The alarm goes off with an all but soothing signal that slices my heavy head up. Ughh, leave me be. I’m in the right bunk now but I’m still wearing my jeans from last night and the sticky denim feels like a prison. I look over and see my classmates laying half nude scattered across the wooden beds. I can almost see it collectively oozing from our sleep deprived bodies. Funny enough, nothing of this disgusts me, just like when I first fled to London and had fewer days hungover than not and sleep was nothing of need.
The hot water sizzles my sore skin as I step into the shower. I try and wash off as much of my tiredness away as I can. As I get dressed I realise I’ve lost one of my contacts. Desperately I look as thorough as my blindness allows and find it on the radiator, dry as summer skin, but it will have to do. One can’t simply walk around blind in Berlin. My friends laugh at me as we hastily gather our clothes that lay spread out on the floor and push them down our bags to make the check out time.
Guess what, it’s damp and grey and miserable outside, but the air is like a chilled glass of juice so I’m grateful. Plus, what would Berlin be if the buildings were whole, cheerful and perfect, with clean streets a sun everywhere?
My friends bring us along a prettier part of town, but three turns in I’m lost in the maze of gritty streets. We manage to find a Russian spot called Cafe Datscha and this just seem like the perfect day for Russian breakfast. Whatever that might be.
It turns out it’s more than I could ever hope for. I order something that I can’t pronounce and half of what shows up I can’t tell what it is. That being said, it turns out to be top three of any brunch I’ve ever had. Crepes and eggs and hundreds of little pots of dips and cold casseroles.
Jackie & Anton
Like yesterday we don’t rush at all, but let the hours pass unnoticed. Second rounds of coffee arrives and the eight of us overlap one conversation topic after another.
Jackie is obsessed with face swap and provide us with brilliance at any given opportunity. I’ve had the honour of being the victim a few times but this is my favourite. Today beats all records though as somehow we happen to get swapped into paintings, murals and the guy at the table next to us. There is nothing in my body but laughter for hours.
Finally we figure that it’s time to do something with this day and we pay and head out on the streets again.
With no specific goal the eight of us stroll through the empty Monday streets and browse through shop containing clothes we can’t afford.
Hours later we end up at the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe.
It’s breathtaking and captures me completely when it swallows us as we walk into its heart. I hate this world and how evil we allow people to get. Then as much as today.
Jackie, Anton, Gustav and me grab a taxi to another part of town where stores are fancy and parents are that type of quirky only rich people with too much time on their hands can manage. I’m jealous of course, as me and Jackie drool over the Aesop shop window. Anton guides us toward Monsieur Vuong, a Vietnamese restaurant where we will have dinner.
The waiter shuffles us towards one of the bigger tables in a corner draped in red cloth. It looks somewhat like an asian version of Amelie de Montemartre with bright red walls enclosing the buzz of hungry people conversing among steaming noodle soups and odd knick knacks. With the hot food our friends arrive and we scooch over to make space for our loves. They tell us about there day and German boys they’ve kissed and quickly the whole dinner conversation is about sex. And is just as funny as always.
Afterwards the twelve of us cram into a taxi and even though the ride is brief most of us manage to fall asleep. The other half of the class joins us at the airport and from the expensive tax free shop we order overpriced coffee that we devour in the mist of e-ciggarette smoke.
When I’m seated on board of the plane I hear all of my friends giggle and talk and snore around me. We take up almost half of this flight and I had always thought that belonging to a huge group like this would put me off, but not with these. I wish they could all move into my room and live there forever. But considering I didn’t get an eye infection from my dried out contact lens I think I should settle with wishes for now.