I arrived back to Berlin after an amazing trek across the U.S. I spent a few days at home in Columbus and enjoyed the beginning of fall. We drove to a wedding in Asheville, NC, drove up through DC and then to Boston to fly out. It was so refreshing to be around so many friends and family. I also got to see many friends I hadn’t seen for years, making it even more special.
I have been back 2 weeks and haven’t seen the sun for more than about an hour in total. The consistent grey sky has made it clear that the dark, Berlin winter is here. The drab weather creates a subdued attitude across the city and people slowly become hermits. When asked once in high school if I could be any color of crayon in the box, I responded enthusiastically with, ‘Sunshine Yellow.’ The warmth of the sun makes me adventurous and motivated. But alas I have taken up residence in Berlin – one of the bleakest winter cities.
While I have lived through one Berlin winter, it seems I have forgotten its ability to instill a deep desire to be a lazy ass. I will note that I don’t think Berlin’s winter is any worse than Indiana, just different. In Berlin one is outside considerably more – walking to the train, waiting for the bus, drinking mulled wine at the Christmas market (OK that one isn’t too bad).
Despite the understanding that the sun may hide for the next few months, I am determined to find the ‘sunny’ things within the city. For starters, my boyfriend moved to Berlin a few weeks ago. There’s few better feelings than a long-distance relationship becoming a same-city relationship. It’s nice to have someone to talk with (or just listen to me talk) and the dishes have never been so clean. I’m excited to explore new areas of the city and show him why living in this crazy city is so great. He pushes me to crawl out of my winter shell and brave the cold (he also literally pushes me around a lot which is nice.)
Despite the winter feeling, we’ve been trying to find ways to make it a bit better. With winter comes warm drinks, candles, fires and an overall feeling of coziness. Bars and restaurants are a haven from the brisk streets, offering unique events throughout the cold months.
The cold also creates a nice atmosphere to ‘work’ on my thesis. We made an IKEA trip last weekend and I got a new desk. Now I can at least make my books and papers nicely placed. On the note of IKEA – yes we made a couples trip to pick out some furniture. We did have a few disagreements – mostly it’s interesting to realize how scary it is when you realize how differently the other person is thinking when you thought you were on the same page. Like, who knew there were so many bookshelf heights!! Also I will say it is a perfect winter activity – they have food, unlimited coffee, hours of browsing and the sense of wanting to be organized is instilled.
I’m excited to find more soul-warming activities that invoke similar feelings as the sun. The days will get even shorter, bur hopefully the fun is just beginning. If you’d like to help in my journey to spring, I willingly accept packages full of hand warmers, teas and socks 🙂