Berlin, I love you for your coolness, your mentality, your charm and your chaos. I love your green parks and the piles of trash on the streets of Neukölln. I love the cultural overkill you offer and your mild winters.
Years ago, I hated you. I hated those broken beer bottles on your bike lanes. I hated the color of your buses. I hated the dog shit all over the streets. I hated the smell in your underpasses.
I hated the political correctness nobody can escape over here. I hated those government guys who park their black limousines with “O”-registrations on the sidewalks and all over the f***ing place. I hated that muesli-eating, vegan yoga guru crowd, and I hated those yuppies living in your posh Dahlem quarter.
I hated your Champs-Élysées equivalent, Kurfürstendamm. Who would shop there anyway? I hated Alexanderplatz and its ugly world clock. And I hated Kollwitz Square. Why? I don’t have the faintest clue.
Then it hit me. I actually never hated you, my lovely Berlin. The problem wasn’t you, but me. With what kind of eyes did I look at you? With what kind of nose did I smell the stink of your U-Bahn stations? With what kind of ears did I hear your annoying street noise?
My love for you will not vanish. You may not be the typical German city, but I love you. You might not match the beauty of Amsterdam, but I like looking at you. You obviously do not offer the kind of concerts London does, but I love you anyway.
Berlin, shut up and listen to me: If you continue being good to me, I will be your faithful resident. If you accommodate me well, there is no reason why we should not be together forever. If you protect me, I will be your admirer, your friend.
Just don’t disappoint me. And don’t pretend being someone else. Because I love you just the way you are. (Thank you, Billy Joel). Berlin, you are my city. My pearl. My marvel. Berlin, you are a love that will last.