Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Expats: Pizza, Wine, Movies

A month has passed since we relocated to Berlin, and, upon reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that the key to settling into a foreign country is establishing suppliers of three basic needs: pizza, wine and movies.  These three things form the cornerstone of our weekly routine, and I suppose it is the creation of a routine that starts to make you feel at home.

Pizza was easy.  In fact, we ate at our local pizza joint, La Focacceria, on our first night in Berlin.  I could write a whole blog about this place so much do I love it, but let me summarize by saying enough super-savory pizza to satisfy the prodigious appetites of both husband and me sets you back a mere €7. Wine was also easy, and I have in fact already written a whole blog about our corner wine bar.  Finding a cinema that shows English language movies was a little more challenging.

Lonely Planet had tipped me off about the existence of a nearby English language cinema, Central Kino.  What they had failed to mention was how hard it was to find once you arrived at the designated street address.  Luckily I noticed a small, photocopied sign reading Central Kino with an arrow pointing through an archway.  At this point we were only several days into our Berlin adventure, and let’s just say we were both feeling a bit overwhelmed.  We had been plucked from our bucolic village and thrust into the big bad city in the depth of winter.  And as we passed through that archway into a graffiti-covered alley (pictured), things felt distinctly menacing.

Ten meters later I noticed another photocopied sign for Central Kino hanging loose from the wall. I took a guess and led us up a stairwell straight ahead.  It was so covered with graffiti it had texture.  And smell.  Halfway up the first flight of stairs even I, the more adventurous of us, was repelled back into the courtyard by wafts of urine.  There we encountered a twenty-foot high metal monster statue staring down at us.  Determined to find someone who could direct us to the kino, I marched husband into a bar that somehow managed to be pitch black inside even though it was still daylight outside.  “Do you speak English?” I demanded of the barmaid while stealing furtive glances at the clientele, half expecting to see syringes hanging out of their arms.  Perhaps concerned for our safety, the barmaid personally led us out of the bar, across the courtyard, behind the monster, and into the lobby of the Central Kino where we continued the theme of psycho drama with a viewing of Black Swan.  Like pizza and wine, movie night at Central Kino has since become a regular part of the Berlin routine.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention a good hair colorist in my list of every ex-pat gal’s needs.  And I have found mine in Berlin: Andreas (speaks perfect English and is a charmer) at his beautiful Aveda salon, schönBERLIN.
An der Spandauer Brücke 11
10178 Berlin
030 2848 4780

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