An orgy of swallows swarm over my courtyard every day. From the moment the sun breaks through my blinds, I love listening to them fight and feed. An unseasonable heatwave has seen temperatures reach the early 30’s this week. Berlin’s buildings are not equipped for the Anthropocene.
My flat lies opposite a notorious anarchist commune in Rigaer Straße. Its been described elsewhere as a “squatters Champs-Élysées” with anarchists inked from head to toe running the entire street. As police vans monitor them in the street, the protagonists defiantly hang out banners, and clutter the street with mattresses and toilet rims. There are trolleys stuffed full of recyclable bottles, plastic crates operating as seats, and a red Protestant church clattered with bullets.
I’m an invisible tourist in Berlin. Nobody pays any attention to me. Its a bizarre living arrangement in so many ways, but one I will look back upon with intrigue and pride. Like a swallow on a mistimed route, it feels incongruous for me to stay here, with my plain white arms chiming against the ink.