May 8, 2014
After living in Berlin for about 20 years, owner of R.S.V.P. Meike Wander reflects on her relationship with Berlin, where she decided to open her internationally known stationery shop. “There is still space for ideas like this, although it gets more and more difficult…”
I live in Berlin since 1995. But I was born and grew up in Munich and had lived in Athens before from 1994 to 1995. Munich was too small and the society was too conservative, Athens was big enough but the people were even more conservative than in Munich, so I decided to go to Berlin. It was big and absolutely not conservative at all. In 1995, it was pure freedom to live here. (Of course, that’s not the case anymore) I first felt at home in Berlin after I had moved to the (then) most beautiful house in Mitte, approximately a year after being here.
Nowadays, Berlin is almost like any other big city in Europe. There’s not much of a difference now. But what makes the city still special is its people. I think there is still a more open-minded atmosphere in Berlin than anywhere else.
I don’t have one favorite place in Berlin, but my favorite neighborhoods have become Wedding and Lichterfelde, because they’re just normal areas to live in. They don’t have anything you would feature in a tourist guide and I like that. When I think about living in Berlin forever, I surely don’t want to stay here for the rest of my life. In 10 years or so, you’ll find me as a farmer in Greece.
But if I should give any advice to new Berliners, it would be these 3 things:
Refuse being part of the big game. Don’t look at the others. Do your own thing.
This is exactly the same way how I decided to open my own stationery shop in Mitte. There is still space for ideas like this, although it gets more and more difficult…