Berlin’s cafés are full of surprises.
One spot where you’ll find all the right magic, and also my favourite, is Katie’s Blue Cat. The café is located close to the Maybachufer. It’s one of the places where it seems perfectly fine to share a small table with strangers. Sure, it’s normal in Berlin to share a table with others, however, at Katie’s many people come alone. They come to read. They come for a quick coffee. They come to talk to strangers.
You never know who you’ll happen to sit next to. Sometimes I get talking to someone about their recent divorce. Another time I’ll listen to someone who needs an open ear to discuss their newly found love. I also met one of my best friends here. Just like me she was reading a book but couldn’t stop looking over at the cover of mine. We talked. The rest is history.
It’s these little stories I find fascinating, and these special places that make them happen.
Many people have become accustomed to using Tinder instead of looking around for who they sit next to. It seems it has become difficult to talk to strangers.
Even though, all our friends once were just that… people we didn’t know and didn’t know we had so much in common with.
Here are my tips on how to chat up strangers over a coffee:
* If you come to a place more often, people will become more comfortable around you and feel like it’s okay to talk to you. It works 10 times better when you have a dog.
* Ask contextual questions. These can be anything from borrowing the salt from someone’s table and then making a comment about their jacket or their scarf.
* You can even ask what someone’s eating and say it looks good. If it does look good!
* If I go to a place where it seems acceptable to work on my laptop, I don’t bring my own charger. Instead, I ask others if I could borrow theirs. This mostly only works if you own a Mac.
* If people have a book, I ask them what they are reading.
…and if you want to know what cafés in Berlin are the best to meet new people, or to take out your date, or even to meet up with your parents at, I might have something for you. I’ve curated a set of 50 cards as a guide to Berlin’s best cafés. You can find the guide on Kickstarter.
Guest post by Monika Kanokova