/// A Day in The Life of a Vagabond: Berlin
This is a continuous series of posts about random, nonspecific but typical days in the life of my vagabonding lifestyle. –view all days
09:24 AM I don’t drink coffee but waking up to its brewing aroma is heavenly, however that’s not what I’m smelling as I’m gently pulled awake. It’s the cooking bratwurst and it’s beyond heaven, it’s cosmic.
09:31 AM As I feast on an authentic German breakfast with my German friend Trebor while in Berlin of Germany, I realize there is no sausage like having it in Germany cooked by a German – same way there is no sushi like having it in Japan prepared by a Japanese.
10:39 AM Having just come from 100 degree days with 90 degree nights for the past month in Indonesia, I feel as if this murderous Berlin winter has something personal against me as we walk to the U-Bahn subway.
11:10 AM We get off somewhere in the city center and I smell bratwurst again, this street (curry) version is also damn good, nom nom nom. Busy wiping my mouth I barely notice that we stopped walking and are in front of some concrete rubble with graffiti on it, which is odd because the rest of the street is flawlessly upkept.
11:11 AM A minute passes in silence as we’re just standing there in front of the rubble then Trebor asks why I’m not taking a photo of THE Berlin Wall. After that sudden realization I go from feeling like an idiot tourist to an enlightened explorer… That’s one of the most wonderful things about travel, to experience such a profound moment by observing something as seemingly insignificant as a broken cement wall.
12:03 PM As they say, “pictures don’t do it justice”. This 2 century old arch has an enormous presence about it that precedes its actual physical size. Because I feel like I’m crossing over to a royal or holy place as we walk through the gate.
12:23 PM On the way to Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station) to pick up Trebor’s girlfriend, we run into Julie and Jenny, out of the blue – just like that. I traveled with them through Laos and Cambodia a while back but we never made plans to meet here. Sure they live in Germany (although not Berlin), so meeting like this is incredible, but again, that’s how we travelers roll. We make plans for a party later on and say goodbye.
12:49 PM Berlin Hauptbahnhof is one of the slickest railway stations I’ve ever seen. It’s like an out of date airport from the future year of 2030… Judith finally arrives and I can immediately see through her (intentional?) attempt at hiding her piercing beauty underneath a strange mix of punk / pajama / hippie style.
1:03 PM We find a “Car2Go” on the street to take it to Judith’s apartment. These are itty bitty car things that are for “car sharing” for members. Having only 2 seats, Trebor takes the driver seat and Judith sits on my lap in shotgun. No complaints from me.
1:31 PM Judith gets out of the car and tells us in her broken but sweet English that she just has to shower, pee, get dressed and do her makeup. She smiles and whips out a 6 pack of Einbecker beers from her suitcase and hands it to me through the car window. She must have bought them before meeting up with us because she knew she would have us waiting in the car. I could get used to this German hospitality… Prost!
1:58 PM Unable to resist the delicious Einbecker, Trebor pops open a bottle and joins me. But we remain in the car for the heat until Judith comes back.
2:16 PM Judith finally returns and laughs when she sees Trebor, knowing we would have to take the train because he’s drinking. She slips out a Coors Light from her purse and starts drinking, I can’t help laugh at her personal taste in beer since she got us Einbecker.
2:22 PM Once we get to the entrance of the U-Bahn, I start chugging my beer as Trebor and Judith look at me funny. They tell me we can drink on the train.
2:23 PM My mind gets blown.
2:36 PM We got off somewhere in Friedrichstadt, with beer in hand of course.
2:51 PM To my surprise, Trebor now tells me we should put our beers down, but I understand when I realize where we are, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial of Berlin. Even without meaning, this field of nearly 3,000 monoliths arranged in the middle of the city is hauntingly and atmospherically beautiful.
5:41 PM I gaze out the window during a long train ride to the other side of Berlin… To my left I see Trebor and Judith passed out holding each other’s hands while grasping a beer in each of their other hands – so romantic, so cute, so German.