Mauerpark Markets and the silence of Charlottenburg
From brunch and a sleep-in to flea markets, Vietnamese and a new apartment, yesterday was indulgent and taken slow.
Brunch was eaten in a strange but very hip Berlin cafe called Südblock, packed to the edges and 8.50 euros for an all you can eat buffet.
It was pretty tasty but all-you-can-eats are sadly wasted on me and my itty bitty stomach, and I always end up staring sadly at the piles of food I can’t bring myself to stuff into my mouth.
Felix and I left pretty early due to a key-receiving date at the new Airbnb apartment in Charlottenburg and were delighted to discover the place was right on the Spree.
It’s a bit further away than we were staying before, but it’s also further from the crime and noise of Berlin which, I have to admit, I don’t mind too much.
One of the big reasons I’m not keen to live in Berlin for too long/at all, potentially, is that the crime and the drugs and the insanity of the place gets to me really quickly.
There are only so many times I want to see a person literally resembling a zombie – crazed expression, strange palour, weird shuffling – in an underground station.
There are only so many times I can say I’m sorry, but I don’t have money to give you, to people who thrust cups in my face while I walk or ride the train.
And there is only so much of the day I want to spend feeling guilty for my reaction to the poorest and most drug-affected demographic of Berlin.
I don’t like admitting those things because they grind pretty hard against the view I hold of myself as a caring and compassionate member of society.
I want to believe I care, but perhaps I don’t. Or not enough or not in the right way.
For many selfish reasons and many other reasons, I’m glad we’re staying in an area a little further from the centre of things.
After we picked up the keys, we headed off to the Mauerpark Markets.
I visited last time I was in Berlin and remembered them being fantastic. They did not disappoint.
Felix and I picked up a pair of aviators each because they were cheap and had UV protection and because they make us look very, very cool.
When we’d had our fill of waffle-on-a-stick and looking at wanky art (and good art), we wandered off to pack up and move to the new place.
By eight in the evening, we were all set up.
The place is clearly very much still in use, with half-drunk wine and juice in the fridge and birthday decorations on the walls.
The owner, Marc-Michael, is quite the sportsman and has a decent stock of expensive wine and cigars.
We bought some tasty Vietnamese takeaway for dinner and relaxed with a game of chess (which I probably should mention Felix won) and euchre.
Today was one for even more relaxing. I applied for a job at AppartmentTherapy.com using photos of our beautiful Airbnb stay apartment from Prague and we made chicken noodle soup.
Felix bought me some more beautiful flowers which I’ll photograph when I get light again and we’ve made our token wander through the nearby park, thereby convincing ourselves we did something useful today.
Tomorrow, Felix’s Dad and his partner, Ulrika, are driving down from Sweden to meet us here!
Wish me luck in my very first meeting with an in-law!
It’s less than a week, now, until we reach our new home somewhere in Gothenburg.
It’s exciting and daunting but there’s still another week to be had in Berlin and I’m sure it’s going to be the absolute bomb.