Mapping the Journey

Back in Berlin (for a few days)

After a long year of semi-lockdown in Leuven, I have made it back to Berlin. Mattia and I had to work on the final manuscript of our volume, which Routledge is dearly expecting. A few days of intense work with remarkable results: the volume is going to be amazing!

I have had some time to meet with friends, too. And appreciate how Berlin has changed during this past year, yet it has not changed at all. Something has surely changed: the Humboldt Forum is now open, new U-Bahn stations are open as well (noticeably, “Unter den Linden”), the new airport is open, and a Bud Spencer Museum has appeared in Unter den Linden.

Yet beyond the surface, Berlin is still the one I left last year. Its relaxed avenues, its daringly open-minded approach, the constant renovations of streets and buildings (not Invalidenstrasse 110: not yet) are all still here, untouched, Berlin’s spirit being affected but not spoiled by the pandemic. And living in Leuven, that’s what I miss of this unique city – yet only sometimes (and definitely not the constant renovations!).