‘The Sound Barrier’ – Berlin

Walking from Charlottenburg to Mitte. An absence of frenetic traffic (or emergency vehicle sirens). The hum of a barge passing under a bridge, occasional birdsong. The uniformity of hearing (almost exclusively) one language (deutsch). The effect of comprehension on perception of sound, a ‘familiar chorus of conversation’. Being asked for directions, to a classic landmark, in broken english. The level of expectation. That these people are also outsiders/tourists/visitors, or that this language is the international currency for breaking the conversational ice? Parts of a city where the volume levels are expected to rise (but don’t?).


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