Amanda departed Berlin last month to start her new job, working from home for the same company. She is already settled in our new apartment in St. Paul and reunited with Goofy the dog.
I´m on my way home too but am taking my sweet time by traveling through Russia, Mongolia and China by train.
We already miss Berlin for so many reasons and are looking forward to returning in the future.
A short list of things I will miss about Berlin:
- Transportation: We never once felt limited by not having a car. The bus, subway, train, tram system goes everywhere and is simple to use.
- Costs: Coming from the Bay Area, there were many things that were cheaper in Berlin, mainly our rent and groceries.
- The people: Generally speaking, Berliners are laid back and friendly. More so than other places in Germany. It is also a diverse city with people from all over the world. In some neighborhoods, you are more likely to hear English than German being spoken.
- Dogs: Dogs are everywhere in the city and 90% of the time are off leash. This is never a problem as dogs are extremely well trained and know how to live in a big city with lots of people. It´s not unusual to see dogs waiting patiently outside of shops, hanging out in cafes, or running errands with delivery people.
- German language school: Amanda is going to disagree with me here but I loved going to school and not only learned a ton of German but also got to interact with an extremely diverse group of people who came to Germany to start new lives. While it was difficult and exhausting at times, the immersion method of language really worked for me.
- Food: When I get home I´m going to have to perfect my version of Currywurst and Doner Kebab.
- Going to the movies: In Germany, when the movie starts, the phones are switched off and people are silent.
- Restaurant etiquette: No server ever asked me if I had ever been to their restaurant before, no server ever gave me their name, no one ever asked me how ¨everything was tasting!¨, and the check came when I asked for it. This is the way I like dining; servers were quick and efficient and happy to help when I needed something and we never felt rushed. Amanda is going to have to restrain me the first time some overly chipper teenager in the US slips me the check while I´m still in the middle of my entree.
- Street art: Graffiti is everywhere in the city and a lot of it is just dumb tagging but there are so many places with interesting artwork that you can enjoy by just walking around.