Rootless and extravagant dreamers, opinionated and unprejudiced, sharply-witted, independent and faintly narcissistic. These are the Berlin kids in all their beautiful contradictions.
I met Chris on a summer night, when I crashed his friends’ karaoke cabin and brought my crew in. As the night went on, and the alcohol level got higher, the song selection became more and more pop orientated. What normally people would pin down as “guilty pleasures”. To my surprise, this ginger shy guy seemed not only to know by heart all the lyrics but actually to enjoy my picks more than his mates’, to the point he stayed, when all the others left. Our duets became a constant over the night, and, between the reasons why we eventually exchanged contacts.
In a matter of a few days I realised what kind of incredible person I had casually bumped into: trustworthy, kind-hearted, patient, empathetic, generous, caring. A good listener even in my worst moments and somebody who was there to boost my confidence and distract me, when I felt like the ebb couldn’t be any lower.
If somebody asked me which one of my friends would make the imaginable for me, probably Chris’ name would be one of the first ones to come to my mind. And I honestly don’t really think to deserve it, especially knowing what I’ve put him through. He would probably say to me that holding a grudge is absolutely pointless.
It’s awesome to know I can count on you. You can do the same.
CHRIS BY CHRIS
Name: Christoph Labjon
In Berlin since: 1987 (with a brief break of 22 years)
Where did you live before moving (back) to Berlin: Rostock
Profession: number cruncher
Dream profession: crunching numbers with a more artistic background
How would you describe yourself: down-to-earth, patient, persistent, stubborn, procrastination expert
Biggest inspirations: my family, friends, music, past experiences
Favourite activities in Berlin: watching strangers and having free sightseeing tours in S-Bahn
The place to be in Berlin: At any waterside (or rooftop/or outdoor dancefloor/or..) during sunrise.
Your best Berlin story: I’ve been predrinking once with friends at the stairs in front of their (residential) house, when a guy approached wearing nothing but a black seamless skintight rubber overall with zippers just at the most crucial parts and stared at the door silently for about 10 minutes. At first I was scared, expecting him to stab us at any moment, but only until I realized there was no way he could hide a knife somewhere to begin with… #onlyinberlin
Picture yourself in 10 years: Hopefully at a place where I feel inspired by everything I do. And having ticked off at least a few of my bucket list’s travel destinations.
“I have had my results for a long time, but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them.” (C.F. Gauß, mathematician) The feeling of knowing without being able to say how one knows. Or how to get there, how to prove it. Theorems, goals in life, places to be at, people to surround yourself with. Sometimes there’s just this overwhelming sensation of having arrived even before the departure. A spark of genius? Or sheer insanity? How to conclude that? An assertion: Starting from zero, a draft in mind can help at paving the way for oneself and lighting upon the solution. However, what may turn out as at least equally significant, is giving a chance to chance. Openness for unexpected guidance and new inspiration as well as willingness to take a detour and to create opportunities. Plausible reasoning? Quod est demonstrandum.
You’ve changed so much since you moved to Berlin. I don’t even recognise you anymore.” I’ve been confronted with this statement a couple of days ago, in an accusing kind of way, and still I am not quite able to wrap my head around it. Have I really changed? What is so remarkably different? Which role does Berlin play in that? Did live here corrupt me? How may this affect my environment? Okay, maybe I’m not fully the same indeed. Most definitely I am not. But why is change necessarily a bad thing to begin with? How could it be bad, when I actually feel like being the happiest version of myself since years?
Miranda Sensomat RE, Lomo CN 100 / Fujicolor 200 (35)