Svergie, all the way
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 23 of 113 › view all entries
June 10th, 2008 – by: afredrix
After saying goodbye to my parents, I hopped on a train for, what was supposed to be, the location of my hostel. 20 minutes and miles of countryside later, I arrived in Oranienburg. I had the gut instinct that it wasn't the right spot - considering the brochure claimed to be within walking distance of downtown hotspots and all. I figure I'm allowed one major screw up on my first stab at the public transportation system. And since, at this point, I have absolutely no schedule or itinerary, it really didn't matter in the end.
I dropped my stuff off at the Helter Skelter hostel (my home for the next few days). Having already experienced the small towns of Germany, I felt ready to take on the big city. I retraced some of the steps from yesterday's tour, but mostly just roamed and explored the neighborhood. Not gonna lie...there were a couple moments in my hours alone where the question "What the hell am I gonna do for the next year?" floated in and out of my head.
The tricky thing about doing this trip alone is that I am, by nature, a social creature. Don't get me wrong - I'm independent and capable and all that crap, but if i had a choice, I would rather spend my time with others. That's why, more than seeing all the sites and collecting pictures of my feet in exotic locales (although very high on the list!), my journey is about the people I will meet.
The first step in that journey was fulfilled instantly when I went back to my hostel. I found a semi-confused Dutch girl staring questioningly at every door in the area. (I feel the need to point out that I didn't actually know she was Dutch until we talked. I'm not that good at distinguishing just yet and there were no wooden shoes in sight.) Since I had also personally been in the situation of staring blankly when I arrived, I took it upon myself to lead the lost Dutch girl - aka Kasijani - to the promise land - aka reception desk. She was also traveling alone through Berlin for a couple days, so after talking for awhile, we agreed to meet up in the evening and find something to do.
My search for evening entertainment turned out to be quite easy.
I met 3 of the 5 roommates right away. I knew I liked them even sooner. Marie and Lillit are two adorable Swedish girls, traveling Europe for a month, semi-following their football team around during the Euro-Cup. (Did I mention it's Euro-Cup time? This is making European evenings quite exciting right now...even for non-soccer fans.) The other roommate is a Croatian-Dane, Amel. Within 5 minutes, we were joking and laughing and figuring out plans for the night. Sweden and Greece were playing, so those of us from other countries became honorary Swedes and joined the girls in cheering on the beloved blue and yellow.
We found an outdoor bar with sand, a big screen and loads of enthusiastic Swedes. I'm convinced that Swedish football songs will forever be engraved in my brain now. The girls lent me a flag to wave to really prove my (temporary) loyalty. When Sweden won 2-1, you can imagine the excitement. So naturally the party had to continue. And it did...until 6 in the morning. We assembled a group and continued the cheering down the street, through the train station and finally onto the dance floor of a 24-hour club. We were clearly the DJ's favorites and received multiple shout-outs as a result.
I have to say, I'm pretty proud of lasting as long as I did, at my old age. And along with Kasijani and our new Swedish friend, Firat, I was the last to leave. To finish the night, we searched for a place to eat breakfast. Turns out, the only thing open at that time was this quaint little German spot in the train station called McDonalds. You should really try it sometime.
I realize this entry is incredibly long. But hey...so was my day. The long story, short would be that I more than survived my first day alone, and I'll now be visiting Sweden.
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