How Berliners Handle Their Heat

Vasi Best
June 28, 2016

Weeks I’ve been in Berlin: 5

Schnitzels eaten: 7? (I should really be keeping track)

Soccer games watched: 4

Times I’ve done my laundry: lets not talk about it

New Word of the Week: Studenten Ermässigung- student discount!!!!

I can’t believe I’ve been here for five weeks? I’ve gotten to the point where my “I’m new to the city” excuse isn’t really that cute anymore. I feel a lot more comfortable on the subways and trams now, since it’s where I spend a good 40% of my time. The city and all its parts are starting to connect and flow, to make sense to me. I don’t feel like a tourist on holiday, but more a part of the city. I have places to be (okay, one place to be: work) and I’m not floating around, looking for something to do all of the time.

Most of my time is really spent either commuting to work or at work. The few days a week I have class are just a little bit more of extra fun. I’m definitely not getting enough sleep and I miss home like crazy.

Anyways, this past week I experienced something I never expected to in the North. Heat. Like smoldering, humid, sticky, heat, with no air conditioning to find solace in. I hadn’t expected anything like this, and brought close to zero warm weather acceptable clothes, and was forced to just roll up my jeans and carry a stick of deodorant around with me.

The office physically melted. Me and my coworkers turned from productive and chatty to slow and lethargic people. One of the girls from my office, on her lunch break, went out and bought a kiddie pool, complete with mini inner tubes for your beer to float around with you. We blew up the whole thing, brought around chairs, and worked on our laptops with our feet in the water. It was hilarious, felt great, and probably the most interesting thing that happened to me all week.

Finally, the weekend rolled around, and the people of Berlin left the crowded, heat absorbing asphalt to the tourists and scattered around to the various lakes outlining the city. I, being a total Berliner now, hit up the Schlactensee, which is near my house, with a friend. Both of us seem to really enjoy nature, walking in nature, and sitting in nature, so it worked out pretty well. Fun fact! Schlacten in German means slaughter! This was not known until I was already in the water at the lake, so it was accepted as is and not dwelled (dwellt?) upon. Some things are better left to mystery (and Google Translate).

So we went down to good old “Slaughter lake”, armed with nothing but a blanket and a need for cold water surrounding us. Soon we found out we were vastly underprepared (hungry), and called in backup. Our two friends, showing their true American southern gentlemanliness, kindly restored our ammo (they brought us bread and a bottle of Rose).

We spent the rest of day lazily wading in the water, swimming, and sitting out. I never thought that we would last longer than the seemingly never-ending heat, but, much to my surprise, it eventually started to rain and thunder, so we left.

The rest of the weekend went by without much event. I’ve been going to the Flohmarkt in Mauerpark every Sunday, mostly for the good food. They have a burrito stand there, and every time I get one, I feel a little closer to home. The man working it is either impressed or confused by my mix of spanish, english, and german, all terribly pronounced. It may not come in Styrofoam, or even slightly resemble mexican food, but it tastes very good.

You never realize how much you take Chipotle for granted until you’re halfway across the world. And you don’t even know what I’d do to get some Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I’m even starting to miss kale, which are words I didn’t think I would ever say.

I ended off Week #5 by watching Germany in the Euro cup. The soccer scene here is intense. I’d compare it to American Football in a lot of ways, especially in that it really brings people closer together. There’s not really a feeling better than when Germany scores, and where ever you are suddenly electrifies, with people standing on their feet, cheering. Walking home, you see cars with flags honking at each other in congratulations and drunk groups of friends all singing their ways home.

I think I’ve managed to handle the German heat, literally and figuratively. We’ll see what the next weeks have to offer.

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Vasi Best

<p>Hi! I&#39;m Veronica, and I&#39;m a communications/creative writing major from the University of Southern California. I love comedy, writing, and meeting new people! I&#39;m a self-identified cat person, yet love dogs too.</p>

2016 Summer 1, 2016 Summer 2
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University of Southern California
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