In the summer of 2010 I made friends with a yellow dog that would never stop smiling. Thanks to his fresh vision on Berlin, a city I had never before visited, the daily nightmares I had at the time lost their feeding ground. At work I’d had to make way for someone else with better connections, and a spontaneous visit to that historic and open-minded city proved to be the ideal distraction.
I said goodbye to our loyal dog Darko who turned out not to mind at all. Very early in the morning my then significant other dropped me off at the station. When he got home, he couldn’t find the labrador until he looked in the bedroom. The dog must have figured: with her out of the picture I’ll happily take up that warm place in the bed, forbidden or not. Joey of course welcomed his company and every night, he told me afterwards, Darko moved a bit closer until finally the two of them were spooning.
I proudly present my patchy friend’s adventures:
Fritz Alexander Plushkin’s Berlin – I
To start with, I was left behind for this extreme long shot. Two huge security guards watched over me so I wouldn’t get snatched up by 8-year-olds lurking around the ministerial premises. When they however heard about my origins, Kaufhaus des Westens, one of them snorted: ‘Ah, ein Wessie!’ Luckily I didn’t lose my stuffing for being from the wrong side of the city.
Like the real tourist I am, I’m proud to say I was all the way up there. Of course, all those stairs make you want to use the bathroom.
I found the perfect spot in front of this huge ‘Tor’. Later on I heard someone talk about bullet holes up there. I hope I showed enough respect for those who didn’t make it.
This crazy wavy thing I had to see! I wouldn’t have dared emptying my bladder here, not even outside on the pavement. The Ossie guards were nothing compared to the one guarding this building! It’s supposed to be a place where people keep their money. Would it be invested in the awesome decor? What if the people want it back? I’d be a wee bit worried.
Among these stones I was for the first time ever sad happiness is the only emotion my face and tail can show.
I was explained that my ancestors, the ones without smiley faces and wagging tales, used to make people shower just because they were a bit different. Such evil dogs: they must have known showers are a nightmare! I have David Bowie-eyes and I hope noone will force me into one because of my unique features.
Off to some more history! Nobody complained so I just sat there enjoying the ride.
This is a ghost station! As you know I’m a Wessie, according to the Ossie guards anyway, and dogs like me couldn’t get off at this station even if they really really wanted to.
Chatting with Ossies like I did on top of the parliament was not an option at the time: there was a wall between East and West Berlin! Dogs couldn’t just wander anywhere they liked.
Imagine chasing cats back then: I guess they’d automatically head for that great wall once you got sight of them, probably effortlessly climbing it, leaving you down there, out of breath for nothing. It must’ve been such frustrating times!
There was not just one wall: they actually built two walls. Let’s see what’s in there. The tourist guide tells me this part is called the ‘death strip’ and that ‘defectors were shot’ in it. I don’t know what defectors are, but if cats can be defectors I’d feel very sorry for chasing them up there.
BE-LI-NER MAA-WER, interesting! I can read better than that of course, don’t underestimate me.
This is ‘a church with a history’. I carefully listened to the guide and I think I got it:
Here once was a chapel that ended up standing in the death strip. The Ossies blew it up. Maybe that was for the best: people who’d go there would get shot at if they were one of those ‘defectors’ (I still don’t get it), so I guess things were safer without the chapel.
When they all got tired of the wall nobody would get shot at anymore in the death strip, which by the way wouldn’t be called the death strip but just something like street or garden. Because things were safe again, they built this monument where the chapel used to be.
SUCH A HEAVY MORNING! EVIL DOGS, CATS IN SORRY SITUATIONS, LIMITATIONS… TIME FOR SOME RELAXING TRAVELLING AND SUNBATHING.
Finally there! I can’t bathe in this huge pool but I sure can enjoy the sun and the lovely company.
What’s that you’re saying misses? Me? Cute? Why, thank you!
THE OSSIE DISTRICT I CHOSE TO RELAX IN IS FASCINATING. I’LL TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT AND MORE IN MY NEXT TRAVEL BLOG!