The Boy from Latvia
Wednesday and Thursday were my first days on my own. They have been unexpectedly positive ones. On Wednesday I got up at a decent time and headed to a cafe to work on my CV and look more into accommodations. After talkings to Mom on the phone, I was able to think a bit more clearly about where my priorities should lie. I got myself a German number, (despite the language barrier at Vodafone) and I signed up for a German bank Account, let's just hope my card gets delivered okay to my hostel.
Later in the day, I met up with a boy who I matched with on Tinder before I left Toronto. Mom, Dad if you're reading I suggest you to stop here and spare you the details, haha. Anyways..he seemed keen on meeting so I eventually got over my apprehensions and agreed to it. For the sake of this story, let's call him Seb, it's close enough. Seb was kind enough to take transit to me because I wasn't confident that I could make it to his place. We ended up grabbing beers from a convenience store–which I don't think I'll ever get used to the fact that they have kiosks that sell alcohol that you just open and walk around the city with–my story diverted, back to the point. Seb and I sat down in a park by the water and listened to a busker while we got to know each other. After we finished a beer, and the busker got through some Elvis and other 60s classics, we went for a walk.
He kept insisting that I was going to get more sick if I didn't go back to the hostel to get a sweater. I thought this was his way of finding an excuse to get me alone, turns out he was just being a good guy so I got my sweater and headed back outside. We spent the rest of the evening walking around the city, bought shawarma, laughed over the language barrier, and he showed me some cool hidden gems around Berlin. As the night wound down he eventually invited me to come back to stay the night at his place to which I agreed. We made a quick stop at my hostel to grab clothes and my charger and were on our way to his place. Mind you, he lives about 50 minutes outside of the city center by subway and when we got about 30 minutes from his place we had to transfer to a bus. At this point of the night, I was a sweaty mess. Anyone who knows me knows how much I sweat, and mainly from my head. My medication has made this worse too. I found the more I sweat, the more I self conscious I was getting about it and the more self-conscious I got, the more I sweat. So I wasn't too surprised when Seb recommended we maybe go back to our own places. He was nice enough to make sure I got back okay, but I still couldn't help but feel gross and unwanted. When we both got back and charged our phones he ended up messaging me apologizing and explaining he changed his mind purely because he was exhausted and felt we were moving too fast. Although I didn't believe him, he kept insisting to hangout with me the next day to make up for the change of plans.
Thursday morning arrived and we were still chatting. Seb invited me over to his place that day so he could help me find a place to live and show me some places to apply for jobs. He also wanted help with his English for an application that needed to be completed in English. What was supposed to be a 50-minute commute took me an hour and a half because I couldn't figure out their transit system. Before I left Toronto I was just barely getting used to that subway system and here's a visual comparison of Berlin to Toronto.
Enough said. I didn't give up though and finally made my way. We spent the day at his place talking and helping each other with our applications. Seb made us lunch and we ended up falling asleep for a short nap. It was a really nice, chill day together getting to know each other.
What I've learned about Europeans so far on my trip is that they're very forthright and frank. I can relate as I've been like this most of my life, not mean hearted or rude, just maybe a bit blunt. At one point of the day we were lying in his bed and he looked at me and said if the digital/design stuff doesn't work out I could take up modeling as long as I lost some weight because I had a really "photogenic face". Now if someone said that to me back home I would most likely be upset or offended, but I just laughed. I know myself that I should lose weight, but I am confident that I could never be a model, no matter what weight because I can't fake a smile without looking awkward. His comment still makes me laugh as I'm writing this, and for once, I don't feel like crawling into a corner when someone makes a comment about my weight. I remember looking at him and laughing as he kept his hand rested on my leg, laughing with me.
Before I set out on my travels someone told me to take each encounter and person I met as a lesson. I have always believed that people come into your life for 'a reason, a season, or a lifetime'. The boy from Latvia, came into my life for a reason, for a lesson.
Neue Bop: Body of My Own by Charli XCX
Charli XCX seems like a fitting artist for this post and what better song than Body of My Own. The chorus in itself is big 🖕🏻 to anyone who wants to try to make it seem like they own you or your body. I'm learning to love myself first and this experience was a big step in the right direction, thinking positive. Today I have checked out of my hostel and have no plans as to where I'm sleeping tonight, going to sit down now and figure this out. I'm excited to see where this journey brings me next, so stick with me!