I Love Berlin
In late 2008, on my second long-term trip, the first thing I did was return to Berlin. I wanted to see if I could live there a bit – try to be a local in Berlin – maybe find a job, get a cute apartment in Prenzlauer Berg and soak up life in the exciting capital for a while.
The Berlin Job Question
I didn’t really know what I was going to do, but IF a job of some kind materialized (I interviewed to be a director at a video game company – directing actors to re-record voice-overs in English; I made some in roads at Deutsche Welle TV; and I was already freelancing for Cornelsen Publishing), I was thinking maybe I could stay there a year or so? I had no idea really, that was the beauty of my travels—no schedule, no dates, no pressure. But I did get ahead of myself actually and found my way to the crazy German Immigration office (Ausländerbehörde –the first thing I did was learn how to say that!) to find out about getting a residency/work permit. I waited on line to get the forms and info but they really encourage you to speak German (nein) or to bring a German with you (nein). So when I got to the window…of course my lady didn’t speak English (sprechen sie Englisch??…NEIN!). I muddled through and got the forms I needed. I was told it was hard to get approved, but I was optimistic and even got two letters in writing from the people who had interviewed me. It was sort of just for info I suppose, but was an act in futility really. It made for an interesting day though.
I am sure I could have stayed longer and made something happen, but as I often do, I just got antsy and confused as to what the hell I was doing, so I left town and continued to travel.
Back in Berlin
Fast forward to 2013, I am once again being drawn back to Berlin. This time it is to live there in the hot neighborhood of Freidrichshain in a furnished apartment. My friend and fellow travel blogger, Sherry Ott, and I are going to be rooming together, but more than that, we are part of a new experiment.
I often talk about getting local on here and how much I like to immerse myself in the places to which I travel. Well, now we are going to be doing that literally.
For the entire month of March, Sherry and I will live in a ‘Go with Oh’ rental apartment in East Berlin. We have been tasked with the assignment to uncover whether it is really possible to actually live like a local and if so, how?
So you can bet I will be doing this the best way I know how: through food! We will be hosting dinner parties each week and inviting local German bloggers, journalists, and friends to come cook and eat with us. We also plan to learn some German (ja!), have bicycles to get around like many of the locals, take local yoga classes, and get schooled by Berliners in their ‘hoods, their food, and what day-to-day life is really like in the exciting German capital. For more current updates…make sure you ‘like’ my Facebook Page (if you haven’t already!) where I will check in with daily photos and give you a glimpse into our experiement!
‘Go with Oh’ will be observing, capturing and sharing our progress through live updates on their website as well.
–>Other ways to follow along:
Follow and add your opinion to the hashtag #GWOlocal on twitter
Facebook pages where we will be posting photos and updates from our experiments in Berlin:
Plus – check out and enter the Go with Oh Facebook competition they are running in order to win your very own weekend for two in Berlin.
What do you think? What does it mean to really get local? Can a foreigner be a local? How long does it take? Months? Years? I don’t think I will be a local, but I will have fun trying to become one as much as possible!
Disclosure: Living la Vida Local is an initiative brought to you by Go With Oh. As always, all views expressed here are my own.