Staying in Love with Berlin

photo: Mike Kotsch

You fell in love with Berlin, the vibrant party location that sometimes forgets it’s supposed to be a capital and acts like a huge open air techno festival instead. It felt good, so you thought you’d stay, taking your relationship with Berlin to the next level – calling it your home. But every single commitment drags along its gnarly twin – monotony.

Now that you’ve dropped your anchor here, that morning glimpse of the Fernsehturm on your daily commute may not feel quite as exciting as it used to. Even the most unique sights can grow old, and what draws your attention instead is the smell of piss and trash lying all along the curbside.

Before you know it, Berlin is no longer an unexplored exotic island luring you with the promise of hidden treasures. Its streets have served as the setting for all sorts of scenarios – some were so bizarre you couldn’t believe them, others so screwed you wouldn’t dare to.

Contrary to a common belief, it’s never all about glitter and dancing. A typical Berlin tale of woe comprises not only being rejected at Berghain, but also dealing with the explosive mix of heartbreak, fake friends, really annoying bureaucracy and Internet that definitely belongs in the previous decade.

photo: Flo Karr

Maintaining the enthusiasm of a fresh infatuation doesn’t get any easier once you decide you’re serious about Berlin. When I started uni, I felt suddenly surrounded by people who sometimes took their hometown for granted, or at least never had the chance to regard it with the boundless fascination of an expat.

It takes some effort to keep that fascination going while you’re juggling five jobs or just generally dealing with reality, but, expat or not, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try. The ability to feel spellbound about your mere existence, to get high on your lust for life is the prerequisite for serendipity.

Whenever you feel less inspired and even getting jaded about your day to day hustle in B-town, rewind to why did you choose it. Don’t look to others – there’s no universal formula to make it work. After all, every relationship is different.

Michalina by
on February 28th, 2018
updated on February 28th, 2018
in Stories

5 Responses to “Staying in Love with Berlin”

  1. Seána Kehoe Says:

    I’ve been entirely smitten for over a year now..before I moved here I started a small ‘one second a day’ project which documented my move (I think I did it for a month or two):

    and recently myself and a few Irish folks that flew over for the project continued my ‘day in the life’ and madeit into a music video:

    Berlin has been wunderbar!

  2. Alex Says:

    I’ve never understood people who romanticize Berlin. It’s an amazing city but it’s also just a place where normal people work and live. Just because you move to Berlin, doesn’t make you “cool” or change you. I’m from New York City originally and it sort of reminds me of how people wax poetic about New York who move there from the Midwest while the locals just roll their eyes.

    I have friends who were born and raised in Berlin who get sort of confused by how expats talk about it. There is a certain point when a city gets branded too much as being “cool,” that it is no longer cool. It’s what happened to Brooklyn and I see the same happening in Berlin. Just live! It’s a city like any other and life is life. There are boring days and fun days. It’s a bit odd to treat a city as if it’s just a playground for fun.

  3. Frank Says:

    If we would write our stories with this attitude the blog would be pretty depressing.

  4. Patrick Says:

    Best answer Frank

  5. Camille Everaert Says:

    Omg totally loving your answer Frank ! 🙂

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