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  • Ashleigh Ogilvie-Lee

Blog 6: Auf Wiedersehen, de Berlin.

It is very early in the morning, and my young friends went to a rave last night that started at 11 pm. They wanted me to go with them, but I have been reinventing myself for 40 years, and I think they might be quite startled if I transformed into the outrageous party girl I was in the 70s. I know I'd wake up in the morning and go, "oh no," and press replay to no avail and hate myself for another 40 years.

But when I wake up the next morning after my quiet night, I feel lonely, not self-righteous, and I ring Frankie, who is playing mini-golf, and Charley, who has his girlfriend's family to lunch, and they are all living without me. Then I ring Gigi, who says the woman who runs their tramp park was kicked in the back at work, and the police never came, although they were called twice.

Things are much quieter at Mum's house when I call. My sister Damaris, who used to be called Adriane, has just read my stories to Mum, who apparently laughed till she cried, which I am rather surprised about as Mum always prides herself on her lack of a sense of humor, which she says is typical of the French.

In our final time in Berlin, we watched our team lose to Romania and South Africa, but some delightful little German Frauleins who play water polo didn't care that we came last. They seemed to like the koru Sammie and I had painted on our faces, but the black and white motif above my eye had run into the creases.

I took their picture, and here it is. They will be delighted that some people who live in a land far, far away, which flightless birds like Emperor penguins and Kiwis can never leave, now know what young German girls who play water polo look like.

Sammie comes home at 10 am, and we have a final walk in the park next door together. It has been a delight to get to know Berlin with this ingenuous girl who has been going out with Jamie for 8 years, and these photos capture a beauty we shared together.

We missed one of a little squirrel and only saw his perky, curled tail disappear behind a branch. Tomorrow, I take a train from Berlin to Paris and change at Frankfurt with my three-legged suitcase. I will arrive at Gare Est and travel by Uber to the home of a woman I have never met called Josette, but she says her friends call her Djo. I don't know if she considers me a friend after 2 or 3 short texts which want to know she doesn't talk, write, or read one word of English. We will be sharing a bathroom and dinner 5 times a week. Djo has told me she will be looking out her 5th-floor window for mefrom about 10 pm onwards.

Auf Wiedersehen, de Berlin.

Enjoy the photos

The support crew.

People just like us.

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1 Comment

May 13, 2023

You are hilarious. All your new best friends and you are not only a writer but a photographer too! Well done Asele, I am proud of you and hope so much that Paris inspires you as much as Berlin. big hugs xxx

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