Stories from Berlin
Absinthe, Argentina, and a Helping Hand
By: Laura Applegath
March 9, 2017
Jesper Wolfsteller. Now, that’s a stellar name. Probably the coolest name we have come across in all our travels. Learn how Jesper’s loyalty helped earn him an unexpected job and how crossing cultures helped open his heart and expand his worldview.
By: Laura Applegath
Within twenty minutes time we had walked past the Reichstag, over a marker in the street where the wall once stood, through the Brandenburg Gate, past foreign embassies, through the haunting Holocaust Memorial, and down the tree-lined Lindenstrasse.
Yep, you guessed it: we are in Berlin. I have a special place in my heart for this city. It helps too that my good friend Verena is from here. As a visitor I love the life, culture, and history that this city offers. Curious what my friend’s hometown meant to her, I asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
Tell me in your words what it means to be a Berliner?
What it means to be a Berliner, that’s a good question. Living in a city that constantly reinvents itself – that’s probably what it means to be a Berliner. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there has been a lot of construction. There is always something new and different. I think it’s important that you do not have a problem with change and can adapt to it.
Living in Berlin or being a Berliner also means being open minded and tolerant towards other nationalities, faith communities etc.. Berlin is a multicultural city.
What makes you most proud of your city?
I think it’s the variety of the city and how green Berlin is which makes me proud. In Berlin you will find the busy life of a city with all pros and cons, but also the quiet and peaceful country life. You can enjoy the cultural offerings such as the museums and theaters or simply stroll through the neighborhoods. You will find everything from the Orient via Asia to South America. Berlin has it all.
What have been some of the most memorable events for you in your city?
I think the most memorable event in Berlin was the fall of the wall in 1989 – although I don’t really remember it as I was too young. For me one of the most memorable events in the recent past was the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall on November 9, 2014. Fifteen kilometers of the former wall was set up with a “Lichtgrenze” (light boarder). They used 8,000 illuminated balloons to set up the “Lichtgrenze”. This was truly amazing. I must admit that there are certainly still quite a few other memorable events for me such as the Soccer World Cup in Germany in 2006 and when the national soccer team arrived in Berlin with the world title. To list them all would be too much!