Berlin Impressions


On my second visit to Berlin, I was based at a friend’s house in Kreuzberg.

From there I adventured forth into the unknown … back there I returned to rest and process.

These are some of my clumsily remembered impressions.


travelling through a data storm

places, streets, buildings, people
sounds, smells, shadow and light
bicycles, bicycles, bicycles

remember
look left then look right

stories friends have told me
images I can’t forget
like a girl with false moustache
robbing banks as a man

trying to meet the moroccan
takes up several days
even with three shared tongues
communication has delays

aimless stoned cycling – lovely!

stumbled onto the footy fanmeile

brandenburg gate a coke ad
football fans a coloured swirl
ferris wheel, food stalls, souvenirs
big screen primed for germany v turkey

overcast friday in kreuzberg
melancholy september day
anniversaries of failure
memories of love gone sour

better days arrive, of course
bathed in synchronicity

“no one ever steps
in the same river twice”

read this well-known saying
three times in the same week
twice in books
once in a graveyard

sunny sunny daze are long
twilight glows ‘til nine or ten
breeze enough for comfort
cool as this fabulous town


Kreuzberg Summer 2008


What a fabulous summer it was!


I didn’t come here for buildings
Monuments to pain and grief
Shadow walls of delusion
That echo disbelief

I came here for the people
The street life and the food
For the novelty of living
As a new guy in the ‘hood

To struggle with a language
Outside my comfort zone
Learning like an immigrant
The meaning of alone

Black-topped girls on bicycles
Confident and serene
Dressing down like waitresses
Cool in the Kreuzberg scene

Scruffy streets and cosy bars
Where it’s okay not to booze
Where European football
Is the conversational news

Adult soft drinks are not sticky
Black coffee is always there
With free internet on offer
Bars are not too hard to bear

No racing, rugby or Foxtel
In banks around the room
No steroid junky bouncers
Designed from a cartoon

Dickheads from the suburbs
Are nowhere to be seen
Glass and chrome are absent
Replaced with aged beams

Relaxed and cool with alcohol
Because it’s everywhere
No sign of shit-faced drinkers
With a vibe that says beware

I like it here in Kreuzberg
Friendly without airs
Covered Turkish maidens
Poverty, flowers and stairs