Fig. 1 - Your author popping back to Café Kraft for a pizza later that evening.
Round the corner from Café Kraft, overlooking the S-Bahn tracks is Unser Café
, in normal times a popular spot for breakfast or brunch. There is a short, orderly line leading out of the front door and people are sat on benches outside, sipping coffee from takeaway cups and nibbling pastel de natas from the excellent in-house Portuguese bakery. Every other bench is cordoned off with red tape and there are markings on the floor to indicate the 1.5m Abstand distance for those in the queue, but otherwise it feels like an encouragingly familiar scene.
I cross the footbridge over the S-Bahn tracks and walk through Mauerpark, pausing briefly to observe the denouement of a particularly competitive game of pétanque. Passing sunbathers, joggers and buskers, I reach the top of Oderberger Strasse and am met by the delightful scent of roasting coffee gently wafting its way towards me from Bonanza Coffee Heroes. From the exterior, the café looks a hive of activity. The main entrance is closed, but a table is set up outside the kitchen window, from which steam is emanating and masked baristas are busily serving up coffees. Neatly arranged benches and additional outdoor seating are attracting a decent crowd to a nice little sun spot out front. Joining the queue, I notice that a stack of 500g and 1kg bags of coffee beans are also on sale; a smart ploy to move excess stock. I order, and waiting for my cortado, I glance over at the PAR ice cream parlour next door, which seems to be open for business as usual, with another socially distanced line snaking out of the front door and down the street. PAR has some signage on the window instructing customers on the new ordering procedure. Nothing unusual here, Germans are fond of rules of the best of times, but the signs make for interesting reading. Entry only with a facemask, keep 1.5m Abstand at all times, follow the marked one-way system, and card payment only. I find this last rule the most striking – Germany still has a very cash-based economy, with card payment adoption rates among the lowest in Europe; businesses limiting themselves to only accepting card payment is quite a big deal in cash-loving Berlin.