I wondered whether we would actually make it here today or not as the day started out with me sleeping through my alarm that allegedly went off at 4:15am. I finally awoke at nearly 5:20 to my phone vibrating texts from the car service driver who was about to give up on us altogether. Thank God I finally came to and was able to rescue our ride to the airport before it was entirely too late. Usually, having to wake up incredibly early for a trip makes me sleep lightly and hyper-vigilantly, waiting for the imminent alarm. But I had trouble falling asleep last night, so I was just lucky we made our 7:20 flight from Heathrow to Berlin Tegel.
We navigated the TXL bus into town which dropped us at its final stop of Alexanderplatz, from where we took a taxi the rest of the way to Kreuzberg, our home for at least the next three weeks. We are subletting a flat from the sister of a friend in this bustling, trendy and Turkish neighborhood just south of Mitte and bordering Neukölln.
I am both humbled and amazed that everyone we’ve encountered so far, from the taxi driver to the Turkish restaurant owner, speaks English. I am used to knowing at least enough of a language to be able to communicate basic needs, but German is a language I have no facility in whatsoever. It makes me feel both adrift and oddly guilty, I find myself apologizing for it though I don’t think anyone actually really cares. So far people are open and friendly and seem to easily segue from German to English.
This evening we took a walk through the busy neighborhood and on a recommendation from a fellow traveler in the Twitterverse, we partook of a very casual Turkish eatery, Gel Gör Inegöl Köfteci on Kotbusser Damn in Kreuzberg. The dish not to miss was the Kofte on Baguette which consisted of minced links of seasoned veal, chargrilled, on a sort of Turkish baguette, accompanied by arugula, mint, parsley, red onions, tomatoes, garlic and chili sauce. It did not disappoint. Lucas turned his nose up at it at first, but after watching me eat one, he had a change of heart and ordered his own, sans tomatoes. At €3.50 a head, it was a deal to boot.
Tomorrow we will begin to really explore Berlin, and next week, Lucas will join practices with the international soccer team I’ve found for him to play on. And he launches his blog about playing soccer while traveling!
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writer-director-actress, author, improviser, mother, traveler, digital nomad