Berlin’s quiet extroversion


Going to shows, concerts, and gigs in Berlin are so wonderful because of the polite and considerate audiences. I find these kinds of things relaxing because I am charged by the energy of people. I find it restful to be in an immersive sensory experience: music, dance, good food, delicious drinks.

In Berlin, more than other places it’s easy to go out for music and not need to talk. People focus on the music and enjoy the togetherness without conversation overtaking the primary experience. In fact, it even affects the sound: in American clubs and concert halls there’s a layer of chatter on top of the music. The sound guys have to tune it louder and even for other reasons it becomes more intense.

Even this week I went to a night event where Max Richter’s 8-hour composition was intended to be heard while sleeping. A few hundred people gathered in a powerplant and slept on individual cots while listening to the music. I loved sharing the experience with so many people without having to be directly and explicitly engaged. When we talk about being extroverted and being charged by people, it doesn’t necessarily mean talking.

Nina Mehta is a writer and product design leader in Brooklyn, New York. She began her design career in journalism and has been writing online for 20+ years. Nina is from outside Chicago and has since lived and worked in San Francisco, Berlin, London, and Tokyo. Learn about Nina at

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