Around the end of the program, I was really starting to get into sort of a funk. My work schedule was becoming a little mundane, very repetitive. Wake up, get to work, make a coffee, answer emails and try to psych myself up for the day, actually do work, eat lunch, go for a walk, do more work, and go home. By the time I fared through the steamy U-Bahn ride back, all I wanted to was take a nap, finish my homework, and go to bed. My exhaustion was taking over me. It was all I could do to muster up a little energy to go out at night and socialise, much less “see Berlin.”
Sometimes beauty comes from desperation. Sometimes you need to see how bored you can get to really appreciate it when something amazing happens. Sometimes, something small can turn your entire outlook around. Like a text message.
“Vasi!!!” (that’s the nickname my close friends use for me) “Are you in Berlin? I’m in Paris and have a few extra days before my flight leaves, can I come visit?” My closest friend from college, Chelsea, texted me.
“Of course!” I responded instantly.
“OMG! YAY!!!! It’s next Wednesday- Saturday, and I just have to be at the airport saturday morning!”
So I ask my boss if I can have a few days off, which, knowing how bored I’ve been, she give me graciously.
I really, truly, had no idea how much better this would make me feel. Having a piece of home, one of your best friends, visit you in a place that you’re new (yet slightly knowledgeable about) really switches your perspectives. The tourist becomes the tour guide all of a sudden, you know your way around. At least, more than your friend does.
Suddenly, I saw Berlin through a new set of eyes. The street I walk down to get to work every single day became burstinf with life, as we stopped to read information plaques about it’s rich history with the Berlin wall. This whole time, I’d been working less than a kilometer away from Checkpoint Charlie, the gate into the American Sector of Berlin and a separator of East and West Berlin. Berlin has an abundance of free museums and art, and boy, we must have seen it all. We ended up walking around 12 miles that day, through Mitte (the middle of the city), seeing all the government buildings, to the East Side Gallery, a still standing part of the wall that has been painted with very famous works of art, and ending with a glass of wine at one of my favorite restaurants.
We hit the town that night, staying out until the sun came up, walking home beyond exhausted. But I wasn’t too tired. I felt refreshed. I felt like my soul was a denim jacket, a little worn and smelly from long wear. But I just threw that jacket into the warm cycle, and it came out looking a little better than new. I still had a month or so of experience under my belt, so I wasn’t too bright-eyed and naive, but I felt clean and energized.
My teacher had mentioned that showing a close friend or family from home around your new city could cure homesickness. She mentioned that on certain occasions she had flown in family just for this purpose. She was incredibly right. I suddenly stopped worrying about how much I missed home, and instead focused on the time I had left there.
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<p>Hi! I'm Veronica, and I'm a communications/creative writing major from the University of Southern California. I love comedy, writing, and meeting new people! I'm a self-identified cat person, yet love dogs too.</p>