Tough it’s still the beginning of the school year, I really feel tired. I would like to take a rest, be able to wake up later than 6.30 AM and enjoy my life. I would like the holidays to start… But hey, they have just finished… No! I have to wait eight months… I’ll have to survive it somehow…
Thinking of next holiday makes my recall memories from this year’s summer break… Have a look at my reflections after my visit in Berlin. I hope you’ll like it.
Berlin vs. Warsaw
This year, during summer holidays, my mum and I decided to go to Berlin. We wanted to go sightseeing, explore the Museum Island, simply enjoy summer and our visit there. Berlin is a fantastic city – modern, full of people from all over the world – white and non-white. In Berlin, nobody stares at exotic-looking people with dark skin colour. It’s normal that you sit in the metro train next to a Chinese or Afro-American guy. Tolerance is everywhere. And I like it. People are together, no matter their nationality. Warsaw is not such a multicultural place at all. And also, not friendly to visitors from other countries. In Berlin, we were able to talk with almost everybody in English. In Poland, it wouldn’t have been so easy (though more and more people in Poland learn foreign languages). One day, my mummy and I were going somewhere but we didn’t exactly know how to get there. We were looking for the right way there on the map and an elderly lady offered us her help and showed us the way. We were really positively surprised – I think old ladies in Warsaw are less friendly and helpful to foreigners.
Berlin is much richer than Warsaw – and it’s really visible. I’m not going to say that everything is extremely expensive and that’s why I think Warsaw’s poorer. No, it’s not about prices – but when you walk on Berlin streets, you can simply feel the wealth. You can go to all those boutiques and shopping malls full of clothes from all of those famous designers, e.g. Hugo Boss, Prada, Giorgio Armani, Saint Laurent… You see a Porsche or a Ferrari parked in the street much more often than in Warsaw.
The Berliners are more active than people living in Warsaw. In the morning you can see loads of young men and women going to work by bike. And it’s more popular to eat out. In the evening, all of the restaurants and bars are full. Next interesting observation I made is that Berliners are really social people. At the weekend they grab some blankets, sweet and savoury snacks and go out to sit on the pavement with their friends and enjoy the nice weather, music played on the Gendermermarkt, the presence of your friends… The square became a big picnic, full of laughter and light-heartedness. It was so nice to look at these people…
Berlin, as such, in more modern than Warsaw – that’s what everybody would say. But I felt extremely surprised when I saw Berlin metro train for the first time. I don’t really know, what I was excepting. Maybe an incredible train with glass everywhere, with all of the newest technologies? And I felt disappointed. I thought: ‘ Is that yellow, old machine the German metro? Really? But it’s not modern at all! Hey, it shouldn’t be like this!’. The underground in Warsaw looks much better. The stations are new and colourful, there actually is a lot of glass. The trains are modern and good-looking.
The city centre of Berlin is… so west-like – that’s what many people from Poland would say. And so would I. When I saw the Sony Centre on Potsdamer Platz, I felt like a citizen of the whole world: hundreds of different people all around me, modern buildings and the smell of the new, mysterious world. That was an amazing feeling.
Another difference between Berlin and Warsaw is, or rather, are tourists from many, different countries. When you are in the city centre of Berlin, it’s impossible to hear the native German only. There are so incredibly many languages all around you, from all of the continents, like everywhere. The sad thing about Warsaw is that there are almost no tourists from abroad. Hardly ever you can hear some German or English. And that’s sad. In our beautiful country, Poland, in its interesting capital city, there’s nothing that attracts tourists. We don’t have any world- famous painters, buildings, etc.
I think that Warsaw could be like Berlin–multicultural, modern, world-famous capital city. Maybe it’s all about the promotion of the country, of the city? Maybe if the history would have been different, our, Polish situation would be better now? Nobody knows that but I hope, that one day Warsaw will become a wonderful, worth-visiting city in the future.