storiesbydeepa on Instagram

Deepa Paul

Freelance copywriter and producer 🇵🇭🇳🇱 City life, travel, #wordsinplaces. 📍 Brussels I have the words you're looking for.

Report inappropriate content

Layers of a city | I first came to Brussels when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My mom was seeing a man based here, back when a long-distance relationship was an epic effort. His kids came to Manila and we went to Brussels, all of us becoming intercontinental summer siblings. When I was about 9 or 10, we almost moved here, but my mom and he ended up parting ways. But our families remained close in a special and unusual way. Though I’ve come here so many times, I hardly know anything about this city. Just one very familiar house and a lot of classic favorite restaurants. This place has always been about family and food. Now, every trip to Brussels as an adult feels like a first time for something: to ride the metro, to visit a museum, to drink a Brussels-made beer. How wonderful to know that discovery never ends. That there’s always a layer underneath what you thought you knew. And that the familiar can not just welcome and comfort, but also surprise you. P.S. And yes, you can stay really good friends with an ex! Thanks Mom and Uncle D! #WHPhidden #anotherlongasscaption #storiesbydeepa #brusselsbydeepa #brussels #bruxelles #belgium


A gray and rainy Monday in Brussels. Typical. #WHPhidden #faceless #busystranger #brussels #bruxelles #belgique


“No! I told you three times already, no!” shouted the bouncer, a bald muscled man covered in tattoos. “Go away! Go!” Thank God he wasn’t shouting at me, but at a single guy, pale and shaking with fear behind us in the queue. My eyes widened in alarm, but ever the stoic Berliner, my companion remained blank and unimpressed. We were lining up for one of Berlin’s most notorious clubs on a hot and sweaty Saturday night. As the humiliated fellow slunk away in defeat, I got the sinking feeling that my skintight leather booty shorts and silver chain harness just weren’t going to cut it. We’d seen people clad in full-body latex on the S-Bahn, faceless and ghostlike; tonight the real freaks were out to play. Competition was tough. Finally we stepped up to the front of the queue. “Zusammen? (Together?)” We nodded. The woman at the door narrowed her eyes at us, scrunched up her face, and said... IN or OUT? I’ll leave it to you to guess. 📷: @thisfullpackage #bestbackdrop #rockthatwall #streetarteverywhere #storiesbydeepa #berlinbydeepa #berlin


I could write something cute like “Plant envy #urbanjungle” or “Spiral staircase goals 🌀 #theworldneedsmorespiralstaircases,” which would be perfectly acceptable, even expected for Instagram. But what I really want to say is: I hope this picture marks the last time I’ll ever waste my time going somewhere because of Instagram hype. Life is too short. I’ll keep it at that. Here’s to pursuing the experiences that satisfy us truly and deeply, wherever we may go. Happy weekend everyone! #treppenhausfreitag #urbanjunglebloggers #storiesbydeepa #berlinbydeepa #berlin


Dare to ask | On a hot and sweaty Monday afternoon, in a tucked-away, almost empty cafe in Kreuzberg, it finally happened. The question I‘d always wanted to ask a stranger in a cafe, but had never dared, was asked of me. “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you,” he began. “What are you writing?” The question was harder to answer than I thought. I blabbered incoherently about three pages and writing by hand, trying hard not to use the words “musings” and “life.” I might’ve said something about the subconscious mind, which makes me cringe now. I wished I had a pre-packaged witty reply to whip out of my pocket; I‘ll need to work on that. Mercifully, the conversation stumbled past its rocky start, and eased into a warm and pleasant flow about writing, poetry, music, and Berlin. Because a stranger dared to ask me, I owe it to myself: the next time, instead of hiding behind my imagination, I will dare to ask, too. @thevisitcoffeeroastery #anotherlongasscaption #peoplewritingincafes #storiesbydeepa #berlinbydeepa #ig_berlin #ig_berlincity #berlin


“Every day finds us weaving a story about who we are, where we are going, and why events happened as they did. We may not be publishing our stories, but we are writing them in our minds nonetheless.” (@theschooloflifelondon) Thank you for adding new pages (and characters) to my story, Berlin. It’s been real. #whileinbetween #busystranger #stairwalkers #iphoneonly #berlinbydeepa #ig_berlin #ig_berlincity #berlin


