We the People of Alexanderplatz

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After moving around Berlin for a couple of years, from one apartment and district to the next, I ended up living in the center of Berlin. The building was only a few meters away from one of Berlin’s most famous places. Just a few meters down the street, was the Alexanderplatz.

The place itself is nothing special. It is just a lot of concrete with several shopping malls, hotels and some monuments on it.

What makes this place so interesting are the people one runs into and what they do. The square is full of them almost all day long. Even around two in the morning one can find them at the little bar, drinking and smoking.

There are various interesting individuals from all over the world, doing all sorts of things.  There are young talents making music for the public while only a few meters away, there are groups of acrobats or dancers performing for the pedestrians.  There are also very talented artists drawing all sorts of images on the ground. Street musicians are the most common thing though, aside from some beggars. Mostly one can find them beneath the railroad depot bridge, almost right next to the gay bar called Broom Closet Bar or Besenkammer Bar that has been around since the cold war.

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Then there are obviously A LOT of tourists, too and all what most of them do is pointing their cameras at the television tower protruding

behind the C&A store building. Once they are done taking pictures of the tower, they head over to the Grillrunners or Grillwalkers to get something to eat.

Grillwalkers or Grillrunners are people that walk around the square, selling bratwurst in a bun with ketchup or mustard for € 1.20 a piece. Some of them just stand in a place, some try to approach pedestrians and wish them a merry Christmas even in the midst of summer.

On days, when the weather is especially nice, one can see pedestrians standing on the square randomly, looking all the way up to the sky. Some very courageous people like to do bungee jumping from the top of the Park Inn hotel to the big entertainment of the tourists. Must be nice to wake up in the morning in your hotel room and see someone fall past the window on a bungee rope, eh?

Another thing that used to take place when I still lived here, were protests. But not anything seriously big that would make it into the 8 p.m. news. Nothing like a huge strike that would shut down the public transport system for three weeks. Just small things. People coming together with their banners and megaphones, protesting against so many different things, I can’t even remember a specific example right now. I remember coming home from school at 7 p.m., hearing the typical protest shouts.

I just witnessed one this afternoon on my way to the train station. It was something against  Social Robbery as I could read on the banner. Whatever that was supposed to mean.

So yes, this is where I used to live and what I call my second home after Belarus and before Kosova. A place full of cultural diversity and many interesting things to observe.

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