There is something in the air here. I felt it the second I stepped off the train. The creativity seeps through the cracks and rolls off the skateboards. Paint sprays out of a graffiti can, turning a swastica into a piece of art.
This city is haunting. The silhouette of a steeple on a dark night took my breath away. You can feel the history. Inspiration trickles down window sills and settles between countless train tracks. Cultures interweave and language is never a barrier.
I met a man at a house party. I asked where he was from and he smiled in a way I cannot describe and exclaimed, “Hell! I am from Hell.” For some reason I knew he was talking about Syria. In broken English he kept telling me how beautiful my music was.
I’m told there are about 100,000 Syrian Refugees here in Berlin and closer to 1 Million in all of Europe. I hear stories of Hostels taking in children, and how the Government feeds and houses them. I hear how the refugees are not given any Mental Health Services and it makes me think of all the mentally ill/unstable people who are allowed to buy guns in the US.
The show at the Hostel was ok. People come here to party at world renowned clubs, not to listen to singer-songwriters. For those who don’t know, Berlin is dubbed the electronic capitol of the world. After the show we went to a house party, where I was asked to perform. It was pure magic. The party was exactly how I had envisioned Berlin; down a pitch dark alley, with men perched above us in a concrete window sill. This was one of the few buildings that survied the bombing during WW2. Grafitti covered the dilapidated walls. When we walked in, everyone was drinking and smoking cigarettes. I played three songs in a tiny kitchen, shoulder to shoulder, with about fifteen people packed inside. Afterwards, I loved listening to acoustic jams and friends singing merrily in German. We rocked out to Bob Dylan, The Doors, & Johnny Cash.
I’ve yet to have a currywurst, or go to a nightclub, and that’s about to change. I’m incredibly thankful for my friend and local host, Misha. We met on Maui a few years ago at a stoplight, and the rest is history. They have a saying here in Berlin, “Poor, but Sexy.”