Berlin – “Ich spreche kein Deutsch, ladies…”

I LOVED Berlin. The people, the culture, the beer, it’s just a phenomenal city. I want to live there. 8 times the size of Paris, but with the same amount of people as Melbourne (3-4 million). Just amazing. I really didn’t wanna leave.

German, by far, has been the most fun language to learn and fumble my way through. There is a sigh of relief on my poor, unsuspecting victims at restaurants, cafes, and random strangers, but a rewarding smile usually follows. My guess, is that I must sound to them like the “Would you like to touch my penis?” guy from the 90’s teen-party film ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’.

I spent the first two days and nights in Berlin, a little jaded and a little broken though. I was feeling crook as hell, unable to shake it off. It sucked to be honest. Part ‘Hostel Flu’, part being run down I guess. Unfortunatley, Berlin was the city I was looking forward to the most. The chance to check out some proper-good street art, historical monuments, and nightlife, but I was stuck at the hostel, feeling like shit. Thankfully, my Doctor, who knows i’m a chronic sufferer of Man Flu, prescribed some antibitics to me prior to my departure. And so, armed with those, some ginger tea and vegetable soup, I hit the city to do a bit of shooting. I don’t know whether it was the fresh air, tea, drugs or the excercise, but I felt a LOT better. To be honest though, I think it was the fact that I had my camera with me, and it served as an excellent distraction.
When visiting the remnets of what is left of the Berlin wall, the Topography of Terror, and even just the streets themselves, it provided me with my first real experience of the impact of the second world war. I mean, yeah it’s taught in schools, and of course there are thousands of books, films and art made about the war, where we’re told statistics, amongst other things, but to actually stand in the city of Berlin and see the bullet holes, the constant state of rebuilding, and even just to breathe the air as you stare at a monument, plaque or statue, you’re given a true sense about what actually took place, and it’s a sobering experience.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made on this trip though, is to not make little notes as the days go past. I’m writing this retrospecitvely and struggling badly to remember things. Also, I’m so far behind with my posts. I mean, I’m heading to Rome right now, and I definatley won’t be able to post anything tonight. Trying to find a healthy balance between enjoying this trip and updating this thing is tough, but I’m relaxing in Positano, Italy right now, which is the most relaxing, beautiful place I’ve ever seen. But more about that when I’m writing about it

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