Good morning! I despise mornings, but the comfort of repetition in my stroll through Neukölln and ride up to Wedding (“Vedding”) is a small consolation that makes the first hour of the day palatable. If I’m lucky, the first thing I see is the Deutsche Post man with his yellow uniform, yellow bike, yellow accent shoes, and cigarette dangling from his lip.
Often the Aussie cafes serving rocket-fuel coffee aren’t open yet, as hipsterlandia does not seize the day until around 8:30 am. Instead I stop by this Turkish bakery, where the prices seem to vary depending who’s behind the register and I can add my own milk- a small miracle compared to goading baristas to concoct something resembling the default New York order of “coffee with milk.”
Burly workmen in bright overalls sip coffee from little ceramic cups and a smiling dog waits outside. He is one of many brown, dog-sized dogs that resemble proper canines in Berlin. Very few princess pooches here.
Then it’s down the U-Bahn stop at Schönleinstraße. (“Nice line street”? Germans are invited to offer a better translation here.) UPDATE- My friend Basti has provided clarification: The ending “-lein” creates the diminutive form, much like “-chen.” (Think “-ito/a” or “-inho/a” in Spanish/Portuguese.) So the correct translation would be “Beautiful Little Street,” or something to that effect. Much better!
On schedule as usual, hell yeah German efficiency.
Here comes the friendly yellow train carrying a smattering of commuters. It’s never full, and there’s never the risk of being unable to board. Even during rush hour I do not have the pleasure of having my nose shoved into someone’s armpit- a daily ritual in New York.
Ugly white outlines of Brandenburger Tor pattern the windows.
We zip past Alexanderplatz up to Voltastraße, where it’s a quick walk past towering warehouse buildings before arriving at Deutsche Welle’s main Berlin office.