• Berlins and Outs

    Residence Permit Problems

    German efficiency might be a myth. German bureaucracy, however, is alive and well, and doesn’t want me to stay in the country. Here’s the deal: our residence permit applications are on hold until we change our financial situation. We have until June 20th. What’s wrong with our financial situation, you ask? Our apartment is very expensive, E’s salary isn’t very high, and mine is nonexistent. But didn’t we know that when we made the decision to move? Didn’t we put ourselves in this situation? Yeah, absolutely. We decided we could afford this move and I could spend some time focusing on my book because we have significant savings (my inheritance).…

  • Berlins and Outs

    Thoughts on One Month of Living Abroad

    When I backpacked Europe, almost six years ago now (yeesh), I wrote a post about my thoughts on one month of travel, so, when E and I realized we’d been in Berlin for a month, we decided to write this post as a bit of a callback. Here’s the good, the bad, and the ugly from one month of living abroad in Germany. Plus, if you scroll all the way down, a little video of what we’ve been up to. The Good The Weather: We arrived right at the tail end of winter and, while our friends and family back home suffered through April snowstorms, we enjoyed days in the…

  • Berlins and Outs,  Feeeeelings,  Meta-Blogging

    Everything is Different Now

    There are no screens in our windows now, so in the mornings we lean out and people watch while we drink our coffee. E imagines what it would be like to be a field mouse living on the supermarket’s green roof – he wants to make a video game about it. I mostly ogle other people’s dogs as they walk down the street. We watch the trains going in and out of Ostkreuz station. And if we look left we can see the TV Tower, but only when we’re leaning out the window. Hi. Hello. Welcome back. Everything is different now. E got a job as an educational video game…

  • The Great European Adventure

    Krakow was a turning point

    I didn’t want to leave Berlin. Berlin was big and interesting, and there was so much to see — this was why I had left my plans open, why my travel dates were all tentative, so I could stay longer in places I loved. But I didn’t love Berlin. It was beautiful, and historical, and tasty, and I hadn’t even gone to any art museums yet! But that wasn’t why I wanted to stay. I wanted to stay because Berlin was safe. There’s nothing wrong with feeling safe; in fact, I hope that you feel safe while traveling. But I didn’t go to Europe to hide. I went to see…

  • The Great European Adventure

    Berlin: Teeming with History

    Berlin teems with a lot of things — nightclubs, Turkish food, Communist architecture. For me, Berlin teemed with history. Every street seemed to hold information about the city’s often painful past. Much of this is conscious preservation in the form of public parks and landmarks, but there are a few subtle aspects of the city that speak volumes about, specifically, its 20th century history. The architecture changes when you move between the former West and East Berlins. In East Berlin, the buildings are pragmatic, functional, ugly in that classic Soviet style. The TV Tower, now the phallic symbol of all Berlin, was once a prominent expression of the power of…

  • The Great European Adventure

    On having a friend in Berlin

    Normally, when I start blogging about a new place, I write a post of my first impressions. However, my first impressions upon arriving in Berlin were colored by the fact that I was meeting up with a friend I hadn’t seen in four years. In my reflection on one month of travel I wrote about, among other things, feeling lonely traveling by myself and how seeing my friend Brittney was a welcome respite from solo travel. When I visited Berlin, I had a German-speaking local showing me around. She took me to her favorite restaurant, introduced me to her friends, and we spent hours walking around the city, good company…