We’re on our third week of our sojourn in Berlin and the stay has been pleasant. Prenzlauer Berg, the neighborhood we’re residing in, is a nice change from our living conditions in France. The atmosphere exudes calmness, and the scenery is set with tall colorful buildings and tree-lined streets. Walking around the residential area we’ve noticed a mix of students, hipsters, and young parents. We’ve never seen so many toddlers on bikes and babies in strollers on the street. The sidewalks are wide and spacious in Berlin and never feels overcrowded, even with bicyclists on the path. It’s a nice change from the cramped sidewalks in France, where people are often bumping and shouldering each other.
And with the cold temperature outside, everyone is bundled up. The sun sets early at 4 p.m. and when it’s not sunny, it is dreary. At night Berlin is a dark city. The street lamps are dim and at times when we’ve walked in certain parts of the residential area, it is so quiet and dark it feels deserted. And with just a hint of light from the post lamp, it reminds me of the ‘outside-of-the-house’ scene from the “Exorcism”. But set my creepy feelings aside, it is perfectly harmless and safe.
Food and Grocery Shopping
What we love and appreciate is that Berlin is big on organic and vegan food. Just from our apartment, there are five organic groceries within walking distance, with one being a vegan grocery store. There are also plenty of vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants in Prenzlauer Berg and all of Berlin. Someone who is on a plant-based diet like we are would have no problem eating in this city.
Veganz, the organic vegan store we now frequently shop at, also has a cafe/bakery. Everything we have tried from this part of the store has been super tasty. They have some raw desserts in addition to other vegan treats, and the food they serve–wraps, bagel sandwiches, smoothies, and soups–have all been very delicious. They also stock fresh food and desserts daily in the cold section, which has also been scrumptious. Our favorite treats at Veganz’s bakery have been the apple pear crumble, lemon berry scone, and the chocolate chip cookie. It is a vegan’s paradise for good food, yummy treats and desserts.
Our apartment is located in a nice residential area next to a park, where I’ve had the pleasure to run on the dirt trails for some good ol’ cardio outdoor. And for the actual living space, we are thrilled to have some decent space for what we’ve been paying abroad. The apartment is spacious and comfortable at 764 sq. ft. A couple of minor hindrances of the apartment for me seems to be the kitchen sink and the bathroom mirror, which is too tall for my barely five-foot-one height. My shoulder-neck area is strained when washing dishes as I’m rinsing at chest to collarbone level, and the only body part I can see of myself in the bathroom mirror is my forehead. It seems the space is indeed designed for all those tall Germans!
That’s my brief update on our new living conditions — so far so good in Deutschland!