Barcelona, Goteborg, Berlin

Article published on May 12, 2008
Article published on May 12, 2008
' 'Lonely Karen Drifter'' is an alternative folk typical singer. She composes pure and beautiful music only with a guitar and a nice voice, but especially with a lot of feeling. The other day I was listening to an interview with her on the radio.
One of the things that drew my attention about the interview, even more than her music (though it is so lovely), was that the singer talked about how her music has been influenced by her life, especially the places where she has lived in: Goteborg and Barcelona.

“Sweden and Catalonia?” you might wonder. Can somebody be interested in such a two different countries? It seems so! And I express it in such an enthusiastic way because I have also lived in both countries, though voluntarily, of course. Sweden and Catalonia are two very different countries, but especially because of this, they seem connected as well. Peace, organization and plenty of space in Sweden; activity, chaos and crowded streets in one of the Spain’s most Nordic regions or a southern one in Europe if we analyse it from a continental standpoint.

Life does not consist of choosing one option or another (this would be really boring) but mainly, experiencing everything: experience peaceful and active moments, moments to be alone or with company, organised moments and chaotic moments. Wouldn’t it be perfect to spend half a year –because of the weather, of course, the other big difference!- in Barcelona (winter) and the other half (during summer) in Sweden? I agree, due to the money this is not easy.

Meanwhile, I have decided to live in Berlin. A perfect point in the middle of Europe, between the north and the south, with quiet and lively places, organization and chaos… A city varied just as life itself. From my apartment I can’t hear any car even with the windows opened. However, only at five minutes from my house there are plenty of bars, cafes, and streets are lively. Daily life is well organised, with a large and efficient public transport network which can take you explore the Berliner chaos whenever you feel like it: the excellent urban dynamism, the industrial areas outdated since the fall of the Berlin Wall, bars called “private clubs” where you decide the price of the drinks they sell… From time to time this so well-organised public transport network is the main cause of the chaos – like at the moment for the bus drivers are on strike since yesterday. So this kind of chaos does not always make you happy, especially when you are going to travel and need the bus to get to the station with your suitcase…

I hope Lonely Karen Drifter will come to discover this (almost) perfect place.

This article written by Henriette Ritz is part of the EuroBarcelona’s portrayal series.

Translation by Gemma Herrero