#homefree February 21, 2016
The question I am asking myself today: should I change my flight and stay another week in Berlin?
A couple of days ago, 30 minutes before I was about to check in to my AirBNB my host canceled.
“Yikes! I need to find a room pronto!” was my first thought, quickly followed by, “I’m sure it will work out.”
I scrambled and quickly found a new room near Nollendorfplatz – the rainbow metro station, so decorated because apparently it’s a rainbow kind of neighborhood. The building is one of those old stone buildings where every room has 14 foot ceilings made of plaster. The room is on the 3rd floor. There’s no elevator. The stairs are made of marble. They are wide and long. This building was built in the 1880s and then it was re-built in the ’40s because a bomb destroyed everything above the 2nd floor. All the interior doors are thick solid wood, 9-feet tall, with locks that take skeleton keys. And yet all the plumbing is very modern. It has those windows that I love that open in 7 different ways.
My hostess is Anna. She’s studying homeopathic medicine and QiGong and acupuncture. We instantly hit it off. The first thing she did was walk with me to the organic grocery store 2 blocks away to buy water. I haven’t seen her for the last 2 days because I have been spending so much time walking around the city.
This morning I knocked at the living room door to say hello. Anna was lounging in a huge yellow robe. The robe was designed by her friends. It was like a yellow terrycloth boxing robe with pictures woven into it; like something from the movie set of Fight Club. Anna was talking to her friend who had just arrived from Africa. There was fruit, a huge bag of raw sugar cane, and cocoa beans spread out all over the floor. They were drying the cocoa beans. Our conversation mixed English, German, and Spanish. Anna began to tell us the tale of her adventures last night. I asked her about it because she still had glitter and sparkles and body paint on her. She said that she hadn’t slept at all, and that she ended up performing. (I left it at that.) For someone who hadn’t slept all night, she looked fresh and clear-headed.
“What’s your secret?” I asked.
“Lots of water, maca and matcha tea,” she replied instantly, “And no alcohol.”
She and her friend were about to leave to another friend’s house for brunch. Anna kindly invited me, but I declined because there was so much more I want to see of the city (and it felt to me a little too much like crashing the party).
As we started to get ready to leave, she proceeded to inform me about the club scene. She told me about the Kit Kat club. That’s where she was last night. She told me about the shows and the attitudes of Berliners. I was delighted to learn that many locals go out on Sunday for their party night instead of Friday or Saturday in order to avoid the tourists. She said that the Sunday parties last through Monday morning. I paused to think about it, “Today is Sunday, isn’t it?
As she finished getting ready to leave she gave me suggestions for cafes and local art destinations. While she tells me this, she starts to rummage through an enormous cloth handbag, pulling out things and discarding them on her bedroom floor: fishnet stockings, makeup, a banana.
I said, “You’re like the fetish version of Mary Poppins.”
We exchanged little tokens of appreciation. She gave me a small plastic heart pendant that she discovered in her pocket. I gave her a light-up yo-yo that I had picked up at a trade show.
We hugged to bid farewell. I said maybe we would meet up later today, but maybe not. She agreed, we would see what happens. We were both on the same wavelength. As she walked out the door she looked at me and said, “Follow your heart and enjoy your time on earth.”
Oh yeah. Things work out.