Before you say I am misquoting Mr Kennedy the title is right, Ich bin kein Berliner or “I am not a Berliner,” because I am simply not fond enough of Berlin to say that I am. I have to also say that neither am I a sort of doughnut either and between you and I, I think that you would have to be quite mad to say that you are either of them! But unfortunately I had to be in Berlin again this week.
So this is the second time in two years that I have washed up on the wide open plazas of Berlin, which were landscaped by the RAF and invading Allied forces, and I have to say that the modern replacements to the old buildings that stood before the “don’t mention the war” are really not very nice.
Of course you will remember what happened the last time I was in Berlin if you have read my amazingly successful second masterpiece of feline literature ‘The Cat’s Travelogue’ available from all good book shops and even some really rather dodgy ones too and of course here at Amazon – just click here Amazon.co.uk for the UK and here Amazon.com for the US and if you haven’t read it you can change that terrible social faux pas and we will say nothing more about it.
Don’t get me wrong there are some nice places in Berlin, but this time I was down by the river and surrounded by the new awful government buildings of the new unified Germany – the river (and symbolic east/west spanning) Bundestag for example.
These are brutal new structures are actually so terrifying that the Germans have to add to the ruin of the environment by leaving all of the lights on in them at night, just so that Berliners and casual but easily frightened visitors (me for e.g.) don’t leave the city in a mass panicky exodus. Frankly even by day it’s all just awful, large ugly buildings in acres upon acres of space on a scale that is just plain ‘Dallas!’
The area around the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (or Berlin Central Station) has been hacked to bits so that new and probably unwanted modern concrete buildings can be built by the dozen and thousands of Mercedes taxis can ply their trade on wide roads which means that the the lovely old Trams from the east side have been dumped in the name of progress which is a terrible environmental mistake.
I would say more but I’m in a hurry to get out of the path of some enormous, tough looking, loud Germans who are crashing down the Straße they are obviously looking for trouble and a Cat writing detrimental things about their new capital might just tip them over the edge, what a shame there aren’t any men amongst them to calm them down a little. Yes German women frighten me almost as much as the new buildings here!
All I can say is I can’t wait to get back to sleepy, safe Prague, I am lucky to live in a pretty fab place.
PS and nothing whatsoever to do with the above article or the price of Prawns, it has just occurred to me that the world hasn’t heard from that arch tax dodger and humanitarian big mouth Bono recently – hasn’t it been nice and quiet!