Sunday, 28 April 2013

Prague To Berlin & A Friendly German Guy

Winter is coming, and I could feel the changes gradually and also through the things which I was obtaining without knowing. I now have a proper jacket, two pairs of gloves a winter hat, more alcohol, … I seem to think I could sustain warmth with alcohol but in reality all it did was keeping my senses numb hence I don’t shiver outside in  the cold.

Fernsehturm Berlin
So with the upcoming direction towards west Europe where everything would be significantly expensive plus I was headed to Berlin the highest point north in the map so far, I wasn’t so sure how I was going to survive. One thing for sure was I was not going to be visiting Norway or Sweden this round.

The train to Berlin was quiet with the cabin full at every stop. A friendly nod and greeting was more or less everything that anyone does. I sat down next to the window far inside tripping through three people from the door and settled myself for the journey. Opening my Lonely Planet book I started to do some research of Berlin with my mind blank for once not filled with anticipation or expectation. I was just on the road … no biggie

“Backpacking Europe ? Going to Berlin ? First Time ? Where you from ?”, a bald headed guy kick started a conversation with me seeing the book in my hand.

We ended up chatting about my travels and adventures for *Baldie* was quite curious of an Asian boy traveling alone going places. After a while he switched to the place I would be going and started recommending places to visit in Germany. Baldie was a Germen and he was proud of his country although after a while you soon realized he had a small rein on his proudness being careful not to insult anyone else and quite self aware of the WWII which was a touchy subject. 

It was weird … he was proud of Germany doing well despite the Euro dept crisis and yet he sympathizes with the neighboring countries who were in the slump. I tested water with a remark about how Germany earns the money and gives it to Greek or Italy for that matter so those country don’t need to work so hard. His reply was so neutral you would almost thought he felt Germany was indebted to all the countries in the world.

Berlin was my stop but he was headed onwards to Hamburg. Once he found out I had no interest in WWII or the concentration camps he started suggesting so many places of interest to visit in Germany. The history of the Berlin wall …. I drifted to dreamland a bit here but by the time he was done and me making notations all over the guidebook I knew I was going to stay in Berlin for at lease a week instead of the initial 3 days plan.

Next Stop Berlin … and to my horror he came down with me on my stop. He walked very fast to the tourist information center and before I could do anything he got me a map, a discount card for the Bahn (Trains), pointed me on the orientation of the city, a quick guided tour of the new station and the monuments within eyesight’s or mainly the Parliament buildings and bid me farewell leaving me stupefied standing at the middle of the station waving goodbye to a overly friendly German guy.

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