I guess I should start off by admitting that moving across the world to a city you have never visited, with a language you barely (barely) speak, and where you only know a few people, is pretty crazy. But, for whatever reason – maybe wanderlust, maybe reckless abandon – it didn’t seem that crazy to me until I was waiting in line to board a plane destined for Germany.
After a long night of travel, a few Oscar nominated movies & three episodes of The Big Bang Theory, we finally landed in Deutschland! Even though I wanted to enjoy our first cab ride through Berlin and take in the sights of our new city, I was too exhausted to stay awake. When we finally got to the apartment and hauled all of our luggage up to the third (European ‘second’) floor I collapsed and napped for a few hours. Alex had to rush off to a meet & greet with his new coworkers who took him out for hamburgers. He thought they were kidding (“Let’s take the American to get hamburgers…”) but what he found out was that Berliners love burgers! Which is pretty awesome.
After some more napping and showering, we finally ventured out into the streets of Berlin for the first time. It was bustling – there were long lines outside of the currywurst & kebab shops (I’ll describe those some other time) and people whizzed by on bikes. We had dinner in a pleasant restaurant called Little Tibet; which was exciting because it was the first time either of us had tried Tibetan food. *Side note: We found out that Yelp isn’t very active here and that Foursquare is more popular for restaurant reviews…sad day. I will continue to leave Yelp reviews for all of my fellow USA expats! 🙂
One big thing that became apparent right away was the difference between experiencing a city as a tourist and as a resident. Just knowing that we would be hanging around for a while changed how we experienced Berlin for the first time. We weren’t looking on the buildings, stores & sights as tourists; we were experiencing them as prospective residents. Now that we have been here for a few days we have started to seek out some of the “touristy” stuff – palaces, monuments, museums, etc. So far we have just walked by these sights, pausing to take a few photos or Snapchats, and added the landmark to our mental bucket-lists of things to do someday.
There’s no hurry to see, eat or experience everything Berlin has to offer right away – we’ve got time.