the sheer volume of things to do and see less than half an hour from my front door. Whilst Yorkshire has its fair share of excitement, what my year abroad has really taught me is that I’m never going to be happy living anywhere but a big city.

Thus concludes another month and what I think is probably the most dull of my blogs so far. Hopefully next month will be more exciting- with the promise of carnival, karaoke, swimming on a barge and hopefully forgetting how little time is left.

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