This morning I got up at 5 and said goodbye to my poor boyfriend, who kindly got up at the same crazy time to drive me to Gatwick Airport. I flew to Berlin’s Schönefeld Airport where my wonderful friend Sabrina met me with a giant hug just before midday 🙂
We came very close to getting off to a bad start when we had our train tickets checked just outside the airport, after I had just uttered the words ‘oh, they never check tickets!’ to Sabrina, who was on a A + B zone ticket and hadn’t realised the airport is in Zone C! So Sabrina technically had the wrong ticket, and we had been far too excited by sunshine in Berlin and lugging my giant bag that we had been bad German citizens and forgotten to validate mine… But instead of fining us 80 euros between us, the nice man let Sabrina get off at the next station to validate her poor, innocent English friend’s ticket, and he didn’t even notice her incorrect ticket as a consequence! Phew! The sunshine was clearly a good luck charm 🙂
So, having saved €80, we decided a lunchtime celebration was in order because it was gone 1 by the time we neared my soon-to-be apartment. We passed a falafel place on the tram into the city centre and that was our cravings sorted: falafel for lunch it was! We sat outside Dada Falafel on Linienstraße and toasted to a wonderful day to arrive in beautiful Berlin!
Then we dragged the dead body that is my suitcase round the corner to the crossing between Reinhardtstraße and Friedrichstraße to the flat I will be staying in for the next four weeks. It belongs partly to the Berlin School of English and partly to the German government, apparently – but more interesting than that is the fantastic view it affords out over the River Spree to the TV Tower and Museum Island 🙂 If only I could find and afford such a flat for my permanent residence!
I am staying with two other girls from my course: one lovely Romanian/Italian/American girl about my age called Ingrid, and one slightly older and super cool American called Alex. After exchanging initial excitable pleasantries, we all went on a trip to good old Edeka the supermarket for some food, made even easier with Sabrina’s navigational help! Almost all shops in Germany shut on Sundays for a quiet weekend day, which in principle I find a great idea – but when I need milk, fruit and sustenance for an intensive week of studying, I find less than ideal! Thankfully the Edeka in Friedrichstraße train station is an exception to the rule, and was therefore correspondingly packed! But we got our household bits and bobs for our lovely flat, and packed our goods into our pre-prepared plastic bags like good German citizens, and then all toddled back to the flat to put things in the fridge.
Despite my initial urges to unpack and spend the afternoon studying, Berlin excitement and the gorgeous weekend sunshine got the better of me, and so Sabrina (the Cake Queen) and I went to Princess Cheesecake on Tucholskystraße for ‘Cheesecake to go’ (!!!) We had to wait a few minutes inside the very chic boutique cafe for our coffees and our cheesecake slice to be packed up, but then we took it down to the riverbank near Museum Island and sat with all the other sun-loving folk watching the tourist boats go by, and rejoicing in how wonderful the day was, had been, and how much we are looking forward to lots more similar days…
This evening is unpacking and going over some grammar notes, and then tomorrow it’s time to get the CELTA show on the road…wish me luck!