I really want to write a post about my new neighborhood, Kruezberg, but I think I'll wait to take some more photos so I can actually show you what it looks like as well as tell you about the vibrant colors of the murals and graffiti. It definitely rivals San Francisco's Mission District in terms of 2-D street art.
My new living arrangement has it's high points and low points. I think I'm still adjusting. It's true, I have my own room and bathroom on a separate floor from the family whose children I'm caring for, but it seems that when I was told that the living room was not used much, what the parents really meant was that THEY don't use the living room so often. There was a family from Hamburg with three or four kids staying in it for 2 nights. This I am completely fine with, but I wish someone had told me in advance. It was a complete surprise. I think I will ask the mother to please keep me informed of guests in the living room for my mental health and such. My "kitchen" (an electric kettle, fridge, sink, microwave and two burner portable electric stove) is in the living room, and well, it's disconcerting to feel like you can't make yourself i cup of tea without being "on," especially when you have planned quiet, reclusive evening of noodles, tea and Kurt Vonnegut for yourself and then an army of sugared-up (yet adorable) kids arrive.
Still, I can't complain much. I am, after all, living rent free.
The upside to this gentle invasion was that the visitors offered to take Younis to Kita on Friday morning, so I got to go to Roberts dinner party, where I met some great people. They spoke English with me but mostly German with each other, little of which I understood. My progress with the language is slow but noticeable, though in a party environment with people talking fast and several conversations going on at once, I don't stand a chance.
My trip across the Atlantic, my decision to stay in a country where I struggle with language, it has made me think about the concept of home a lot. What the hell is home? I had one in San Francisco, a place where I felt safe and protected, almost up to the point when I left. Then I made the mistake of letting someone I was dating move in with me and my feeling safety vanished. I got a little back in the end, when he moved out (finally) 3 weeks before I left the continent. Living at Bridge's plae on Hermannstraße, I couldn't relax. I felt extreme comfort at Tobi and Jana's place in Lichtenberg, a type of acceptance and a willingness to let me be myself that I strive for in a living situation, but I knew from the beginning that it was a temporary situation, living in other people's rooms, surrounded by other people's things.
Now I have my own space but there are unspoken rules that I must abide by. I hang out at Robert's house a lot get along with his roommates. I'm comfortable here. Is where I live home? Is Robert's flat home? Do I still have a home in California? My stuff and some of my friends are there. Hmm, things to think about.
I am searching for a home that is mine, a WG (community living space) in March or April. A place with only adults, where I can make eggs and coffee in my underwear if I want to, where I can feel completely comfortable having friends over. We will see.
In other news, I am co-teaching a clowning and dance workshop today at the Shake! Zirkus from 2 to 5. Getting paid to do what I do well! Oh, yes!