Well, today I moved back into my old-new home. La Belle Fifi returned from Los Angeles via Hamburg, so I had to vacate her sweet flat, with its view of the woodpeckers, Spertholt and Frau Specht, and its proximity to the shops of Gesundbrunnen and the Shalimar and Cocos eateries, and head back to the dear old Invalidenstrasse.
The Strasse is a real invalid itself, at the moment. Like much of Berlin. The roads are, to put it politely, ‘up’ everywhere. But nowhere more than here. OK, I understand they’re renewing sewers, water mains, putting in fibre optics and god knows what else goes underground, all at once. But I’ve been here for more than two years, and the same trenches are STILL open. And to top it all, while the roads are ‘out’, they’ve decided to do S-Bahn repairs, so with no cars and no trains available here at Nordbahnhof, we are reduced to isolation, feet (with walking-stick) and buses … I think Town Hall must be mad.
But I came back. The Chinese have invaded my nice, former flat, but my landlord promised me something better. So I arrived at no 134 today, sceptical but hopeful … and was delighted. My new home is a virtual copy of the old, but (a) on the ground floor, (b) not-quite-finished new, (c) much cosier … well, it will be soon.
I’ve put up my pictures and my ‘Gerolsteiner Farm’, Paul and I did a Rewe-Run (with an obligatory stop at Asman for a delicious-as-ever Indian lunch), and stocked my cupboards … yes, they’ve taken on board all my criticisms of flat one, and I now have shelves, cupboards and drawers to spare! …
Chick peas, spinach, garlic, soy sauce, mozarella, saucisson, $45 dollars of cheeses, one bread roll, maultaschen … I don’t have to eat out ever again! But I shall. This is resto-land. Oh and some vinho verde from my favourite wine store!
I shall be happy here. My friend Tibor has made a smashing job of putting this ever-so-new place together (even though he failed tonight with setting up the telly, which I won’t watch till Roland Garros anyway!). Paul got the brand new wifi under control … the water is hot, the shower strong, the (puce!) bed comfy … what else does a man need?
For tonight, anyway.