Despite all of Sunday’s rain, I had to get out of The Relexa! I needed toiletries, water, COKE, and food. So here are a few things to remember when you visit Berlin – I can’t speak for ALL of Europe or ALL of Berlin!
When you ride the subway, you don’t necessarily need a ticket. But if you get caught without a ticket, you will be fined 60 Euros – about $80.
Don’t be too hungry on a Sunday unless you plan on just eating in your hotel. (My hotel does not have nuts and crackers in the room or a gift shop downstairs!) Many restaurants and shops (and drug stores) are closed on Sundays – like Christmas!
I cannot reiterate, hold your loved one’s hand while walking on the sidewalk. You may notice a double side walk. That is not a second sidewalk, it’s a bike lane and cyclists, of all ages, mostly WITHOUT helmets, ride pretty fast!
The nice front desk folks at my hotel helped me figure out how to take the subway to a part of town where a grocery store was open – Friedrichstr. – on the S-Bahn (as opposed to the U-Bahn). The name of the store is Edeka.
I learned a few things on my shopping experience. I tried to get a shopping cart but they were locked together. It seems you have to insert a coin to release a cart, just like in many airports. Pay to play! So I got a “free” hand basket. When it was time to check out, I noticed the women working the cash registers were all sitting down. And after a woman rang up my items, she did not bag them. That’s my job! Oh, and if I didn’t want to carry the items out in my arms, I had to purchase a plastic bag for 15 cents or bring my own. A good environmental lesson for the states.
If you are from the US – watch the World Cup in your room, especially if you curse and scream as much as I do! I really did not want to stay up into the wee hours of the morning watching the US vs Portugal. But the US has a problem getting a GOAL and it’s making me sick! Thank goodness for the US Goalkeeper or America wouldn’t have a chance! Here we go – 2 – 2! I think it’s US vs Germany later this week! I will be in the US for that one!!
And while I’m watching/listening to soccer, I am glad I brought a small container of liquid detergent with me from home. I’ve had to tub-wash almost everything I have, at least once. With my fellowship busy schedule, I would have never been able to keep up and enjoy this adventure if I had to shop for such things. My dresses are drying in less than 24 hours. My girl Yang, from Bloomberg TV, was really mad when she dropped off some things at a nearby cleaners, and when it was time for us to travel to another country, her clothes were not ready!
As I start to re-pack, I am thinking and planning for my next trip to Germany. Next time, I want my siblings to travel with me. There are still so many places I did not get a chance to visit!