We’ve been traveling this summer and I’ve been sharing some of our adventures along the way, I know I love to hear the adventures of others and its kind of fun to finally have some of my own to share. Most of the places we’ve gone have felt like home away from home. The communities warm and welcoming, comfortable.
This morning we boarded a plane leaving Dublin, Ireland heading to Berlin, Germany. Dublin was my first international trip and it spoiled me a bit, almost everything is in English, the people were easy to talk to, the food great and I could eat so much of it (being celiac this really means something). I must have gained ten pounds, I mean aside from the whole drive on the left side of the street and having the street signs on the sides of the buildings (hard to locate I’ll tell you what) I might not have known I wasn’t just in another big city in the states.
I was sure in for a shock. This is how we felt.
Wir traten aus dem Flugzeug in Berlin, so weit so gut. Packte unsere Koffer auf dem Gepäckband und gingen unseren Weg aus dem Flughafen navigieren und finden Sie ein Taxi. Es gab keine Navigation benötigt, war der Ausgang ziemlich Bühne rechts von der Gepäckausgabe und die Taxis waren alle draußen gefüttert. Hier wird es zu ungemütlich, nicht nur, dass sie Deutsch sprechen hier beginnt, sie sprechen Deutsch mit halsbrecherischer Geschwindigkeit … Ich hatte keine Warnung über diese Reise wirklich und so viel los zu Hause, dass es keine Zeit zu einem erfahren. Wir hatten Glück, Silben ziehen aus dem, was der Taxifahrer sagte, vergessen tatsächlichen Worte und Klänge zu erkennen. Ich hatte eine E-Mail mit unserem Ziel in sie und zeigte nur an die Adresse in der Hoffnung, es wäre genug, nach einer qualvoll schnellen 20 Minuten Fahrt durch Berlin haben wir in unserem Hotel waren.
Here’s the English version…
We stepped off the plane in Berlin, so far so good. Grabbed our bags at baggage claim and went to navigate our way out of the airport and find a taxi. There was no navigation needed, the exit was pretty much stage right from baggage claim and the taxis were all lined up outside. Here’s where it starts to get uncomfortable, not only do they speak German here, they speak German at breakneck speeds… I had no warning about this trip really and so much going on at home that there was no time to learn any. We were lucky to pull syllables out of what the cabby said, forget actual words and recognizable sounds. I had an e-mail with our destination in it and simply pointed to the address hoping it would be enough, after a harrowingly quick 20 minute ride through Berlin we were at our hotel.
When we got up to our room we found it just contained a double bed, we have our six year old with us so Adam headed back down and attempted to convey our need for a cot so the little man would have a place to sleep. With that handled we headed out on foot into the concrete city to find something to eat.
Walking down the cobbled sidewalk with dusk approaching and the river Spree flowing past I had a pretty decent outlook on our little food gathering mission. The view was pretty amazing, the cars drove on the right side of the road, and the street signs were where I was used to looking for them. However the further into the non-residential portion of the city we got the quicker those hopes were dashed. Nothing, almost nothing, was in English. We couldn’t even pretend to make out most things, frankly we felt lost. We tried to communicate with people on the street, they speak no English here, aside from a somewhat friendly few and won’t even acknowledge you for the most part, aside from a sideways glance. Gone are the comforts of home. We did manage to eat at an Indian restaurant that had an English menu, find a few gluten free items at a supermarket and an ATM. Mission successful, if you can call it that.
Day one Berlin, we have a few more. I’m sure by the time we have to go I’ll start getting my feet under me and won’t feel quite so lost. For now, I’ll turn to the internet and arm myself as well as I can. It’s dark out now and we’re ready to relax a bit after our early morning wake up call. The hotel staff brought our son sleeping arrangements while we were out… he’s currently passed out in a pack ‘n play.
There’s something to be said for the comforts of home, I could sure use a Dutch Bros. right about now.
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