A Tale of One city

by Anesu Mbizvo (South Africa)

I didn't expect to find Germany


A tale of one city When it comes to planning travel, cities can often be compared to the sad dregs remaining after a rich cup of coffee: leftover and over shadowed by the delicious indulgence of the brew, with most people not realizing that the true flavor of a place, is made from the spice of the cities within it. I’ve always enjoyed traveling, roaming around and then later personifying a place based on my experiences, and in doing so have come to realize that cities ALWAYS have the best characters. Now while I will never turn down a tropical beach escape, I have learnt to savor the unique experiences city holidays bring to the table by always making a note to include a city stay in my travel itinerary. A short trip to Berlin was what truly sold me on the idea of holidaying in a city. Thin, gaunt and with angular features, Berlin has a first impression that will chill even the most experienced traveler. Her stare is hypnotic and her walk is more of a lazy sway from one foot to the other even though when you try to keep up with her it feels like she’s walking a mile a minute. As soon as my plane landed I felt her inertia. The banter of the airport staff about their weekend plans, plus the instantaneous switching on of cellphones as soon as the flight touched down, gave me an instant feeling of excitement and anticipation. I had booked myself into an Airbnb in the middle of town, in an area full of vegan cafes, craft cocktail bars and thrift stores and although I had initially planned to treat my time in Berlin as a slightly extended layover,as soon as I walked into the Victorian style home playing reggae with pressed ceilings and wooden floors I knew that my trip was going to be special. My next two days in Berlin where a whirl-wind, most of which I can’t remember. As if in a frenzied dance I laughed, cycled, ate, drank, shopped, cried and sang in the belly of a city that seems made for those searching for freedom. I didn’t expect to find anything in Berlin and ended up finding what I was subconsciously always looking for - liberation. So if the word “freedom” intrigues you and you (like me) prefer not being told what to do, here’s some non-spoiler tit bits I picked up from Berlin: This is a city for the movers and shakers, the people who love dust filled jazz bars on Thursdays and roof-top chills on Sunday afternoons. She’s the type of city with an ever changing soundtrack - aqapella spoken word on some days and lazy hip-hop on others. She’s a city for the misfits who know exactly what they dislike and spend almost all of their time changing up what they love. Berlin can make friends with every body and often acts as a mirror of your own dislikes and desires. She’s constantly fickle about what’s the new in thing, but always loyal for those who know what they want. Her style will keep you guessing and her odd mix of designer outfits with ripped and hole-filled sneakers may appear intimidating at first. However, after an exaggerated and self indulgent puff from her doobie and an awkward and thorough look over, she will open up her arms, impregnate the air with a full bellied laugh and embrace you as one of her own. I never expected to feel at home in a buzzing German city, but Berlin proved me wrong and changed my perception of city vacays forever.