By Marriette Rough
Ask most Non-Germans how they came to be in Berlin and the answer usually follows the same pattern. They came here on holiday, decided to stay, fell in love with a local…The relationship with the local ended and the relationship with the city began. That’s what happened to me around 9 years ago.
I came through Berlin on my post-uni European adventure, which is basically law for British students. I got sucked in and never left. Berlin is a living breathing entity and many a traveller have succumbed to its magnetic draw. The week I arrived here was the final week of the World Cup, in which Germany were the host. The whole city was buzzing. The weather was a scorching 35 degrees whilst the beers were both cool and cheap. The first weekend was the infamous Love Parade, a huge techno-fuelled parade through the city, which at its height saw one million people dancing in the street just off the Brandenburg Gate. The following weekend was St. Christophers’ Street Day Parade. Gay pride in Europes’ proud gay capital. It was the perfect storm. I didn’t have a chance.
At first I worked in a stockbrokers in the city’s relatively small financial sector. Despite being the capital, very little financial sector business is conducted here with most of it being based in Frankfurt instead. Having studied Sociology at University and being quite the Marxist, working in such an industry was far from the perfect fit. I flew home to Manchester one Christmas and sat next to a rather charming northerner who worked at Fat Tire. It was through him that I got the job as a tour guide and my life has been ridiculously satisfying ever since. I often think about the sliding doors style possibilities if I hadn’t got chatting to him that day.
I live in one of the most incredible cities in the world. Berlin is rough around the edges to say the least. Personally I think that’s what attracts people. It certainly attracted me. The city pulls no punches, it doesn’t pretend to be something its not. Its very unapologetic. Its raw. Its in a constant state of evolution; which I feel lucky to be able to both observe and be a part of.
Berlin has well and truly got me.