I don't know what I expected when the day after the English Christmas Fair I was on my way to the "Japanese Christmas Fair". Maybe little Geishas folding complicated Origamis? I should have used my brain - I mean: Japan and Chrstmas?? and: oh, Revaler Straße in Friedrichshain - even better known to the police than rough Alexanderplatz...
Fights, stabbing, drugs - "down these mean streets a man must go", to quote Raymond Chandler - well, and in these days: a woman too - IF she wants to find that Fair.
From the underground station Warschauer Straße I Took a walk on the wild side - the promised number 99 wasn't to be found, and as I walked on, the area became more and more dreary and sinister,
And the Africans, very well fed and very secretive, started to offer me "Tea, coffee or me?"
I wisely refrained from witty answers or taking a few cute snapshots of them, and after more than one kilometer walk along a single (!) wall - beautifully sprayed with graffiti - I muttered unladylike under my breath "Damn, damn, damn - I'll go back."
As the wise Taoists say: the moment I "was letting go", all things fell into place - and I between picturesque ruins and beside a beautiful swimming bath "Der Haubentaucher" (great crested grebe):
and a flea-market:
Vainly I asked a girl wearing not much more than a Purple Haze if she knew where ??? - but all she could do was to offer me her joint. Felt like the middle-aged woman in "The Knack", when Rita Tushingham rings at a door and cries: "Rape! Rape!" and the lady says kindly: "Thank you, love - not today."
Then, at the very beginning of the Revaler Straße, at my starting point - yes, Buddhism is right: life is a circle, not a line - was the Urban Spree, where the Japanese Christmas Fair was taking place.
Mangas, mangas, mangas - nothing else - and they didn't seem especially convincing to me, but then: I am no expert. But nothing "hummed" at me.
So I did that myself, melodiously humming: "These boots are made for walking!"
And that's just what they did...
In my sturdy Timberlands and without getas I was leaving a very lively and interesting part of Berlin.