We just started an almost 6 week straight stint of having visitors in our house. I have to say that I now have a great appreciation for our family and friends who live in Florida and typically have a long line of people coming to visit them and their beautifully visit-able state. (Y’all know I love you and love visiting your state, but I could NEVER live there. It’s not for me.) Living abroad and only seeing family via Skype for a while now, we have a whole new appreciation when people take the time and pay exorbitant airline ticket prices to come and see us. It’s also GREAT to get some hugs from our favorite people in the world again!
Perhaps the best part of people coming all the way here is finally getting to show off this amazing city where we’re living. Sitting at the crossroads of history has its advantages, and Berlin is so fascinatingly historical and modern at the same time. This city is simultaneously vibrant and fast paced and peaceful and relaxed. While riding the subway you can sit between an ultra-fashion conscious perfectly made up and designer name brand decked out Oma and a barefoot dread-locked hippy wearing harem pants, patchouli oil, and a hemp tank top while carrying a laptop. The contradictions are so much more interesting than the consistencies and Berlin is as full of them as any other large city in the world. There are a million little niches to explore in this city, and deciding which place to focus on is challenging as well as intriguing.
When dropping off my amazing Aunt and Uncle at the English walking tour, I noticed a few things about myself:
1. I am not a tourist anymore and actually feel a bit odd going to the touristy areas now because I don’t go there…EVER.
2. I probably could GIVE the tour that they are taking if I had the time and less work to get done.
3. My default language is changing when I’m out on the town. I now get surprised when people speak English to me and usually make them repeat whatever they’ve said because I was listening with my German ears.
My postings will probably be quite reduced during these next weeks as we spend more time in the evening chatting over bottles of prosecco and beer than in front of my laptop. We’re also getting ready to pass the ¾ mark of our stay here, so are beginning the loooong mental, physical, and financial planning process for what is to come in October. We honestly have NO idea right now, which is both scary and fun at the same time.