I feel as though my anxiety over Berlin & perhaps life in general, has finally & thankfully subsided & I have actually begun enjoying myself. Hoorah! Yesterday afternoon, whilst sipping fruity cocktails with a bearded Swedish guy I met down in Kreuzberg (more on that later), I realised that I spend most of my time tense & riddled with anxiety. I seem to have an inane inability to simply enjoy the moment & relax. Constantly worrying that I should be doing more, seeing more, that my life should be more than what it is.
The thing is, when I think about it, life simply evolves organically. Everything in my life, good & bad, has naturally occurred, regardless of my forceful intentions, impatience & usual pushy tendencies. Which makes me realise, that I spend the majority of my life stressing over things that will essentially occur or not occur regardless. So, I made a conscious decision to simply stop worrying.
Now that I've freed up my brain from soul crushing anxiety, I have made room for more positive thoughts, like how I can use my time productively & work on improving myself further. First things first, I found a yoga centre down in Kreuzberg, called Yellow Yoga, which does unlimited yoga, for a flat rate of €50 a month. Which is a pretty good deal when you consider bikram yoga here is €15 a class! I figure I might as well make the most of my free time, by spending my days stretching into a summer body, whilst networking with the hot bearded yogi on the next mat.
In fact, it was whilst attempting to find said yoga centre, that I met the aforementioned bearded Swede. I never found the centre, but I did make a new friend & spent the day sipping cocktails, whilst soaking up the rays. This is a part of Berlin life that I enjoy, being able to connect with people. The other day I was on the U-Bahn & the carriage was alive with conversation. Such a stark contrast to the underground in London, where you get the stink eye for talking to the friend beside you.
Another aspect of Berlin that I love, is the mass vegan culture. It doesn't matter where you are, which neighborhood, or which street, there is always somewhere vegan friendly to eat. For instance, I met a Japanese guy on the street in Mitte the other day & we ended up going for burritos at Dolores (Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 7, 10178). They had two vegan options for the burritos & then a few more options for sides & nachos. I went for the Vegan Lover - smoky corn soy meat, guacamole, peanut salsa, rice, black beans, veggies & salad. It came out the size of a small child! I ate the whole thing & then died for about three hours. Cycling home with a food baby is tough, believe me.
Over the weekend, Katie & I cycled to OhLaLa (Mainzer Straße 18, 10247), a French vegan cafe, that does the best cakes I've ever had. I had the Tresor, which was essentially a praline shell, covered in a chocolate mousse, sprinkled with nuts, with a liquid chocolate centre. It was so good, but needless to say, I felt exceptionally queasy afterwards. I'm quite hopeful that OhLaLa will become our weekend haunt, especially as they do vegan chocolate crêpes! My favourite!
The main thing I'm really enjoying about this city, is the cycle culture. Having not been on a bicycle for over fifteen years, I was genuinely terrified to ride again. I feel they lie when they say you never forget, I certainly had to relearn a little. Having acquired a basic BMX, thanks to Katie, I successfully wobbled my way from Prenzlauer Berg to Friedrichshain over the weekend, feeling very proud of myself, until it ended in a very ungraceful & rather public, fall to the ground when I tried to dismount. Still, all that peddle pushing certainly released those happy making endorphins & I very quickly got addicted. Now I cycle everywhere, on the road, off the road. Being able to get across town quickly & for free, whilst still exercising is great! Might be a while yet though before I learn to take corners...
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