My third night in Neukölln is the best night’s sleep I have had since arriving. I sleep soundly, without nightmares, and awake feeling refreshed and absolutely enthused for my new adventure. Today I leave Neukölln for Pankow, to meet and stay with my second couchsurfing hosts on the other side of Berlin.
On the S-Bahn over I feel my heart rising with anticipation. The tears of my first day swelling beneath the surface. Transition is hardest when you have nothing solid to hold on to. But I tell myself to take a deep breath. This is one of the things I need to learn to be better with. Transition. Change. Finding solace and comfort in myself. Finding stability in my bones.
I take the S-Bahn to Wollankstrasse, and walk the five minute distance to Brehmestrasse. This was a much better arrival than my previous one already. Clear directions to the apartment I am due to stay in, and a midday arrival too, giving me plenty of time to be lost and found! Thankfully, I arrive at my destination without a hiccup. Success!
I stand in front of the huge doors fronting the apartment block and ring the doorbell which reads ‘Ettinger-Majewski’. The only things I know about Anders and his family are that they live in a communal type arrangement, live sustainable lives, and are self-described anarchists and Gaia lovers. The intercom fuzzes and a voice speaks out, “Hello?”
“Hi, it’s Hope.”
“Ahh yes, come on up, third floor.”
As I climb the stairs, I notice that the walls are decorated sporadically with painted illustrations of climbing stick figures and trees. I reach the third floor and meet Anders. We shake hands. Continue reading