Year Abroad blog post: Life in Berlin

I think I left you with the uplifting thought of me getting to the bottom of the pile of paperwork and that has indeed been achieved. Sighs of relief all round. To be quite honest, I didn’t get up to all that much in Berlin initially, though I did meet up a few times with people I know from Sheffield Uni who are also on their Year Abroad here and I signed up to be a Tandem Partner. I wouldn’t really recommend becoming a Tandem Partner because I personally felt like it was like going on a blind date and just found it awkward most of the time – you either click or you don’t. It’s hard to develop a friendship out of it.

After a couple of weeks, I fled city life and ventured northward to visit my Oma and Opa and cat-sit for my cousin. Feeling like my grandparents are sort of around the corner (mind you, one that still takes six hours to go round) makes a welcome change from seeing them just once a year. Because I wasn’t brought up speaking German, it wasn’t until I was 16 that I felt like I could even begin to properly communicate my personality to them and now I feel much more part of their lives too because I get to hear all their little every-day stories. When I’m at theirs I have to speak German all the time and they don’t have internet so I’m properly immersed in all things German. Love it.

During all that, I’d been excitedly counting down the weeks until my boyfriend came to visit. We did some of the usual touristy things, including the East Side Gallery which left him underwhelmed and uttering the words, “I thought it was an actual inside gallery.” As well as proclaiming, “They’ve ruined history,” because the artists painted over the original wall. There are still mesh gates covering most of the sections of the wall so that made it a bit disappointing too.

Coincidentally it was our anniversary whilst he was here so we tried to find a good bar nearby. That led to us starting the night with cheap cocktails in an Italian restaurant where we soon realised that everyone around us was just having a relaxing evening meal and we had not come to a place designed for nightlife. Then again, you can’t really ignore 3 euro cocktails. But yes, we managed to find somewhere else.

The morning he left, we got up at 05.00 because he wanted to watch Conor McGregor’s fight… The things a girlfriend has to do, right? I jest. In return he got a decent sized portion of my tears so all’s fair and square. To say I’m atrocious at goodbyes is probably an understatement and I am now fully accustomed to crying in public.

After leaving him at the airport I went for a walk in a forest by Müggelsee (see unedited photo) which was absolutely stunning on a frosty winter’s morning and the perfect place to switch off from my sadness and simply appreciate the beauty there. 10/10 would recommend.

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