It was a place where you speak English when you order and are surprised if the guy behind the counter who might or might not have been gay – it is hard to tell these days with the fashion in beards – answers in German. I had never been to this part of Friedrichshain and neither had Christopher, actually it was the part of town you only go to when you meet somebody who speaks English, I would say. A very nice part of Friedrichshain, Oderstraße, there is a large playground there, trees, it is calm, and there is Aunt Benny, a pleasant café where you get a small thing with a number written on it when you order and wait outside in the cold until the sun reaches across the houses and an Asian looking girl brings you your Chai Tea Latte. It all seems like a very small part of Brooklyn or Notting Hill brought to Berlin. Or is Berlin just a very small part of Brooklyn or London anyway? Victoria had suggested the place, she lives near Warschauer Straße, she said, in a different area, she said – I would have said that it is the same neighbourhood. Which just goes to show how little I know: of Berlin, of my time, of a few things. This is why we met Victoria. To help us. To move us along. To work with us. She is from Birmingham which is fine because neither of us has been there. She runs a blog about Neukölln which is fine because neither of us do. She was recommended to us by a woman with the nice name Ché Zara Blomfield who again was approached by Elvia Wilk who was brought to our notice by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, all three very nice names. As is Victoria. Gisborne-Land. We should ask her about this name, shouldn’t we?
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