Connor Bär
An artistic rendering of the welcome hall of the new BER airport.

“Nobody has the intention of building an airport!”*

September 15, 2013Journal

These were the words that passed through my mind as I got on the impossibly crowded bus to Berlin Tegel airport. I’ve never seen so many people unintentionally hugging each other.

I started to fully understand the tragedy behind the disaster that some people call Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Not only did I understand it, I could also feel it painfully in the form of an elbow in my back.

When I finally got off the bus after what felt like an hour the delight of being at an airport washed away my discontent. I made my way through the travellers, snagged a chocolate heart that stewardesses of Air Berlin handed out and looked out for my friend Arzu. She was the reason I was at the airport. In about an hour she would board the Airbus A321 to Istanbul and then continue her journey to Hong Kong where she would attend Li Po Chun United World College for two years.

I wasn’t the only one who wanted to wave goodbye to her: Numerous friends and her family were already waiting with her, taking a last photo, crying and hugging each other. Together we brought her to gate 4. We didn’t stop waiving until she had passed through the security check and we couldn’t see her anymore.

That moment I realized what was going on. She was really leaving. I wouldn’t see her for probably two years. She was gone. Far away. She would discover new things, meet new friends, and have the time of her life while I still had to wait three month till Swaziland. Three long and boring month. But wait…that isn’t true! I have an exciting time ahead of me, too!

Tomorrow I’m going to start an internship at the office of the German UWC National Committee, focusing on raising awareness for UWC among students through social media marketing — a topic that fascinates me. I already have an enormous list of ideas that I just can’t wait to try! On top of that I’m living on my own for the first time in my life. In Berlin! Like it could get any more exciting than that!

*Reference to the famous quote from 1961 by Walter Ulbricht, then head of state of the German Democratic Republic: “Nobody has the intention of building a wall!”  —  two month later work began on what was to become the Berlin Wall. At the moment workers and politicians struggle to finish the new Berlin Brandenburg airport that is supposed to replace the two old airports Tegel & Schönefeld and should have started operation over a year ago.