Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 26- Monday July 25- emotional breakdown time! Yay!

I have to start by saying our last two days in Frankfurt were crap. We were too hungover on Saturday to do anything and when we finally clawed our way out of the room to get bratwurst from a street vendor it started pouring so we left Sunday afternoon excited to get to Berlin and escape the boredom of Frankfurt. Everyone was right after all, oh well.
We were scheduled to meet the building manager of our apt in Berlin at 9pm so he could give us the lease and keys. This was confirmed on Saturday by both the building manager and the landlord who specifically requested we pay in cash. So we get to the Berlin airport we take out 1400€ in cash, we get the bus then the subway to kruezberg and it's exactly 9pm on the dot when we stroll up to the building, suitcases in hand. The guy doesn't show. Why I thought this was all going to work out without any problems is beyond me. I should know better than to assume anything will come off without a fucking problem. Bill and I take turns emailing the guy from the Internet cafe on the corner. They start out nice.."um are you coming to meet us?" and get progressively more nasty "where the fuck are you?!?!" until at 10:30 we give up and book a hostel for the night. We take a cab as it's dark out and we have a ton of cash on us, so now between the hostel and cab we are 50€ in the hole. I state out loud that I feel like the universe is trying to tell us something about Berlin. From the first time we landed in the city 3 weeks ago and now, I'm getting a negative vibe.
We wake up really early, I think both of us were just too peeved to sleep after the night before. We sit in the common room to check our email and we get a completely ludicrous email from the landlord of the building saying that we never texted the guy to meet us and he was out with his friends and he's sorry for the inconvenience and he will meet us today and blah blah blah.. He signs the email cheers. Cheers? Go fuck yourself cheers you left us stranded in the middle of a dark street in a strange city with 1400€ cash on us. We send a very strongly worded email back, the details of which are too boring to anyone else to care, but it ended with us basically being like screw you, we don't want the apartment, give us the security back.
Then we start looking for panicked alternatives. We could go to Valencia, or Barcelona, or Mallorca. The weather is great, there's beaches in all 3 of these places. We start emailing people on air bnb about apartments for the month of august. (sooo stupid, august is the busiest month anywhere in the med, there was no way we were getting anything cheap) the landlord sends us two emails back, both in a more appropriate apologetic tone and trying to convince us to take the apartment, and he would knock money off the price to make up for the money we spent on a hostel.
We still are undecided and it's approaching check out time so we get the hostel for another night. All afternoon we search. The weather still is miserable, it's 60 degrees outside on a day when half way across the world in Brooklyn it's 110. I like 110, I absolutely have no problem with extreme heat, but cold in July I cannot do. I am the type of person that is severely affected by winter, I think there an actual name for it but I never cared enough o look into it... Seasonal disorder or something?
Its getting later in the afternoon and we are starting to argue with each other because neither of us know what we should do. On top of that we have been sitting listless for the last 4 days. With the exception of cocoon on Friday night we haven't really done anything except stare at hotel room walls.
And then I started to cry. I couldn't even stop or control it, the tears just kept coming down my face. I was in a hostel in Berlin, with a suitcase full of smelly clothes that I'd trucked around all over Europe for the last 3 weeks, in depressingly cold and cloudy weather, homeless. If we took the apartment I felt like i would be miserable for 8 weeks. I was not getting any good vibes from Berlin, the people in this neighborhood were gross weird looking (that's a whole separate post I'll get to later) I don't understand a word of German and it's not exactly the most welcoming atmosphere. If we made a drastic and rash move to somewhere else we would spend a lot more money, we would have to fight to get our security deposit back and there was uncertainty there also. What if I hated Valencia too?
Bill tried to make me feel better by suggesting we go down the street for doner kebaps, and it was the most delicious and big doner kebap sandwich I ever had, (as you can clearly see below!) but it still didn't stop the tears. I kept my sunglasses on and just sniffled to myself in the corner. I don't know how I did it, but I had dug myself into the most depressive hole. I think that i was just super homesick, I wanted to be back in a familiar place with all my friends and all my stuff and not have to deal with the uncertainty that comes with this kind of travel.

We went back to the room and I spent the next two hours silent reading my book. Bill finally got some responses about the apartments but everything was wildly expensive for august. He emailed the landlord back and told him we would move into the apt tomorrow.
Our friend Dave had also emailed us and said he was stopping by after he got out of work to meet us for a drink. A familiar face, a couple of beers and hours of conversation later I felt much better. We could do is, we would stick it out and after talking about all the things we wanted to do it actually started to seem like it would be fun. Daves girlfriend Miriam would be joining him in berlin permanently in a couple of days from Barcelona so we actually will have a lively little group to hang with. Things are looking up, but we still weren't in the apt yet so I went to bed with fingers crossed and not assuming anything.



  1. awww so glad you bounced back. Sort of reminds me of top chef when some are put to the test over and over and things do not go right. You can bet someone will be homesick big time. So you did make the right decision. Your guardian Angels guided you in your thoughts. So now with another couple it will seem less isolated for the next few weeks for you both.
    Be well, and just think in another couple of days, Claire, you will be having an overseas birthday celeb. xoxo to you both

  2. Could you make this Kebap for us when you get home?