It has been quiet on this blog for the last few days….which was due to my beloved husband who holds a very strong sense of justice.
You see, he will be at a conference in the United States in November, followed by some free days in California, followed by a workshop in Great Britain. He will be gone for three weeks and although he always misses me and the little one, I know he also greatly appreciates the undisturbed nights and the change of scenery. Since he is the bestest of all husbands, his sense of justice told him to grant me a few undisturbed nights and a change of scenery as well (three cheers for the justice!!) so I spent the last weekend in Berlin, visiting a dear friend of mine.
It was, I admit it, kind of a challenge. It was the first time for the little one without her mother and I was a bit worried that she wouldn’t take it well. However, she hasn’t been particularly clingy so far (on the contrary, she loves to cuddle up with all our friends…) and Karsten planned to spend the weekend at his parents place, so I left on Friday feeling slightly sad but also incredibly excited in the light of this completely free weekend.
What shall I say…it was absolutely great. I truly missed my family, but at the same side I very much enjoyed these days of independence without time pressure or a buggy to push around. I enjoyed it even more when I heard that the little one was having a grand weekend as well, being on cloud nine due to all the attention of her grandparents.
Apart from spending a lot of time with my friend and her three month old baby (we hadn’t seen each other for a few years) I really loved walking around the city noticing the differences between Zurich and Berlin. Believe it or not, there are leaves on the streets of Berlin. Plenty of leaves! The city is dirty, smelly and there is graffiti everywhere. While you put on your fancy sunglasses when you are in Zurich, you can wear your worn-out shoes in Berlin without feeling underdressed. There are so many different types of people. When you look at the other people in the train you’ll see an old grandmother next to a homeless person next to an Indian mother with three children next to a girl in black with bright red lipstick next to a guy with long beard and green hair next to a man in a suit. It’s fascinating. You hear people playing music in almost every underground station in the city centre. You get a Döner for 2.50 Euro. You still find occupied houses in the city centre (though there are only a few left). The people have a much more very casual way of talking (one might even say flippant) – but since I don’t stand out due to my German accent I can easily adjust and join in. The trains are running every 4 or 5 minutes. And they are twice as crowded at night than during the day.
Since I know Berlin back from my time at university I abstained from the main tourist attractions. I stayed near the Berlin wall, walked around Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain, visited the flea market at Mauerpark, saw a movie and went to the Hohenschönhausen memorial. It was good!!
Now I am glad to be back in Switzerland. In the small town where my girl can go outside and start running and playing without a high risk of getting lost in the crowd or hit by a car. With a forest nearby. With a low risk of stepping into dog shit or meeting youngsters smoking hash on the playground (here they smoke it at the bike stand next to the catholic church…). With our garden behind the house. With empty streets during the night. And with my beloved daughter and husband cuddling up with me in the morning.