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Berlin: Making friends with strangers

02/05/2019
Spring in Berlin.

© aNadventures

You don’t necessarily have to leave your city to experience something new.

On a Saturday morning that felt like the first spring day of the year, I was given a wake-up kiss by the sun. I instantly decided to make the most of the day and to have breakfast outside in one of Berlin’s many cozy sidewalk cafés.

I started walking towards a nearby square when I suddenly encountered a crew shooting a movie. I almost walked into the scene and was surprised to recognize a famous German actor on the sidewalk just a few metres away from me.  I was intrigued by the whole procedure and sat down at one of the tables of the nearest café.

The spot I chose was both facing the sun as well as very close to the film crew. It didn’t last long until an elder man, Peter, joined me. I ordered a breakfast with an emphasis on cheese and accompanied it with a cappuccino. Peter and I started exchanging some words. But I was rather hesitant, at first.

Eventually, Peter’s friend Bernd arrived. I learnt that they meet every Saturday at twelve noon at this very same café. They like to share their stories of what happened throughout the week. I silently sat beside them and ate my breakfast all while listening to what they had to tell each other.

All of a sudden, Bernd recognized his friend Christine, a lady from the neighbourhood who was wearing a colourful felt coat. She joined us at our table. Soon, the ice between the four of us was broken and I participated in the conversation. It didn’t take long until we discovered we had a lot in common: the neighbourhood we all lived in, having made a Camino experience of some sort, having watched the most recent Glenn Close movie…

Time with the three strangers went by quickly and after another cappuccino we ordered aperitifs. I was particularly impressed by Christine. I admired her calm yet lively behaviour. Every once in a while she would get up to greet passers-by who she knew or to ask for a cigarette at one of the neighbouring tables. The two gentlemen were meanwhile smoking cigars. Jenny, the waitress, kept visiting our table. She was very friendly and had known Peter and Bernd for a while already.

We had come together as strangers and left each other as friends. I’m very happy with this unexpected encounter. I now know where to find these people on a Saturday noon. Maybe I’ll join them again on another occasion. And if not, it’s still an encounter to remember.

How about YOU? Have you ever made friends with strangers? Aren’t all friends strangers at some point in time before we become close to them?  

From → Random

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