mornings in Berlin (I should know, I spent four whole of these there:) are filled with a sort of surreal tranquility. or maybe that’s just me, used to the crazy honking and asphalt drilling in Bucharest.
so you wake up, yawn, rub your eyes and all those things, and then stagger in your pajamas to the window and open it. and in comes heaven. (I hesitated before typing this word, as I would like to use as many irony as possible on this pile of prosaic stuff, but then I thought, hey, what the hell, for once I should allow myself to be fully enthusiastic. plus it’s August, well, was, people won’t notice, they won’t even read this, they’re on holiday. on with the childish excitement).
downtown London smells of heavy spices and expensive perfume. Berlin, if you happen to live at the tenth floor, smells of warm, salty rain. it’s like being inside a cloud. plus there’s almost always a breeze that makes everything seem clean and crispy.
the streets of Berlin are wide and the buildings immense. they’re neat-looking and mostly whitish-gray and everything somehow seems to be in its place. and then you cross some road and you see a giant golden swan in a window at the first floor
or a metal giraffe in a patio, accompanied by a bulky red box with eyes, that reads ‘cookies’
or stumble upon a polar bear with Dali’s face painted on the side near the Dali exhibition
or walk into a palace
and then back to the quiet, orderly streets, straight and bordered by colossal buildings, with the occasional atlas, the museums, the never-ending Dussmann (where I got a collection of 50 horror classics for a few euros), the ice cream (one scoop of yogurt and berries, one of tiramisu) and the bookstore selling used English books looking like something dug out of a Borges story, and then Checkpoint Charlie and the wall fragments and the past.
and just when you think that nothing more could impress you, when you’re so numb and overwhelmed and your feet hurt like hell, you get out of the museum where you gawked at the limestone bust of Nefertiti and step right into the Arabian Nights, more precisely into a tearoom from Tajikistan. it’s carved in sandalwood and has original paintings and cushions and amazing carpets, delicious blini and Russian tea.
the night sets upon my last day in Berlin. there’s a rainbow over Bebelplatz and, for the first time, I no longer worry about anything. the end.