Thursday, 24 January 2013


Another chapter in our life is coming to an end.

The time has come to say good-bye to Berlin, or at least good-bye to the time we've had in Berlin, our apartment on Rosa-Luxemburg Straße, and Stadt Mitte. I know that Berlin isn't going anywhere and that we will come back at some point, after all, Erwin is a German prof., but that doesn't make leaving any easier.

It's been an amazing experience and I feel very lucky to have been able to spend nearly half a year here, to have been a part of this city, as an official resident even, and know that it will always have a special place in my heart.

I keep going to places I love, thinking how much I'm going to miss all of this. Walking through the streets and seeing the Fernsehturm poking the sky in the distance and thinking that's where I live, that's "home", for now anyway.

Stopping to buy a Currywurst from one of those guys with a propane tank strapped to his back, and then for dessert Kaffee und Kuchen from one of the ubiquitous bakeries.

Or just taking the U2 line from west to east when it goes above ground for a bit and you look toward Potsdamer Platz, or seeing the Regierungsviertel at night from the S-Bahn - these are moments that will always give me a thrill.

Memories are made of this.

It felt good knowing that I had the Museminsel, or the Zooligischer Garten, or the Gemäldegalerie at my fingertips. We made a list of all the things we wanted to do in our last days, but I realized I didn't want to accomplish absolutely everything on it, because that would leave nothing to come back for. Besides going for a swim in the Wannsee, might be a bit cold this time of year, and the official Berlin bears at the Bärenzwinger, who would most likely object to being roused from their winter slumber for a photo-op.

There are so many great things about Berlin and so many wonderful experiences that we've had here. We've spent many days just exploring or hanging out in cafés. We've enjoyed nights out for "dinner and a show" and quiet evenings reading, watching a movie, or playing Scrabble. We've gone to the opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, and quiet a few plays. Friday mornings were always reserved for 90 minutes of an absorbing art history lecture at the Gemäldegalerie whilst seated in front of the original Rembrandt, Caravagio, or Vermeer among many others. Then there are the museums. Of the reportedly 180 museums in Berlin, Erwin and I have probably only seen a couple dozen. And, even some of those we've had to go back to a couple of times in order to see everything housed in them on current display, or even just to refresh our memories of what we saw during an earlier visit.

We've enjoyed visits from friends and family and toured the city with them, seeing the city anew through their eyes. And, of course, there was the highlight of our stay here - Christmas. It became home.

I especially loved waking up in the mornings to the sound of the entry door clicking, followed by the whoosh of the elevator coming up, knowing that Erwin just left for the bakery and would be back in 15 minutes, or so, with warm fresh rolls and sweets for our breakfast.

This coming Thursday, January 31 at 1:35 pm, if you want to be precise "German-style," we'll leave our home here. There's no easy way to say good-bye, in fact I prefer Tschüss, which isn't quite as final. Or, even better, Aufwiedersehen, because it holds the promise of reunion.

So where are we off to next....stay tuned.

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