I know what you’re going to say.
In fact, I can hear your voice, the tone of it, as you say it.
All you ever do is eat.
Which isn’t true. Not even remotely so.
We walk. We run for trains. We go to gardens with our friends. We sit up late listening to Taylor Swift (or some of us do, others of us turn in at 8:30 because our bones are old). We snuggle our sisters in the morning (some of us protest). We try on shoes and prance in velvet. We talk about childhood. We talk about love, boys and broken hearts. We cry a bit. We rehash stories of the first time we were drunk. We discuss our work, the economy, the future. I share my life and my city, they share stories of theirs.
Sometimes we eat.
Also sometimes, we take selfies.
..and sometimes the two activities- the gluttony and the vanity (two sins for the price of one), overlap.
But check it out.
This feels a little bit like success.
Ok. Here goes.
Ariel blew into my fair city on Friday the 13th. Which in itself is somewhat ominous, but her arrival also brought one of the most aggressive downpours that Berlin has seen in some time.
There’s a joke in there about Ariel, whose namesake is a spirit from Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, literally brought said Tempest with her.
The cost of that joke- after I attempted to film myself in the rain to show her the effect of her passage- was one mobile phone.
Anyway. Her timing could not have been more perfect. I got back from Madeira on Tuesday evening to a home that was now only mine. I tried to clean. I did a poor job (Ariel ended up spending the first evening pretty much hanging my 10000s of dresses for me) but managed to put fresh sheets on the bed at least. And then I sat by the door, awaiting her arrival.
And, despite the sudden rush of rain, the 10 days she was here were mostly filled with sunshine. Sunshine and 24 degrees on that first Sunday, which for some people apparently still means woollen sweaters, tights, and hot coffee and matcha scrolls…..
… but for the more sane of us (sic), means Summer and naked arms and legs and icecream!
(Who am I kidding. I also took a coffee and some scroll. She also took icecream. But there was a definite difference in the dress code).
The weather facilitated strolling, which we did in abundance with friends Chiara and Andrea. There was also more coffee involved, and possibly also a flea market.
That first week is a bit of a blur. I’m fairly certain that the days went like this:
- Friday- Ariel arrives in the evening with the storm, we talk a lot, we clean.
- Saturday- party with friends at my house.
- Sunday- walks and markets
- Monday- Ariel in Dresden (I meet an old friend from work).
- Tuesday- BBQ at Iman’s in Golm
- Wednesday- Opera number 1
- Thursday- Gem arrives and Ariel brings her home. (I have to do the yearly ‘spring clean’ at work). The evening brings opera number 2. We fall in love with the phrase ‘her face is round and rosy like the stupid moon in the stupid sky.
And suddenly it was Friday again.
Which I took off work. For more walks, and more icecream.
Ok guys, this is Gemma.
Gemma is all kinds of fantastic. She’s come to visit three times already, but I think I’ve never blogged about her stays. Mostly because Gem always manages to come when the weather is good and when I’m really, really behind with the blogging (see also, now: Madeira holiday on hold).
She’s one of those friends who I knew incompletely before Berlin times. We were on different peripheries of the same very large group and always got on pretty well but didn’t do a lot of stuff together in small groups. I knew she had good taste in Wicked! characters (when we did the Wizard of Oz she was the most beautiful Elphaba), and was the kind of person willing to do Rocky Horror in full costume. She’s also the friend who rescued me the one time I got messy drunk (she claims some responsibility for feeding me the alcohol combination that lead to the messiness, but I’m not sure that it’s really her fault that I cannot take my chocmilk/vokda/public transport).
Anyway. The great thing about having people visit you, is you get the chance for all these one-on-one chats.
Or one-on-two if your sister happens to be visiting at the same time.
Because both Gem and Ariel had been to Berlin a few times before, we didn’t do anything touristy this visit. Instead, we spent the morning lounging and chatting, went to Hokey Pokey (best icecream in the city), went to Maybachufer market, and in the evening gorged on an insane amount of turkish food.
I find that Berlin can be hard to understand in a single visit (and is probably impossible to comprehend if you come in winter, when the world is full of grey). The touristy stuff should be seen, but it’s not overly representative of what the city has to offer.
But Berlin in the Springtime is the most beautiful thing that your heart will ever see. Everyone in the city knows it. And they are smug and content and they loll in the sun like cats.
The whole thing was pretty darn great.
Many many thanks to both Gem and Ariel for the visit- your timing was perfect, your company was perfect-er!
Ok, and I know this post was already insanely long, but I thought I’d just leave a couple of the more ridiculous selfies from the Opera night here.