Germany – Day One   1 comment

I’m in Germany.


This is weird, because its been one of my life goals to reach this place and just take it in. The first thing I noticed about Berlin when I stepped out of the train station to find my hostel was Graffiti. It was everywhere. Not just that, the place was deathly quiet.

This was intimidating for a few seconds. After all, this is Berlin, a place pretty much destroyed by the ravages of war a few decades ago. The place has that stamp. Many buildings are covered with overgrown weeds, huge bushes dot the landscape and the area has a sense of being lived in through the good and the bad. I can’t properly describe it yet, but I feel like I’m walking through a real live version of a first-person shooter. In the distance, is a HUGE spire of some sort with blinking lights. Everywhere I walk to, I see it, almost as if its watching me. If fact,  I feel watched. This area I am in is so quiet.


There is no music playing in any apartments. I hear no music in any cars. There is nothing to indicate that people are living around here, save the few people I see sitting in a park, or walking quietly on the road. The people seem to be very quiet as well, very reserved. I’ve seen a few teenagers traipsing about, talking in rapid German in playgrounds and sitting by the remnants of an old swimming pool. It’s a weird transition from the beach laden confines of Cannes France.


Here, I’ve stepped into a world that truly isn’t my own. I feel like a “citizen”, a member of a massive state governed by a quiet, firmly ruling hand. I think I’ve seen too many war movies, and heard too many things about Germany through the lens of modern media to have a proper grasp of all things Berlin, but that’s what I feel right now. I’m sitting by a window in my hostel, and there is nothing that greets me, save an eerie silence that covers everything like a heavy blanket.

Maybe this is how people live in this part of town. Maybe I’m just in the quiet section. In a bit, I’m going to try and head to Waurscherstralle, a district that has a few bars and clubs. A place I can probably listen to some music, or grab a drink. It’s a bit scary to do this. After all, I am on my own and I don’t want to get lost in one of the biggest cities on Earth.


This place is flat…flat …FLAT.


We’ll see how it goes. The hostel is really nice on the inside. It feels like a first rate dorm, and has a gorgeous lobby with brand new tiles and a recreation area. But on the left side of the building, a huge outcropping of weeds dominates most of the building. School buildings, tables, and almost every apartment building in the area has graffiti on it. Yet, residents walk around nicely dressed, oblivious to the artistic mayhem. I know its because I’m a foreigner that I’m even noticing these things. Pretty soon, I’ll forget the smeared walls.


But the images are powerful; a open air table tennis table scorched with graffiti. An old couple walking through a small street with images twenty feet high on either side of the buildings beside them. A woman in bright pink leggings walking quickly through the underpass of a bridge. Powerful images. I’m a little upset because my connector for my d40 dissappeared. This is a place that warrants thousands of pictures. But alas, I have to measure my photographer’s instinct.

Here’s to Berlin. Day one.

Posted May 29, 2008 by marcusbird in Uncategorized

One response to “Germany – Day One

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