3 December 2011

A short day's journey into a long night

Yesterday was a long day/night.  It began at the East Seven Hostel, when i woke up, and packed up again to drop off most of my stuff at my apartment to be, which I'll finally get into on Monday.  After the trip to Kreuzberg, I got back on the U-bahn and headed back to the Alexander Platz area to find my new hostel, the Pangea People Hostel.  from what i understand, this hostel is fairly new, and they're still working out the kinks.  The doors close extremely loudly, and the footsteps down the hall echo prominently.   They also wouldn't let me get into the room before 3pm, so I took a walk in the wind and rain and headed to the DDR museum for refuge.

The DDR Museum was interesting, giving the visitor a small taste of life in the former East Germany (Deutsche Demokratische Republik, although we all know the "Demokratische"part was hooey).  it was a small museum, but there was a lot to see and do and touch.  Particularly interesting was being able to look at workbooks or assignment books from East German school children, especially their units on Marx and Engels!

When I returned to the hostel, I met Pat, an American who has been spending the last month in Germany traveling while waiting for his girlfriend, a German professor in the US to arrive in the country on Monday.  He recommended the "alternative" pub crawl.  Alternative to the large crawls that take tourists to all the touristy bars.

It was after that that I had dinner with Dave, a Torontonian ex-pat musician who one of my musician friends in Toronto put me in touch with.  Dave recommended a nice italian restaurant and we talked about the music scene here, in Toronto, and life in Germany as an expat. 

Finally, since I was already in the area of the beginning of the pub crawl, I walked up to the starting bar.  It was definitely an interesting pub-crawl, hitting bars that I would never thing of going into (or even realize they were bars) had I seen it from the outside.  As the night progressed, the bars went from chill (Yesterdays), to a little weird (the ping pong bar), to loud (the bar with a really bad rock band of 15 year olds -- or so it seemed), to the final dance club that just rubbed me the wrong way . . .

My favourite bar was probably the goth bar, where the music wasn't so goth.  I'm pretty sure I heard the Dropkick Murphys, Queen, Blink 182, AC DC, and some German pop that wasn't very Goth.  The people were mostly goth, but there was just a vibe there that people could be themselves and have a good time!

The adventures didn't stop there.  At about 2:30am, I had had enough of the crappy dance club (in a sketchy industrial area near the Warschauer strasse S-bahn station), so i decided to leave, and stood in line for at least 15 minutes to get my coat from the coat check.  Once I got my coat, i made my way back to the S-bahn station, and found out that the next train in my direction would be at 3:04 am.  So I waited the 10 minutes, only to find that once the train left the station, it went very slowly, and stopped for long periods of time.  I was sharing the car with a few Spaniards, some germans and couple of english blokes.  One of the english blokes had 3 little bottles of Jagermeister in his hand and was wondering if drinking them would kill him. 

Slowly, and not so surely, the train proceeded, and by about 3:30, we pulled into the Ostbahnhof (East train station).  For those of you familiar with the Berlin train system, that's one stop.  I had actually ridden the same line earlier in the day.  It should have taken no longer than 4 minutes or so.  When we were just short of the station, we could see police running up to the train and boarding the car in front of us.  Finally the train arrived at Ostbahnhof and the police left the car in front of our.  Usually when the train arrives in a station, a button can be pushed on the inside of the door which will open them.  This time, however, our car was locked.  Until the cops came in to the middle of the car (i was towards the forward end).  They got one person off (he went pretty docile-ly), and we finally moved on.

I ended up getting back to the hostel around four am, and was very glad that Pat and I didn't have any other roommates!  However, due to the loud doors and footsteps, I didn't sleep well, and I'm currently writing this while hanging out at the hostel, taking refuge from the rain!

No comments:

Post a Comment