okay, this is clearly hyperbole. but there is a lot about berlin that reminds me of sun god: it is nonstop, nonjudgmental, and a little bit insane. you are free to be strange, and indeed strange is “the norm.” in many ways, strange becoming the mainstream has corrupted the subversiveness of berlin’s punk movement. rebel has been replaced by hipster, graffiti has become street art, and drugs are consumed like water. but corrupted or not, berlin is a world away from my reality in asia the past four months. it is refreshing, compelling, and a great place to “come next” in my life’s chain of events.
i arrived in berlin last wednesday after saying my goodbyes to amber, kelley and shane from shanghai. our last few days together were ideal, i think. kelley, amber and i climbed mount huashan, “the most precipitous mountain in all of the world” according the mountain’s veritable hiking signs.
it was steep. srsly.
reaching the summit was a “fait accompli” of our day’s sweat (and laughter), symbolic and cliche of our four months of travel and volunteering. we took our last uncomfortable overnight train from xi’an to shanghai, drank a round of unpleasant chinese beer, shared many of our pleasant memories. we did so again at our last supper (the kitchen, shanghai) over a beautiful view of the bund, partied till 5am and saw amber off. and then all of a sudden, things were over.
i found myself doing a lot of questioning about what should come next for me. my journal pages are scattered with notes like “travel with less purpose?,” “have fun,” “take a vacation,” etc. probably, though, my best observation of travel ending is that something has to come next. life goes on after those crazy epic adventures. it is punctuated by times more memorable than others, but nonetheless those pieces – epic of not – are your life. something had to come after the giveyourgap travels. why NOT berlin?!
and thus i arrived here, a bit confused and tired from backpacking but ready to experience whatever berlin had to offer. such as…
its famous street art:
good places to people watch and ponder blog posts:
to turkey on thursday. see ya!