Berlin is the San Francisco of Europe; diverse, international, colorful, cultural hub and each neighborhood is its own microcosm. One can find anything under the sun; from corporate chains to a very vibrant alternative culture and everything in between. It’s the European melting pot complete with homeless people, leftist movements claiming their own neighborhood, visible immigrant communities and neighborhoods with food from all over the world. I enjoyed Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Italian food, ate German food too. Because of geography, Berlin has more Europeans and Middle Easterners while San Francisco has more Asians and Latin Americans. Walking Berlin streets, you hear Spanish, Arabic, Turkish, French, English and many other languages besides German. It has a very rich cultural and artistic scene. From graffiti to street art to concerts to kink and anything else you can think of. With a beautiful landscape complete with expansive parks, lakes and bike-friendly culture, if you’re looking for recreation, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Unlike SF though, public transportation in Berlin, and Europe in general, is very efficient, reliable and user friendly. However, here’s, sadly, the thing that left the biggest impression on me: tap water is potable! Thirsty? Fill your water bottle from any tap and drink to your heart’s content! What a concept!! After having to buy drinking water in plastic bottles for many months in South East Asia and the Middle East, it was a great relief to drink water straight from the taps, like the old days. Thank you Europe!
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