day 55: underground movement
Yesterday was filled with interesting but headache provoking conversations since we went to the Freie Universität. It was a bit of a strange experience since the university is in Dahlem which doesn’t look like Berlin at all. It’s very suburban and partly also reminded me of the area of the Düsseldorf university. On the way to the building where we were supposed to be we saw a couple of university buildings already, but they were just old residential style houses. I found that a bit weird actually and imagined the whole university to be spread out in these small residential houses. However, our destination looked more like a university building though. Brown metal, probably from the 70s or 80s, a little bit rusty. The colour reminded me a bit of the Landesarchiv in Düsseldorf which was close to where I used to live.
The Landesarchiv made me gasp when I first saw it. It was built in 1976 and it’s one of the ugliest buildings I’ve ever seen, massive, of a brown colour with rust all over. It looks like a dark tower of evil (I didn’t take the picture, google was my friend). I sometimes imagined having to work there to make my own workplace seem less daunting. The desperation of the people forced to walk into this tower of evil every morning must be soul crushing.
The university building I’m telling you about is nothing like it though apart from the colour. It’s a sort of flat building with only 2 or 3 floors, but it’s spread out with long corridors and it seems vast like a city. The corridors were inviting and of a light colour. The only thing I didn’t find so pleasant was the smell of it. It smells of German university. I assume that it must be the cleaning products and the same type of grey recycling paper combined with cheap disinfectant soap that produces this smell.
I remember one summer at the university of Düsseldorf wondering whether I’m poisoning myself by drinking the water at the university. The taps with drinking water were marked, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that they put some chemicals in it that gave it such a rotten taste. However, I think it was just the smell of the whole place that made the water taste weird. A taste of wet recycling paper.
Yesterday’s picture was taken at the subway station Spichernstraße. It almost has an abstract quality to it, although it’s just one of the yellow subway trains typical for Berlin. It was moving in when I took the picture.