Walking around Berlin is like going on a tour of your own feelings.
Whatever the prominent emotion was when you left home, becomes the leading thought as you wander through the streets of Berlin.
Unless something grabs your attention and turns it upside down.
Surprises along the Hedgrows
Have you ever walked into a courtyard, a small side street, or a shop, and immediately had your senses attacked by a ghastly smell? feelings tumble,stomach churns, and it overwhelms the senses, causing us to forget everything that was important up until that point.
How Important is Walking to You?
Walking is an important activity. Not just because it exercises the legs and the rest of the body, but because it exercises the mind and soul. It puts colour into our thoughts.
You may not agree with me, but it does all these things. It enlivens the mind and creates a healthy set of emotions that make us realise how important it is to explore and to see things that we haven’t noticed before.
New Experiences are always just around the Corner
If you pop down to the shops and get some milk and bread, you are giving your mind a tour of your locality. If you sit at home and watch T.V. you are being shown all types of things that aren’t necessarily true, and don’t correlate to the real world outside. Which is better? Which activity is more enjoyable and instinctively healthy?
Some people don’t like cities, or towns. They love the countryside, the villages – if it’s still possible to live happily in a village is another question.
Slow Living, Slow walking
When we walk we go slow. When we pass objects on foot, we have time to see them properly and the opportunity to stop and investigate.
People who live in villages tend to move slowly, they have a lifestyle based on no rush.
The trip down to the shops might be rushed, but on the way we probably pass things by that we don’t notice anymore. We did see them when we first moved into the neighbourhood, and told ourselves that we’ll probably have a better look later. But we didn’t, we still put off living in our city until we’ve finished all the tasks that require speed.
I love this city
I live in Berlin. I love this city because of its variety, the possibility to explore is enormous. I pity all those younger people who think that a good city, or town, is one that has lots of bars and clubs. They miss out on a lot of real life. Berlin is full of clubs, it’s even the thing that puts it high on the list of places to visit – for a young person.
City Life is for Everybody
Cities offer something for everybody, young and old. Life and our way of living helps us decide what’s important. Which features of a city are appealing to us is based on our personal needs.
Have you ever been out for a walk with a slight intention of going somewhere like a shop, but the walking was more important than the shopping?
You Don’t Know What’s Coming Next
On the way you encountered an incident, or an event on the street. Maybe, you came across an accident, a person was being tended to by passersby.
Or did you suddenly see something that made you stop and think? A building, a park, something that you thought had changed, or wasn’t there before?
Walking in Berlin is like that. You see new things. Cities are not static bricks and mortar, they only come alive when people use them.
Some people will tell you that they know a city like the back of their hand. They may have lived there a long time, but there are many things that they don’t know about. They can’t keep tabs on everything, and everything changes.
Walking Around Berlin, Mitte
I was walking in Berlin, Mitte last week. During the Coronavirus Lockdown, we are supposed to stay at home. Go out for shopping, and basic needs, like exercise. It’s the law. A law that is advised rather than enforced heavily.
When I walked around Mitte, I noticed the enormous change in atmosphere.
My own neighbourhood, the Bergmannkiez in Kreuzberg, is fairly quiet with the occasional hustle and bustle during shopping times.
If somebody reads on the internet that there will be a shortage of soap, then there is a rush to buy soap in every neighbourhood in town. Right now, that’s how things are.
Monbijou Park and avoiding getting Bumped
Berlin, Mitte, when I was there, seemed to be buzzing with activity. Monbijou Park was full with sun worshippers, frisby spinners and dog walkers.
I walked along, hoping to avoid close contact with anybody. It was difficult to avoid being too close to some people. They walk as if they have a human magnet inside of them. If you walk on the right, as the law demands, they walk on the left, and come right at you.
Not everybody is so bad, but you have these reverse thinkers everywhere in the world. Some people want to be different, so they choose an activity that seems simple enough to adjust in behaviour but causes problems for everybody else when they do it. Like walking on the left instead of on the right.
They have decided that it’s their right to express their walking habits freely and without a single thought for their fellow humans who also want to enjoy a walk in safety.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed my walking through the centre of Berlin.
Many things caught my attention – things I hadn’t seen or noticed before.
Just seeing something in a different way will always cause the mind to wake up and look deeper into the object.
Monbijou Park in Berlin
As I walked away from the river Spree, I made my way along the side of the Monbijou Park, I followed a footpath that was hedged in by a type of green plant that you don’t often see in Berlin.
The leaves were big and green, the shape similar to a story book illustration of evergreen bushes.
But the thing that caught my attention was the scent coming from the leaves. It really made me think.
The green leafed hedge row gave off a strong scent of cucumber. But really, and very strongly.
I’ve never come across a hedge that had such a powerful smell, consistent, and definitely smelled of a salad filler.
It was lovely to enjoy the scent as I walked along. I stopped several times to look around at the people dotted across the green grass, sitting in twos mostly, and several groups of threes and fours. But the cucumber hedge dominated my thoughts. I had no answer to this hedge and its scent, but it did remind me of my childhood walking in the woods.
The look of the leaves appeared to have something English about them, something you’d find in a damp and rainy land, flourishing amongst the fir trees.
The Street Entertains Us
A hedge row in a city is an odd thing. Cities don’t do hedge rows like country villages do. In a village the hedge was originally the answer to controlling the course of the wind, to protect crops and to mark off land boundaries. It won’t stop an animal, so it allows wildlife to continue on its journey. An animal needs to following its natural pathways that it marks out as territory, rabbits, foxes, and other smaller creatures have runs which help them make their way through a forest or across broad landscapes. In a city, a hedge is an ornament.
The Follies of Joy
The city offers us many ornamental follies that only serve a slight practical purpose. The hedgerow would normally be a fence, maybe made of grid iron metal, ugly, inner city character, something that doesn’t stop the wind but keeps unwanted people out.
A park, like Monbijou Park in Berlin must look inviting, and offer the possibility of a relaxing afternoon with the family or friends. A hedge, a thing from the countryside, will serve a better purpose than a practicality.
Berlin is a city for explorers and adventurers. It just depends on what you are looking for, you will find it.
Discovery is the key to a happy mind, a relaxed day. Right now, with the Coronavirus Lockdown, limitations and uncertainty about our financial futures, life has changed for us. We go out for a walk, to get some fresh air and relax, but we see things with new eyes. People walk with caution, others don’t. Shop windows are darkened, and gates are locked. The present Coronavirus Lockdown and laws cause yet another new fear to crop up, or to hang in the mind.