Berlin, Take One

Lately I have been reflecting on the connections we make while travelling, and the friendships that sometimes develop. I have met people in Dublin who I now consider very dear friends, and some that I believe I will stay in touch with throughout my life. There is something very special about meeting someone who you feel you have known much longer than the brief period that you have known them. One such friend is someone I met at a dinner in Dublin that was raising money for a local charity. We talked as if we were old friends just reunited, and since then we have been very close.

I have also had a couple recent couchsurfing experiences that introduced me to some amazing people…in Berlin, I stayed with a fellow veggie who was a fantastic cook with a great outlook on life. We shared food, stories, music, wine, walks, drinks, and relaxing moments in the park. It is amazing to arrive in a new city and begin learning from a local about the food practices, the co-ops nearby, food advocacy initiatives, and the challenges as well as pleasures of caring about your food and where it comes from. My host introduced me to “food sharing”, an initiative that links people to restaurants, bakeries, and various food-producing places around the city that have excess food they have no use for. While I was in Berlin I had the pleasure of sharing a vegan meal with my host and her friend that was sourced from such a Food Sharing restaurant that had loft-over food from a brunch. It was incredible…to eat good food of course, but also to become aware of such a fantastic program!

I also heard tell of public fridges in Berlin where food from Food Sharing is dropped off, and where all sorts of people can go and benefit from the bounty. I was bowled over by the simplicity of reducing waste in such a way, and though I had a host of questions, it seems to work, and that is such a wonderful thing to behold.

It was special to visit a city and feel like I was visiting  friend instead of being in a new city on my own for the first time, as I was. Berlin is a city full of relaxing parks, colourful graffiti-ed buildings and walls, a wonderful slow food culture, and, I feel, is a city to discover as a leisurely pace; so, I will return!

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