Author: Caroline Schmitt

Freelance journalist
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Wandering and wondering in Istanbul

Istanbul is a paradise for photographers, for musicians, for idealists, for foodies – and probably for you too. I had the pleasure of spending three very full and exciting days there last week with a friend from my old uni, and as it happened, we got a great feel for what it’s like being local there, and what fears and struggles life brings about in Turkey at the moment.

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How wild it was to let it be: A very Norwegian New Year’s Eve

For a great New Year’s Eve party, take snow, mountains, sparklers and good people. I had the loveliest and most laid-back start to 2016 in the middle of the Norwegian nowhere. We (one of my best friends and her old high-school gang, that is) cooked, walked, read, drank and talked in a little hut near Bergen. Back in Berlin, that little bubble of countryside idyll of course burst pretty quickly – but that’s life. I was on the phone to my friend yesterday, ranting on about the burst of several bubbles, when she told me about this new habit she got into: Writing down three things she’s grateful for per day.

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My phone tells stories: November sun and slow afternoons

Hey fluffy dogs. Hey lazy weekends. Hey colours. Hey autumn. Hey Germany. The last few weeks of this year have been (and are) filled with sleepy Saturdays and cosy jumpers whenever possible. One of the nicest trips has been exploring the Sächsische Schweiz area (which translates to something weird like Saxon Switzerland apparently) which is three hours south of Berlin and oh so beautiful. We went hiking, breathed in some fresh mountain air, jumped through the woods and tried very hard not to fall off the – very Instagrammable – rocks. Mission accomplished I’d say.

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My phone tells stories: We all walk this earth feeling like frauds

2015, you have been one crazy, crazy year. And you still are, in fact. I feel like I only manage to get hold of very few of the colourful balloons that swirling over my head and over Berlin… Here are some of the faces, flowers and city lights from summer that made a lasting impression on my phone.

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Lemonworld

I’m starting to think that perhaps autumn in Berlin is even more magical than summer. In a rare outing to Müggelsee and Neu-Venedig last weekend, I finally took a couple of snaps again just for the fun of it. Seriously, look at these colours! Some days literally leave no time to just stop and breathe at the moment, so doing just that and leaving all the questions, occasional confusion (well, let’s scratch the occasional) and the loose ideas on my desk for an afternoon was heavenly. So, without further ado, this is what my current favourite place on earth looks like in autumn. Sorry for the few words, I just wanted to say hi quickly and show you fifty shades of orange. ❤

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Von bunter Wäsche, starkem Kaffee und Seite Drei. #refugeeswelcome

Vor drei Wochen wurde es in meiner Wohnung auf einmal ein bisschen lebendiger. Gardinenstangen, Spiegel und Bilderrahmen brachten sich von selbst an und auf einmal gabs statt Tiefkühlpizza richtiges Essen (meistens Suppe mit irgendetwas undefinierbarem, voll dekadent). Vor drei Wochen sind Emin und Nouri bei mir eingezogen. Ich wachte eines Morgens auf (die großen Erkenntnisse kommen meistens um Punkt 7 und fordern sofortiges Handeln) und es erschien mir grundfalsch und grundabsurd und grundbeschissen, dass diese doch ziemlich große Wohnung den halben, aber meistens den ganzen Tag leersteht, während Menschen in meinem Alter vor dem LaGeSo auf Bürgersteigen und in Parks schlafen. Das darf nicht sein. 

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An autumn reading list

Berlin is one rainy, gloomy and caffeinated place at the moment and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. If the days weren’t so madly packed, I’d finally have the perfect excuse to wile away in cafés and get lost in a book or two. The truth is though that since coming back from Interrailing, the only pages my eyes glanced over were the morning newspaper’s or a couple of magazines. So this is a bit of a subtle reminder for myself to make some more time for literary lovelies before bedtime. Here’s a list of books I’ve read while Serbian or Macedonian countryside rushed past, of audio books that helped me fall asleep (clearly not the purpose of an audio book, is it?), or heavier reads that I started six months ago and somehow struggle to finish. Nearly half of that stack is in German, so this will be a bilingual post (the first, I think?). Läuft bei euch.

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Wir fliegen

What’s the perfect summer day? It could be white sandy beaches, huge palm trees, turquoise waves… just like that ancient Windows desktop background image. Or maybe perfect is something you can’t plan, something a little absurd, something so unexpected and out of the ordinary that you struggle to believe it really happened the morning after. And maybe sometimes perfect is the most ordinary of all things. Anyway. Perfect is this, perfect are these guys and perfect are the waves we jumped into a few weeks ago.