Berlin Berlin: Day 1 – In Transit: Hammad International Airport, Qatar, 1:40 PST


As part of a Young Curator’s Programme sponsored by the Goethe Institut, Delhi, we have been invited to come and visit the Berlin Biennale. So here I am, and here are my daily adventures! 

This was my first time flying Qatar Airways for International Travels, where in other time (read: two times) I have taken Emirates. And while I am comfortable with the Emirates and with all that which goes in adding to the image of Dubai as the melting pot of various nationalities, my impression of Doha and Qatar were completely opposite. In my mind, it was to be a make shift airport constructed of Palm Trees and Sand. And yes, despite the fear of being considered narrow minded, I am going to acknowledge truthfully that these were my impression.

And lets not forget that it seemed that the entire week everything was going against me! First the attack on Karachi Airport, then my own visa problems, and then rain! Out of all the days that I prayed for rain in Karachi, it had to happen on the day of my flight!

The view definitely helped!

The view definitely helped!

 

Lands the flight.. and my first thought is.. Not so shabby! The building is beautiful, functional, not as gigantic as the Dubai Airport (Bless you for that – my legs are grateful to you) and only 15 days old! I don’t think I have ever visited a baby even that young!!!!!

My first worry was – since I had not realized how convenient the design is – to find my gate! After finding it easily and realizing that I have well over an hour, I decided to roam around the new building and take it in! What else am I suppose to do for an hour anyways?

And Behold! There is this sight!

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Work by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, titled "untitled (Lamp/Bear)"

Work by New York-based Swiss artist Urs Fischer, titled “untitled (Lamp/Bear)”

I remembered instantly reading about the Public Art Acquisition program adopted by the concerned Qatar Authorities. It was undoubtedly nice to finally see something about Art which I had read recently and was able to recall at the right time. Reading helps, people!

And after taking in the sights, it was time to head to the loo!

Now let me tell you something airport people around the world! If you want to score it with the South Asians, and the Middle Easterns, and the whole Muslim World, just give them Muslim Showers! That’s the only thing that you need to do, and you my friend, automatically have a buddy for life! What a great sigh of relief it was to find MUSLIM SHOWERS! I cant tell you the immense joy of discovering that thing right next to me as I went about my business! It really are the Simple things in life that count!

Then was the trip that lasted 6 hours before finally landing in Tegal Airport (reminds me of Islamabad Airport) and then there it was! Berlin! Right in front of me and in my reach! So after checking in to this very nice hotel (recommended: Mercure Hotel), I decided to take a walk! Before calling it a night! These are my first impressions of Berlin!

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