Berlin’s Gift #7 – A whole lot of everything

Better late than never – here’s Berlin’s gift #7. For a recap of all gifts, please check

Every city has something special to offer; landmarks, great shopping opportunities, rivers, arts etc. The list is so long that one fails to mention even a small important portion of them.

This time, as Berlin’s seventh gift, we want to share our feelings about this city, why we keep living here while others are moving away, while people keep complaining about money, while nobody really wants to live here although they all share one thought; Berlin ist geil !

Mete starts:
“I am pretty new in Berlin, been here for five years now. Back then when I arrived in Berlin for the very first time at Bahnhof Zoo, looking completely like an outsider, waiting at the red lights to cross the street, I fell in love with the city. At first sight. It was the feeling of warmth and being welcome somewhere, it was as if I had lived here for such a long time, had been away for a short period and had come back again to my native land. I loved the city because nobody plays anything here. almost everybody is geniuine and they stick to themselves, they do not try being someone else. ı felt so great during my first ride in the subway chatting to a stranger I did not know at all, as if she was my destiny for the rest of my life. In years I realized what Berlin is really about, it’s about being free, it’s about being anonymous if you want to and present when you want to. It’s being with the city and not being only in the city. Survival is written big letters here; if you want to stay here you should be meant to stay here. There’s no mercy, we don’t tolerate pretenders.”

I more or less moved here in summer 2001. Getting out of high school I really needed to get away fast. Coming here, my intension was to go study, but I never got to that really. It did take a while until I got settled in, but ever since it’s been a fun ride. I really love Berlin and this Metroblogging thing really is a goody for me, since it allows me to brag about my city all the time.
Living in Berlin also made me very conservative when I match the city with other places I go to. I find myself to constantly say, “but in Berlin it’s like this and that”, “Berlin got this” and “I am so used to this” – for example, you will not find another metro as cheap (inexpensive) as Berlin. Rent, living, going out – it really rocks if you are not blessed with six figure income, and most people here are not. ;-)
But I stay here not just because my rent is so low, I’ve also met a lot of people here who became my friends. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Most of them are not from the city originally, so we share this thing about a city where we moved to and feel right at home.

i’ve been living in Berlin for a mere two years. Having visited the city multiple times per year since 2000 (money was good, airfare was low) I decided to make the move after getting laid off by a large telecom that was sinking into bankruptcy. When just a wee lad i had discovered a spiritual connection with the german expressionists and the cultural flourishing of the interwar years in Babylon on the Spree. Today’s Berlin, while wildly different after the years of dictatorship, war and division, still holds a seed of that same excitement and cultural freedom. A city of glorious failures and small successes. After two years i feel that I have barely scratched the surface of this time travel machine metropolis and many of my friends (from elsewhere in Germany or beyond its borders) who have lived here much longer than i, agree that there is always something new to discover beyond the familiar facades. Perhaps it is the cheap rents, the high unemployment, the post-catastrophic atmosphere, the Berliner Schnauze or the Berliner Luft, but there is definitely something going on around here… so perhaps that is the gift that i most appreciate – in this world of drearily entropic mechanical reproduction the angels of Berlins provide unpredictability…


  • hoffnungsvolle Träume und niederschmetternde Realität
  • umfangreiches kulturelles Ausspannen, ständiger größstädtiger Stress
  • vielfältige berufliche Möglichkeiten und viehmastähnliche kostenlos
    gehaltene Praktikantenbatterien
  • Möglichkeiten extrem gegensätzliche oder erschreckend ähnliche,
    gleichgesinnte Menschen zu finden

And that is it for Berlin’s 7 gifts to the world in 2006! We’ll be back with more next year…

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