So, it only took one day without football for my view of Berlin to return to its pre-World Cup stance. I’ve gotta go.
I’m at a stage where great things can happen, but a couple of small instances of frustration will black-cloud my day.
When I think of Berlin as an abstract thing, I think of a great city. A city I enjoy walking around, a city with big parks, lovely wide pavements, and some interesting things to see and do. But my Berlin isn’t that Berlin. My Berlin has become a city where I find myself angry and grinding my teeth.
The World Cup was/is a plaster over the wound. Suddenly there was a feeling of overt joy around the place. And despite finding the black, red and yellow of the German flags hanging from cars and windows all over town to be the aesthetic equivalent of being cattle-prodded in the ribs, I’ve enjoyed seeing people being surprised and happy with their team’s performance.
I have to accept, though, that my Berlin is over. My Berlin is one where someone cutting me up on their bike makes me really angry; a Berlin where holding a door open for someone with a bicycle illicits a look of disgust not a smile or a thank you; and a Berlin where someone will be watering the plants on their balcony just as I’m walking underneath. These things happen in every town, but Berlin has ground me down too far, and these things linger like the taste of beer and cigarettes from the night before. I need to get out as soon as I can. And once my work schedule reveals a gap, that’s what I’ll do.