Last weekend saw me celebrate my twenty seventh birthday & I think it's safe to say, my hatred of birthdays is now well & truly set in concrete. Why is it that birthdays are such a giver of joy when you're young & then they slide into this category of doom, once you reach a certain age. I really can't understand it.
With one friend packing up to flit off to Vietnam for three months, another unavailable & the Swede working, it was entirely down to Katie to stop me falling into a deep depressive, age turning coma. I give it to her, she tried her darnedest! Unfortunately, by the end of the evening we'd gone way past the state of melancholy & had arrived squarely in the state of catatonia.
The morning had not started well & let's face it, a bad morning has a tendency to cause a ripple effect through the day. Having set off on my bicycle to meet Katie in Prenzlauer Berg, I wondered what the peculiar noise emitting from my back wheel was, only to find that it was as flat as the pancakes I was craving.
I was forced to retreat back to the apartment, tuck my bike back in the courtyard & take the dreaded U-Bahn, something I begrudge shelling out for on every level. It's expensive, it takes longer than cycling & battling with crowds is nothing short of stress inducing. It brings on the memories of my once daily London commute & that is something I am definitely happy to forget!
Attempting to stifle my growing sense of despair, Katie & I decided on a plan of action for the day, which was to finally go indulge in vegan chocolate crêpes, then head for a stroll around the Botanischer Garten, snapping the florals along the way & then finally ending at Bite Club in Mitte for dinner. I really needed the day to improve vastly by this point.
In search of quelling my crêpe cravings, we headed over to OhLaLa (Mainzer Straße 18, 10247), the French vegan patisserie, nestled in Friedrichshain, which was the first place we frequented together, upon my original arrival in Berlin back in May. Unfortunately, as it was a Saturday, they were only doing their brunch buffet & so my lust for crêpes was left to linger & we simply gave way to the food on offer.
There's something about buffets. I feel as though they trigger off this knee-jerk reaction in me to over consume. I think I had about eight miniature puddings & three platefuls of the savoury options. It was nice, but expensive & unfortunately, it failed to satisfy the desires I'd been harbouring, in contemplation of my birthday breakfast. Alas, we moved on.
Having been left without our wheels, it took two tube rides & a further two buses to reach the Botanischer Garten. By which time, all notion of karma was out of the window & I actively encouraged Katie to probe for the student tickets. Hey, we're enrolled in the school of life, that's good enough, right?
Thankfully the weather was kind to us, being nicely warm & sunny & we strolled around for a few hours, taking it all in. Me snapping up some petals here & there. Finally leaving the gardens, we hopped back on a bus, then onto the metro, followed by another bus & finally walked up Schönhauser Allee, to Bite Club for dinner.
To my disappointment, there weren't a great deal of vegan options. I don't know if the venue in Kreuzberg is bigger, but the Mitte site is quite small & variety is limited. I ended up indulging in a Taiwanese tofu burger from Bao Kitchen. Served in a steamed bun, it was actually rather scrummy, so I may track them down again.
As the evening loomed, Katie cycled off to a party in Kreuzberg with her Californian calligrapher man shape & I, despite enjoying my day for the most part, had reached saturation point & solemnly walked to Eberswalder Straße station, attempting not to crumble into tears along the way. Fucking birthdays.
The evening disintegrated further with some drunken Swede behaviour & some Rabbi rejection & by the end of it, I honestly just wanted to throw myself out of the kitchen window. Poor mère received the brunt of my frustration through the power of Whatsapp, which I felt rather guilty about the next day.
I don't know what it is about birthdays that brings out this traumatising feeling of loneliness, that I seem to feel each time they come around. In the past I have simply tried to avoid it by flitting off on holiday, but whilst I'm not exactly at 'home' in England anymore, I'm not really on vacation here in Berlin either. So I found myself in a kind of limbo that forced me into the submersion of all these unwanted feelings.
Thankfully by Sunday morning, after baking & subsequently eating an entire tray of brownies, whilst watching a film, I started to regain some feelings of normality & emotional balance. All I can say is, thank the heavens I only need 'celebrate' my birthday once a year!
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