Sunday, December 2, 2007

Berlin, First Impression, Second Movement


Mention the city name, and images start to come to mind: The Wall. Hitler and the Nazis. Rubble. David Hassellhoff. Take any event of significance in 20th century politics and realize that it probably happened in Berlin. World War I, World War II, the Cold War. The history is overwhelming. If you can't already tell, I sort of dig this place.

Let it be known that I have not abandoned my first love, dear old Munich. No, I shall forever hold Munich close to my heart. But Berlin is different and I am growing to appreciate that.

Munich: spotless. sophisticated. chic. conservative. welcoming. relaxing. "gemutlichkeit". (one of those fantastic words that doesn't have a direct translation in English {how friggin pretentious do I feel right now [and I'm loving it]}. Gemutlichkeit is sort of that idea of a community which feels like a family. "Warmth" is one way of putting it. Here's an example: Walk into a restaurant and you immediately feel at home as the other patrons smile pleasantly at you and the waiter gives a hearty "Gruss Gott!" You know that feeling when you walk into a bakery or barbershop and you just feel like you belong, almost as if they were waiting for you? That is gemutlichkeit. Live it.)

Berlin: new. edgy. modern. grungy. liberal. underground.

But, I have still only been here for about four days, so I will not make any judgements yet. Just know that as of now, I can see the allure and how the city lives up to its hype.

As of now I have just been taking tours of the city with our company, trying to learn all of the details of the various buildings, memorials, and streets. I have a test on Tuesday, so keep your fingers crossed.
Right now I am living in my boss's apartment, as he is going away on business for a week. Thought the hostel wasn't too bad, it is incomparable to life with privacy. For those of you who don't know, I am a very private person (I say that with a cheeky wink, as this blog is evidence to the contrary). But honestly, I need my space and need the opportunity to escape from public life to my only little sanctuary. If denied this basic human right, I start to get progressively crankier (Hmm, a thought just entered my head: what are the basics that I, Matt, need for survival. What I mean is, given food and water, what else would I need in order not to lose my mind? What little quirks do I need to satisfy? Well, first off is hot water. I friggin' need hot showers to survive. It is my personal form of meditation. I could go without showering for days if not weeks if necessary {overshare?}, but give me a cold shower and I will out to kill. I also need good sleep. Those nights of crashing on some friend's couch with only my blazer to cover me are forever etched in my brain as a prelude to Hell.).

But enough about that, let's talk about sex. Give the people what they want, right? Well, a funny thing happened about ten minutes ago that I figure you would enjoy: So I am living at my boss's apartment right? He has two flatmates who I have not met yet... Until now! He has a very cute, very single (she made that clear) flatmate who lives in the room next to me. (Cue the "bow chica bow wow").

Watch me cower in the corner and soil myself,

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