One Week in Berlin

First Weekend in Berlin2015-04-12 15.36.232015-04-12 15.32.132015-04-11 17.00.512015-04-11 16.14.142015-04-11 16.16.45

This post is for those who would like news of my adventures.

I have been in Berlin for one week already. I have gone to milongas almost every night. I have met a few people and have danced a bit. I got my cell phone hooked up with a German phone number (so if anyone has the app What’s App you can find me now at: +49 – 15753564080.

I managed to register myself as a resident of Berlin. This is necessary for me to obtain other things and to apply for a freelance visa if I choose to stay in Berlin. This was an interesting process. There are several locations throughout the city that you can register. Technically you have to make an appointment online and show up at your time slot. This is after obtaining some kind of written note saying that you live at a certain address signed by the person you are staying with (ideally!) As I was stressing about this a german tango friend made a phone call to this office and found out that they actually don’t have any more online appointments until July! She was explaining to me how humane she found these office workers to be as the woman on the line explained to her that it was their fault and that I could drop in to an office and that would be fine. With all this handy information a couple of other german (non-tango) friends prepared a short document stating that I am living with them (which I am) and we went all together to one of these offices – called Bürgeramt. Arriving 1/2 hour prior to their opening there was a short line of people already waiting. From this office we were given a number and told to go to the 4th floor! We were there at 9:30am, office opened at 10am, we were given numbers about 10:20am for appointments at 10:50am and 11:00am. We were all out of there by 11:30am with our housing document! This paper is needed for me to get health insurance and a bank account and anything else (I’m told!). Apparently you have to change your address with this office anytime you move and when I leave Germany permanently I must unregister with them 14 days prior to my departure. So there you have it. My first major task done!

I have to say that I was told by one of my favorite dancers here in Berlin, that he was happy to see me in this desert. Imagine – there are 2 – 3 milongas every night here! But I’m slowly discovering, like with everything, not every milonga is the right fit!

I had a really nice first weekend. On Saturday one of my new German friends took me to Teufelsberg. (click to go to wikipedia). What an ominous place. This is the former US listening station. We did not get there early enough to take the tour or to explore inside. Which means I will have to return. But it rises up into the sky in the middle of this forest. This hill that it sits upon is comprised of all the rubble from the war. It was a beautiful day so there were plenty of people out and about, walking, biking, picnicking. There was a wind blowing too and I almost took some video just to see if the sound would have come through as the wind blows through the main tower. As with most things in Berlin, there is graffiti all around. And so when I go back I’m sure there will be pictures of that! It truly looked like a scene out of a movie.

On Sunday I went to Mauerpark. There is a gynormous flea market here. It’s like the Feria in Recoleta meets the Swap Meet in Phoenix, meets the above average food street fair! Not to mention the biggest outdoor karaoke scene I have ever seen!!! And being one of the first beautiful days, EVERYONE was out! It was a nice weekend. Now with one major endeavor under my belt we will see what happens next.

Abrazos to all of you and thanks for reading the blogs!

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