I am in Berlin. Again. And again, I must say I don’t understand why people voluntarily move here? Not only does it take forever to get from one place to the other, it’s also that the majority of people you meet is so incredibly unfriendly. Trust me, if you are a foreigner who’s only been to Berlin and got a bad impression of the German people, this is not who we are.
But enough with the Berlin bashing. Why am I here? For site visits. This morning, I started my work day two hours earlier than usual by throwing myself on an ICE train. (On, not under, mind you.) I literally stepped unto the train as the doors were closing and luckily, I happened to be in the right coach where my seat was. This was my first time in the “silent compartment”: you are not allowed to talk on the phone or actually, at all, if possible. No pensioner couples reading their favorite passages from a book to each other, no parents scolding their kids, no stag parties singing – basically heaven. This must have been my most relaxing train ride in a long while.
The relaxation was over when I hit the streets of Berlin. Today, I saw six locations in one afternoon, tomorrow I’ll see another two. I’m pleased to say that I have three, four candidates that could be a good choice. There is a lot to think about when choosing: will this on site staff make life difficult for me, what costs are actually really included in the rent and can I be bothered to pay for each microphone separately, is there going to be a draft in the reception hall, will these glaring lights blind the guests and does sound of the name of this venue promise a dazzling gala night?
The first stop was the Museum for Communication – I was about to drop to my knees because I loved the museum so much. Outside, they have put a telephone booth on a pedestal, inside they have a giant court in which cute looking robots drive around who react to your voice and start speaking to you, and in their so-called treasury they show “The Blue Mauritius Post Office Stamp” (which is worth more than one million euros). Okay, I admit I am a sucker for all kinds of communication but this museum really seemed to have their museum pedagogy going for them. Have to return one day with some more time and otium.
I also saw the room that David Bowie (who recorded his “Heroes” there) called “The Hall by the Wall”, a hall constructed by the craftsmen in 1913 that was first used as a place to hand out the diplomas to the new master craftsmen who had successfully completed their apprenticeship. The Master Hall attests to the skill of the craftsmen with its detailed decoration. The house, in which countless world class musicians recorded songs including Swedish Kent’s album “Röd”, used to be right next to the wall which is so hard to imagine these days.