Berlin, how've you been?
You're often overlooked when travel destinations come to mind but that shouldn't be the case.
While the Alicantes and Romes of the world are despairing at their vanishing visitors and empty beaches, you're the level-headed, Teutonic city we need at the moment. You've lived through being bisected by a wall and two World Wars, after all. We won't get into who started them.
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Then there's the fact that your concrete blocks and dirty cobbles are never going to appear on a brochure any time soon. Arschhasslich is an ugly word, but Berlin you're a mess. However, the fact you don't care is to your credit.
Summers are spent cycling the runway of what was once Tempelhof Airport and is now an inner-city park, or going swimming in an outdoor bath that could easily be mistaken for a duck pond. (It could be the actual ducks.) These are all signs that in the Hauptstadt appearance is only skin-deep. Berlin will give time of day to anyone.
After all, scruffy cities have the best stories.
I remember a family holiday to Berlin with my father. It was instantly the most interesting place I'd been.
While he wanted to see Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall, I desperately wanted to explore the city myself.
I'd thought the easiest way to lose my dad was to buy tickets to a concert of pink-haired punks: Die Goldenen Zitronen.
I wasn't quite sure who they were, but I knew he wouldn't like them. I think he realised this was the point. So, he insisted on coming too. Stubbornness is a family trait.
The concert was awful. However, music from the aging East German punk band didn't ruin the mood. No-one thought it odd or thought to question why a father and son would spend the evening at a rock show. At least, I assume they knew we were related?
It's a fond memory.
Hab' Kraft, Berlin. You spent 30 years separated from your neighbours. What's four weeks of lockdown?