17 Jun

Friday Night Adventures in Berlin

On our first Friday evening after arriving in Berlin, I suggested to Boris a trip across town to an see art opening. This was after an already long day of walking around exploring. We were both pretty tired and had sore feet, and yet off we went, never expecting it would be many hours later before coming home again.

The rain was lightly coming down as we made our way over to Moabit from where we were staying in Kreuzberg. By the time we arrived at our destination the rain was coming down much harder, and the shared umbrella wasn’t doing much to keep either of us dry. It eased off a bit while we were in the gallery, and so we decided to go see a few more things in the same area. As we walked to the next location it started raining harder and harder until we were driven to take cover, umbrella and all, under an inadequate awing at the side of a building.

While we stood there a young girl carrying a backpack and violin case wandered by getting soaked herself so we waved her over to stand beside us. Boris asked the girl what she was doing and she told him she’d lost her mom and sister. The three of us eventually had to go inside the building we were standing beside because the rain start coming down even more heavily. It turned out to be a small neighbourhood pub full of colourful locals already well into their cups at 8pm in the evening. We told the pub patrons about our little lost girl, who turned out to be named Mathilda, and they helped us get things sorted out. Unfortunately, she could not remember a phone number for her parents and she happened to live about forty-five minutes away.

The most responsible of the bar patrons went looking for her mom at the nearby music school where she’d been together with them before getting lost, and he also called the police. Boris and I hung around to keep her company, because what child wants to hang out in a creepy pub with drunk strangers. We maintained a defensive position between Mathilda and an overly enthused drunk dude who kept coming over to talk to her. When the police arrived about thirty minutes later they began to question Mathilda about herself and her family in an effort to figure out how to get her home and reunited with them. The alarming part about the situation is she was terrible at remembering import information, did not have a house key with her, and could not recall a phone number. Just as the police were making a plan to drive Mathilda all the way home, her mom finally arrived, much to everyone’s relief.

Boris and I went on our way again after this hour long sidetrack, made one more art-related stop and then travelled back home again on the U-Bahn. We arrived still damp and slightly dirty from our soaking, and with feet even more sore than when we’d left.

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© Rachael Ashe