A few things to know if you go to Berlin. Don’t cross the street unless the crosswalk light is green (you’ll likely get a scolding), hardly anywhere takes credit cards (cash works everywhere—and people are happy to give change), the coffee is great (so drink as much as you can, since you’ll need it), and the city changes quickly, from being gray and bleak at one moment, changing into a sunny and inviting place just after you turn a corner.
Another thing to know is to remain on the constant lookout for laugencroissants, which I’ll get to a little later.
I wasn’t sure what to make of Berlin before I got there. I’d heard it was hip, perhaps a little wild, kinetic, and quite vibrant. I was only there for a few days, but I managed to ping from one side of the city to another, exploring the various districts and neighborhoods, and unlike a lot of other big cities, I found everyone to be relatively cool and not stressed out and frantic. Berliners seem to be trying to fit into their new skin, often appearing in different guises.