My place in Weißensee is a building site (evidence later!), so Callum very kindly offered to let me crash at his, since he was yet again not in residence for most of the three days. Very handy. It’s always a mystery adventure, finding out where he’s staying his particular month, getting the keys. This time it was a detailed phone call of where his new office was, the building layout, and the door they don’t have keys for… which in the end, was superfluous, as a totally different plan was hatched… 3 photos arrive in my message window. Ah ha. Yup, I get it. Sorted. >:-)
The apartment is very handy to Tegel airport. Sadly, I fly into Schönefeld… late, yet again. This time it seems ATC at Berlin was partly down, as was the boarding pass recognition system for just the Berlin flights. When I did finally get in about 2pm, I found the card payment system on the BVG ticket machines was also down. As I heard from my friend Sarah later, it seems some failure across a variety of public systems. I blame those pesky IT types, myself. Some update gone horribly wrong…. I didn’t get to test my new prepaid Visa debit/cashcard until later on at the Geldautomat (happily exempt from IT disaster). Anyway, I got to Wedding, got the keys, got in, sorted, hooked up to Wi-fi…
Small mission out for yoghurt and grapefruit to keep me going, assemble guitar for a minor twiddle, sort out my agenda. Met up with Andrew, the pleasantly crazy Canadian friend of Kev’s for a post-work beer, “Burger wie immer” and chat at Jagerklause. He’s off to a small invite-only stoner rock festival at the weekend, so we chat about that, about Berlin, learning the German language, saunas, downhill mountain biking, Canada, bands, apartments, life in general – and Finnish people. Of course. What with the national trait of uncomfortable silence (and being uncomfortable with themselves) the culture of keeping all feelings repressed, high alcohol consumption and long long dark winters – I muse that it’s perfect conditions for songwriting – it’s no surprise that the per-head incidence of (often fabulously gloomy) metal bands is higher there than anywhere else. Great fun, then we part ways about 8:30 – Andrew to pick up his camping stove from somewhere WAAAAAAY out in the eastern sticks, me to meet Sarah out in P’berg after her mission to drop off a karaoke DVD at Blackland.
Sarah’s new job has her very tired, but once we settle in the kebab shop with some food and a couple of beers, the sparkle comes back into her eyes and we have a great chat about life, the universe and everything. The power of music and of singing together. The complications of relationships. Plans and hopes. What we’ve both been up to since last we met. It’s great, really great – such a good end to an already good evening.
Berlin, and the people I know here are very special to me. I feel I could belong. That in some ways I already do.