Last weekend I paid a visit to one of my most favorite cities again - Berlin. With a much more cultural program this time ..., well, ok, with about 3 hours more of culture time this time around, I saw the city from above and the city from the past. The marvel of the Bundestag is there, certainly. I think I was more fascinated by the technology (you know, those audio guides which are smart enough to know where exactly along the long spiral you are), or by the architectural ingenuity (the mirrors adjust their position according to the position of the sun in order to reduce glare and at the same time to make sure that the German decision-makers get enough light not to strain their eyes). The Saturday was cold, light was diffused and every step along the long spiral felt like a new needle pressing in on my lungs. The cold doesn't last, however - it is only psychological - the vapours coming out of my mouth are the serpentiles that feed my visual system with signals that my brain primitively misappropriates. The texture of the streets that still remember the heaviness of tanks and the lightheartedness of freedom. The fresh smell of the ice crystals in the air raise the bar - the expectations and preparation for the stale smell of the old buildings - the smell that has permeated the walls and the pain for half a century of conversations about and against ... walls. And the hugs - because no matter where you are, they always mean the same - "thank you"!

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