Moving to a new country with a new currency, one of the things we’ve been thinking about is, “is it cheaper?” It’s a very intangible thing. I’m too stupid to do quick currency conversions in my head, I’m earning a different amount of money (is it more, is it less, yes!), and different kinds of costs work out very differently. Recently we had an incident with an outrageously expensive (or was it?) iceberg lettuce from Lidl, a budget supermarket, 2€! Unlimited metro usage is 29€ a month (until it possibly doubles in a couple of months, or doesn’t). We’re getting a new apartment that is twice the size of our apartment in London and more than I’ve ever paid for a place to live, but it’s not twice as expensive as that place in London.
Anyway, inscrutable differences aside, you know what is fucking great value here? The Yorck Unlimited membership card from the Yorck cinemas group of Berlin. For 19€ a month you can see as many films as you want at any of their fourteen very nice cinemas around the city.
I am well aware that Yorck did not invent the unlimited cinema membership, and that unlimited memberships in the UK are available for not wild amounts of money. I don’t care, though. The nineteen-fucking-euros a month (less than 2x the cost of an already very reasonably priced standard ticket) Yorck Unlimited membership might make winters in Berlin actually good.
We are living in a short-term rental right now, with no TV or home media paraphernalia. The upshot is, I don’t watch any TV or movies at home whatsoever, because doing so from my laptop makes me feel like a depressed person. Instead two to three times a week, we walk to the cinema and watch something. Like the people in the 80s! The stakes are so low in picking a movie to watch, I’m seeing things I would have half-watched on TV at home and probably wouldn’t have given another thought. Out of the two cinemas we’ve been to (Rollberg and Passage), I prefer Passage, but who cares!
So far this month we’ve seen Babylon (very fun, a lot of movie), She Said (good, no more or less), Close (devastating, lovely, mostly French), Return To Seoul (divided opinion in the Hackinger-Reid household, very Cool, darkly funny, also French!).
I think my enthusiasm so far outpaces Sarah’s. She’s more willing to watch some easy TV on her laptop of an evening, which I respect because it is more normal behaviour than marching down to the cinema multiple nights a week like Jaws just came out for the first time. Maybe my hype will wane when the days get longer and the sun is out more often. For now though I can be found many weeknights in a screening for Literally Whatever shovelling popcorn into my stupid grinning face.