As I write this I am getting ready to leave Berlin in the morning. It’s a bittersweet ending. On one hand I am excited to go and see my family and friends at school and look forward to fall semester, on the other hand I believe that this experience has been life changing in many ways, and closing the book on this chapter is going to be extremely difficult for me. I have met so many amazing friends and gone places I never thought I would get to go, both physically and emotionally. This past week alone has been a roller coaster of emotions as I’ve been trying to effectively wrap up my time here.
On Monday after work my friends and I went to see the new Spiderman movie. At work it was also an emotional day as I had to say goodbye to one of my bosses who would be traveling the rest of the week and would not be in the office. After the movie I met up with my friends at an Irish Pub we like to go to, to see the live music. It was a very relaxed and good start to the week.
On Tuesday after work I went to the Berlin Wall Memorial which is in the north east part of the city. It’s a large outside museum where various pieces of the wall are still standing. They tell the history of the area and of the various escape stories to the East. They even have a section of the “death strip” still up which is visible from a tower. It is a really moving exhibit because it shares the very personal stories of the people in that area of the city and how they too were effected when the wall went up. There was a church that for a while sat right between the sections and was a place of worship for residents of both sides until it was torn down due to heavier restrictions on coming in and out of the east. This is one of the reason I love Berlin, they are very transparent about their history and instead of hiding it, they embrace it.
On Wednesday after work my friend and I went to Mustafa’s, which is the most famous döner kebab stand in Berlin. We waited over an hour, but it was well worth the wait. It was definitely one of the best things that I have ever eaten. That night a group of us went to karaoke, which was also a great way for us to wrap up our time together.
On Thursday after work I went to the Käthe Kollowitz museum and the the Urban Nation Gallery. Both art museums, but could not be more different. Kollowitz is one of my favorite artists from the Weimar Era because she deals with a lot of difficult topics about World War 1 and loss. It was beautiful to see her work in person. The Urban Nation Gallery is a gallery of street art from all over the world and displays different techniques. After that we went to Tempelhof, which is an abandoned airport that’s been turned into a park. We met with our program liaison at a biergarten there to give her feedback about our internships. After that we went to a rooftop bar for our friends birthday.
Friday was my last day at work and they gave me a small gift to thank me and then I hung out with my supervisor for a little bit after work. That evening I hung out with my friends from the program and we went out and enjoyed our last nigh together.
On Saturday I packed up my stuff and moved out of the flat and then that evening my roommate and I went on a tour of the Dome of the Reichstag which was one of my favorite things I did here. We went at night and it was an amazing view of the city. It also included an audiotour pointing out different parts of the city and telling the history.
Yesterday we went to Hamburg as a last trip. It was a beautiful and very walkable city. We walked along the harbor and saw many different sights there. It was a great last trip to see another very different part of Germany. I even met a native that complimented me on my German skills.
Today we saw Alexanderplatz and a couple other tourist areas that we hadn’t seen since we moved here.
At my job, my boss gave me very open ended projects and the resources to complete this. I would ask him for help when I was really stuck, but for the most part I very much tried to solve everything by myself and used my resources in order to solve the problem. This also goes for the language barrier. If I don’t completely understand something I will try to use context clues in order to figure out how to respond.
This has been an amazing final week to an amazing summer.