Berlin, May’18





The day began with an early breakfast and bunch of mail. At 12 I was heading to meet the first person at Lindauer Allee U Bahn.

Estere was already waiting. So tall and so 90s. She told me she was born in Latvia, but her mom didn’t want her to grow up there, so they moved to Venezuela. Estere gave me a little political-economic overview of what things look like in both these places and it didn’t sound too good. 3 years ago, together with her family, she moved to Berlin. She speaks 5 languages and is learning Japanese.

Awa is a little shy. Her mother is Malian and she spent 5 or 6 years living there too. It’s now been about 12 years since she’s back in Berlin. Awa is working towards opening a hair salon for coloured and black people, so that there is a place that can help people with their hair problems. It can be a big deal she says, for young and old, parents and kids, for all.

Azama is a dancer. She recently moved to Berlin from New York to continue her dancing career. She says Berlin has a nice phase of life and is a great place for being yourself. She is one of the most elegantly moving people I met in a while. Azama said she has performances every week and the schedule can get pretty intense. She wished her twin sister Azzab could come with us, but she was busy with something else. ey dance together and are very close, but still, live separate lives.

I see Chidi across the road. She has the coolest forehead. She is a dancer too but only starting. She is considering whether to continue her education and take much further. Turns out Awa did Chidi’s braids. The world is small.

Eliot was half an hour late. His hair looks funky. He also wears wikied grillz. Eliot is into making music. He’s half American half German and has both passports. He’s thinking of possibly moving back to Colorado sometime soon. He tells me about his friend who recently got deported from the country and had to go back to Ghana, Eliot was going to visit him this summer. I told him they should go to Chale Wote, because it’s a lot of fun.

Franzi is early. She joins me at a table of a corner street cafe while I’m having the first sip of water on the day. She somehow spotted me from far. She says she’s been studying for her Spanish exams. To me, she looks like she could be a fluent Spanish speaker. Franzi is best friends with Amie.

Amie arrives at 4. She is dressed almost the same as Franzi. She has just finished high school and isn’t sure what she’s gonna study. She’s spent the whole Sunday in bed and just got out to meet us.

Gaja is from Slovenia. She doesn’t have a phone so it takes a while for us to find each other. Her phone drowned in a lake. We find each other by accident in the subway. She says she’s been looking for us everywhere. Gaja wears the cool-cute jewellery that looks like it was meant for Barbies. And a fluffy boa. She says her room is all pink. Yesterday she was accepted to a study in a Dutch Design Academy. She is moving to the Netherlands.

Bocan is half Senegalese. He says the people there are very friendly. He’s got a cloud of holiday feel around him. I asked him where he’s been, he says he just came back from a trip to India and Sri Lanka. He’s taller than anyone I met today.

Alex was waiting next to the wrong U Bahn entrance. We found each other a little later. By now we’ve walked to Franz Neumann Platz, none of us has ever been around here. Alex looks like a movie star. He is a skater. He doesn’t say much and always looks quite serious.

Nisa arrived last. We walked around in the last bits of the sun, strolling through remnants of street flea markets and all went separate ways.





Mark