Ich bin ein Berliner. (English story)

today I became a Berliner, for free. Not only was it my free will to become a citizen of Berlin, it didn’t even cost me a cent. In Berlin, registration, moving and re-registration is gratis. I will undoubtedly make use of this service! My nomad life hasn’t come to an end, yet! Thinking that, I already walked towards the citizen centre, a typical German government structure far from architecture: a 90s concrete block. A true eye broccoli. But, yes, why not? Give me a free service and I don’t need a fancy building! Or like a local newspaper put it the other day “We want Berlin to remain ugly!”
I entered a small waiting-hall in beige-coloured linoleum, beige walls, beige everything. In the middle I found a row of connected plastic seats and a digital announcement screen – the only 21st century artifact. I positioned myself close to the screen, surrounded by beige doors. 18 doors, to be precise. All beige. All ordinary. They could have been apartment doors. At least there was no proof that they were not leading to people’s private homes, except from the waiting hall that is. I was curious what I would find behind such a door. A ‘pling’ made me look at the screen. The screen told me to enter door number 2. The door closest to the entrance. I curiously opened the door that. Behind it, I didn’t find an apartment but a small office, as boring as the hall, with a table and three chairs on my side. On the other side of the table, behind an ancient computer, I saw an old man with glasses, a beige shirt and a leather vest. A German officer. He looked like he was sitting there already for decades. The corners of his mouth were pointing strongly to the floor. As if gravity dragged them down. As if he hadn’t laughed for a very long time. I should try to make him smile, I thought and said hello. While he typed on his computer, I let my eyes wander around the space. Behind him and in my view there was a big window over the whole width of the office. It showed a street with a brick apartment building and a piece of blue sky. Across the sky I saw big white tower clouds moving. I heard water rippling. For a moment I presumed it was my imagination. But then, I discovered a flower pot in the far right corner of the office. Within this flower pot that wasn’t bigger than a meter radius, lay a miniature world with a garden-like landscape, a puddle-like lake and a wheel. It was a tiny brown wheel within this pot world which moved the water round and round. He must have built this himself, I thought. He had made me smile.