When Caroline, Mai and I were brainstorming which country to meet in, Berlin was always at the top of our list. It was easy for everyone to get to-me from Stuttgart, Mai from Austria and Caroline from Denmark-, was a new city for all of us and had a ton of history. I was super excited because it was one of the first cities in Germany I was getting to explore outside of visiting family.
After a couple hours of flying, we decided to kick off our trip with a happy hour at an Indian restaurant down the street. Our joke was that their happy hour ran all day, so technically it was “Happy Day.” And we definitely drank our way to a happy day. The staff at the restaurant was pretty cool and invited us to hang out once they closed down. We heard about how they’d come over from India to go to school in Europe and we all exchanged travel stories in a shutdown Indian restaurant on a Sunday night. Never a dull moment.
Speaking of exciting moments: guess who flooded the hostel bathroom only 20 minutes after arriving? Me. Now this wasn’t entirely my fault. The door was already broken and hanging off of the hinge, only problem was I didn’t see the water spraying out of the shower until it was already covering the bathroom floor. Oops. Now if you didn’t know this next piece of information, let me enlighten you: HOSTELS ARE ABSOLUTELY ANAL ABOUT THEIR TOWELS. So the next day, instead of calling our room about a bathroom repair, the receptionist asked when I’d be returning the 6 soaking towels I’d used the night before for flood control. Cool.
Our day started at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp just outside of the city. The crappy cold and rainy weather definitely added to the mood as we entered the gates with our tour group. We learn about WWII every year in school, but nothing compares to actually being on the same grounds where unimaginable things took place. Going into the room where they did the autopsies gave me immediate chills.
At Kamala, a local Thai restaurant, I got to eat my dinner out of a coconut, so that was a different experience. My favorite moment was when the owner ran my card and for some reason it kept declining. She kept screaming in my face, “DEUTSCHE KARTE?! DEUTSCHE KARTE?!” She was asking me if my card was a German credit card (which it was). As I was trying to explain this to her, she kept getting closer and closer to my face repeating herself over and over. So naturally throughout the night, I’d randomly run up to Mai and Caroline screaming, “Deutsche karte?!”