Fall snuck up on me this year, and suddenly I am freezing cold and wondering what happened. Fear not, though, I have already began an ambitious collection of hats to wear this year, and with chickpeas on the top of my shopping list, I should get sufficient protein to make it through yet another winter. Wherever you turn, frightening stories are being told about the continental winter in Berlin. Vilmos went so far as to draw parallels our all time favorite German rap idol Sido, who famously said that certain body parts could easily fall victim to the cold that is yet to come. But very fittingly, the change of season coincides with things that are currently happening to me, namely my long-anticipated move to Berlin where I am set to lead that grown-up lifestyle in my home an native land. So here I am, listening to Sparklehorse in a café, since they are renovating my temporary home, clinging to a hot cup of tea and looking for jobs online.
This place is everything that is both right and wrong about the times we live in, since it is exclusively populated by people huddled behind their laptops, each seemingly working on their respective futures. I see room ads on their screens, job websites and half of the people here speaks some foreign language.
This is actually something that has always struck me about Berlin, the whole place seems to be in a state of flux, people coming and going, building things up and generally so much happening- this feeling has always made place special for me. Yet I am only beginning to explore it now and still feel somewhat overwhelmed by the city, the many people, the places and possibilities. Typically, this manifests itself in either getting lost or making the discovery that places you did not know were even close to one another. It always surprises me just how I manage to to make the connection in my head and how cluelessly I wander through the world. Especially Anika looks at me in a mix of amusement and bewilderment whenever I exclaim that I had absolutely no idea that this place was at the given location. As a matter of fact, I just googled a place I was at a few weeks back only to find out that is is in fact across the street. I am a champion.
SoI looked online for a term to describe this state and all I could come up with was “directionally challenged”- a term that seems to conjure up all the wrong images. So I leveraged the power of the internet and quickly got some better terms:
- going scalar
- loosing your imaginary component
- being discombobulated
- being geospatially challenged
- being dimensionally confused
- being like a rolling stone
I like all of those. Yet at the risk of sounding eloquently challenged, there’s something to the simple term direction, since I get the rewarding feeling that I am now in a place where I can actively work on the overall direction that I am taking, in the broader sense of the word. I get to dig through a relentless stream of job ads every day, write letters about how skilled I am and why they should hire me and send copies of my freshly-received Master’s diploma around. (Unfortunately not the unnecessarily preppy Latin version that I received in the mail). And when I am not doing that, I can walk through the streets of Berlin, suddenly even with Anika, wait for my own room to free up and wonder how to establish a social life when you are not attending university. It is all one big project and I am the rolling stone.