“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” (Henry James) Maybe summer is just a state of mind, something you can carry with you wherever you go. #summervibes #chasinglight #shadowplay #berlinbydeepa #ig_berlin #ig_berlincity #berlin



Berlin is burning | It was a long trek to the Plötzenzee, where a sunset swim promised relief from the day’s oppressive heat. On the way, we passed freight trains gaining momentum for their slow, laborious escape on burning iron tracks. Then a tree-shaded walk through the canals and islands of the massive Westhafen, a port so enormous I could hardly believe it could exist in the middle of the city. Always something to discover here, but always a challenge and a confrontation before the payoff. It’s good to be back, Berlin. #nofilter #noedit #shotoniphone8plus #chasinglight #berlinbydeepa #storiesbydeepa #ig_berlin #ig_berlincity #berlin


“After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.” (Oscar Wilde) Cheers to the weekend. What are we drinking? @sohohouseamsterdam #tgif #friyay #goldenhour #handinframe #amsterdam


Step aside, millennials, because today’s #throwbackthursday is all about the rotary dial telephone. #anotherlongasscaption Oh, the anticipation of waiting until the number you dialed fell all the way back so you could dial the next one. Or having to wait hours until you got home, so you could find out if that guy you liked had finally called... and the (delayed) dizzy joy or crushing disappointment if he didn’t or didn’t. Or the indignity of having to share one phone with your siblings, who could sneakily pick up the phone somewhere else in the house and listen in on your most secret (usually lovesick) conversations. Or having to pull the phone as far as it would go, snaking the cord under a closet or bathroom door, for blessed privacy. A phone that wasn’t just yours and that you couldn’t take anywhere with you! Imagine that? Fellow dinosaurs, you remember these phones? If you do, share your favorite rotary dial phone memory in the comments! #tbt #notformillenials #iwokeuplikethis #amsterdam


Goodbye and thank you July, I can’t believe how glorious you were. Hello August! Try not to mess it up, okay? P.S. Check out the swimmer trying not to get run over. Would you rather be on that boat or in the water? #summervibes #goldenhour #amsterdam


“Good night my angel, now it's time to dream and dream how wonderful your life will be. Someday we'll all be gone, but lullabies go on and on. They never die. That's how you and I will be.” (Lullaby, by Billy Joel) #childhoodunplugged #showthemtheworld #bringthekids #dordrecht #zuidholland


The eternal debate: sunrise or sunset? I never thought I’d be the kind of person who comes alive at sunset and comes home at dawn, but life is funny that way. It sure is easier (and more fun) than waking up at sunrise. At least for me. What about you? Are you a sunrise or a sunset kind of person? #WHPlight #chasinglight #loves_cityscapes #amsterdam


Sky walker | A boy jumps off the Drieharingen bridge in the Westelijke Eilanden. Probably my favorite bridge in the city, and probably my favorite shot from last week’s heat wave. A new week begins; let’s plunge in. Have a good Monday, everyone! #summervibes #amsterdam


In the last golden light of the hottest day of the year, I went for a swim in one of Amsterdam’s loveliest canals. It wasn’t something I thought I’d ever do, but the moment I jumped in I couldn’t be happier that I did. I swam on my back for as long as I could, taking it all in, this very particular and intimate view of the city from the water. Ducks and swans glided past me; my fingers and toes brushed against fallen leaves and floating twigs from the trees lining the canal. Back on land, the water evaporating from my skin in the hot evening air felt like a gift after a scorching day. And it was: a gift from my city to all of us who dared to seize the moment and take the leap. #WHPlight #storiesbydeepa #anotherlongasscaption #goldenhour #summervibes #amsterdam


“So how did you spend the hottest day of the year?” “Oh, just hanging out.” 🤪🤪🤪 At 37 degrees, yesterday was a definitely a bridge climbing, canal jumping kind of day. How did you manage to stay cool? #summervibes #bridges_of_our_world #amsterdam


Burning sunsets, restless nights. Stories and secrets in every shadow. When the summer heat keeps you awake, when your blood runs hot and you’re not quite yourself, what are you thinking of? @sohohouseamsterdam #shadowplay #goldenhour #reflection_shotz #reflectiongram #moodygrams #WHPlight #amsterdam