Processing my feelings in Berlin

I arrived Tuesday morning in Munich, and just got time to sit and do the recap. My feelings are still in the air as I process what I lived/living through, so I’ll focus on the recap and tidbits of my thoughts and feelings.

My BFF’s husband picked me at the airport, we chat as casually as it was yesterday that we chat… time lapsed since we last met (Jan 2019 in Phuket).

Then Mara (my BFF) and I started our usual marathon catch up over pretzels, coffee, tea, and cake (it was her 40th birthday). We talked big to small, reflections of being a mother, wife, business woman as she is, and how we are changing as we turn into 40s. The reason she’s my BFF or as we call it “amiga del alma”, is that despite living apart since our 20s, our intellectual and emotional life kept growing together to the same direction. This is so precious as I know we wouldn’t be each other’s BFF for that long just because we shared childhood/teenagerhood. This is sustainable not because we deeply care for each other but because we are growing old together. We find resonance and understanding from each other million times more than with our husbands, and we are totally in peace with that.

we took a break to visit her new house under construction before heading for lunch (indish food, german way to say indian food). Look the graffiti outside her entrance, so cool.

after lunch, I got a bit sleepy (i barely slept on my way there, almost 20 hrs trip). I told her I’ll do a cat nap, but I napped for 2.5 hrs and woke up disoriented. I told her we need to pick up Sofia, oh no, Lizzy, oh no, Leon (her son). She looked at me worried as I went crazy. hahahah…. fortunately I realized she already picked up her sons as it was almost 5pm. We continued our chat before dinner at a local restaurant with authentic bavarian food to celebrate her birthday.

We shared a dumplings carpaccio because dumplings are my favorite german food

fish with fennel and polenta for my main which was delicious.

I slept solid 10 hours that night. The next day I started with 10km jog, getting used to the cold weather, which took me a long while to adjust. It was very cold and I could barely breath with my nose, my hands got frozen by the end of the run.

Lizzy started coughing after 2 days of mild fever so I organized a teleconsult for her. The doctor said it’s very common these days, many kids are getting sick because they were isolated from virus for 2 years, so not they are doing revenge infection.

Then we left for Bolzano, Italy. We stopped at Vipiteno for some food. what a lovely small town that we visited in 2009 for a ski trip.

we shared a pizza at the only restaurant that offered food at 3pm.

We arrived Bolzano 5pm, way later than we expected. We left our luggage at the hotel and went to explore. Bolzano is a typical European town, surrounded by Alps.

Mara loves to shopping here so we went to her favorites stores before dinner. We decided to try a local restaurant as most of guests were Italians. I had spinach, cheese, bacon dumplings (i told you, dumplings are my fav food). It was good but not super.

we were both exhausted after dinner, got back to the hotel, I fell asleep as soon as I hit the pillow, another solid 10 hours sleep, besides my BFF.

Next day was spent wandering around a bit more, trying to find the path to look over the mountain but couldn’t find it. It was a gorgeous day

then we went to find a local restaurant for lunch but we didn’t like the menu so we left. We were back to center and found a place that served the best octopus Gallego I’ve had in my life. Soooooo good.

then we had dessert while continued the chat. I had to have tiramisu in Italy. 🙂

Mara is in the middle of moving to her new house while running a business. So she asked me if it’s okay that she leaves earlier than planned so she can finish packing before Saturday move. Of course, I was already extremely grateful that she got to spend sometimes alone with me when I know she’s extremely busy with life. Last picture and she took off, a 6 hours drive (usually 3.5 hrs)

I know we will see each other soon because we both need this kind of connection for our soul, we will make it happen soon.

After she left, I did what I felt good at that moment. wonder around, check local market, groceries store and went back to the hotel around 6pm. I didn’t sleep well that night, a bit anxious of being alone. Woke up at 3am and couldn’t sleep more.

Next day, I left the hotel 7am to catch my flight to Berlin. There was a story of how I managed to get a taxi. It seems that one can order taxi only on the spot, no reservation, and one needs to call to a number that is automatic but only in Italian. As I was asking the front desk alternative way to book a taxi as I don’t speak Italian nor German, a German guy showed up asking how to book a taxi to catch the flight to berlin. So immediately I “begged” him to let me ride with him. That’s how I got to the airport 🙂 The airport is tiny, like a family run business, and our plane was small too for a 90 min flight.

My room was small but good enough for one day stay (I am staying in 3 hotels for the 3 nights in Berlin because I booked them separately).

I wasn’t too hungry but knew I needed to eat properly in preparation for my race (I am not good dining out alone so usually I just snack here and there when hungry, not respecting meal times while traveling). I found a vegan place few blocks from the hotel. It was okay but good for some veggie and carb loading.

next stop: race expo. With the race kit, public transportation was free. It was easy to ride the metro to the expo, full of people, around the world.

the expo was very big, located in an old airport.

I picked up my race kit quickly and then dived into some shopping. I couldn’t decide which outfit I liked more so I got both. The race kit doesn’t come with a shirt, so I HAD to get a shirt, and why not two, and short and pant 🙂

I got back to my lunch spot but this meal was disappointing. The vegan chicken was fried and very salty, so I only had the rice and vegetables that were swimming in the red sauce.

To supplement my failed dinner I had a tub of soy yogurt for some protein refuel. 8pm bedtime, as if no jet lag. Solid 9.5 hours of sleep.

Saturday as I type, I am missing my friend, my family. Yet, I feel like being myself for the first time for a long time. There are thoughts and feelings that only surface in solitude.

I am not sure how I’ll spend today, the day before the race, some ideas after i finish this post:

  • go for a jog as prescribed by my coach, 15-20 min
  • pack and check out
  • check in at the new hotel, 600m from starting point
  • go to Berlin mall to find a birthday gift for Sofia and something for Lizzy
  • ensure I drink 2 liters. Being in a cold weather i forget to drink easily
  • walk to the race start point from my new hotel
  • find a good place for pre-race meal (ideally rice with stir-fry veg and tofu, my safe meal).
  • book for a walking tour for the day after the race

Let me leave you with a pic of me and Mara in 2009 in Germany, first time we got together after she moved to Germany

2 thoughts on “Processing my feelings in Berlin

  1. I’m so excited for you!! How amazing to meet up with an old friend- and even more amazing to have a friendship like that that has really stood the test of time. I have a couple very old friends that were soooo special to me growing up, but I’m sad to say we haven’t stayed in the best of touch. Sometimes it makes me really sad!! I’m envious of people who have managed to maintain these deep, close friendships over so many years.

    Best of luck to you tomorrow!! The cool weather will probably make it feel easier than you are used to, with the heat and humidity you normally have. Gooooo Coco!!!! Can’t wait to read about it all.


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