It was a crisp Saturday morning in early October and the white-haired man weighing my produce at the local farmers market had kindly warned me that if I consumed the small warted gourd in my hand I wouldn’t come back alive. I laughed nervously as my grand visions of trying a new vegetable and being adventurous in the kitchen quickly dissolved like quicksand. “Oh-h-h, really? O-o-kay, that’s good to know,” I responded in German nervously, while trying to ignore the customers behind me that were most likely not looking in my direction, “I’ll take it anyway.” I bought it as an act of atonement for my lack of knowledge pertaining to autumnal squashes. Sensing the man’s concern about my wellbeing, I surprised myself by making small talk with him for what felt like ten minutes. In the past seven years, I’ve lived in eight different flats across four neighbourhoods in Berlin – and this was the closest I got to feeling like I was a part of the local community. I was elated and walked home with a spring in my step.