London Day 4/Berlin - Fri 24 Friday I woke up and had to catch the train to Gatwick, after I repacked all my stuff. Instead of going to Amsterdam for the weekend, like my original plan, I decided to hop a flight to Berlin, because Amsterdam's hostels were either sold out or exorbitantly expensive--what's the point of staying in a hostel if Im going to pay the same amount for a hotel? No thanks. I'll catch that city on Europe Part 2. Add it to the list.
I emailed my friend Johanna, who is kindly letting me stay at her place while in Berlin. She face booked me directions.
So, flight to Berlin. easy jet, $193 Pounds. Not bad. But the one carry-on bag was. I'd bought a bunch of stuff while I was in London if you recall, and I already had 2 pieces of carry-on baggage from my first flight from Toronto (purse and a small backpack). I had bought a large beach tote on sale when we went shopping on Wednesday thinking 'this is great, I can just throw everything inside'...but it definitely was not big enough. I crammed it all in anyways and went on my way--the biggest problem was that with my backpack already occupying my shoulders, I had nowhere to carry this tote, so I had to walk in a perma-bicep curl with this bag that weighed 30 lbs (doesn't seem like much, but when you don't weigh enough to donate blood, proportionally it's HEAVY). I was sweaty and disheveled by the time I got to the airport, but managed to shmooze my way on the plane with this thing. T
The tough part was when I arrived, my arms were so tired that I was sort of dragging this bag along while wearing this huge backpack, a coat, a lulu lemon sweater, a blazer, and 2 shirts, because none of it would fit in the bag, so I had to wear it. I looked like a crazy person. I'm sure that's why the customs officer took an extra long look at my passport before letting me through.
Once I was through, I realized to my dismay that the directions to Johanna's were sitting in my Facebook inbox...on the internet. which I had no access to. Cue me setting up shop in the airport, buying 5 euros of wireless, and emailing them to myself. So ridiculous. I had to take a bus to the subway, then get off at a certain stop and walk to her place--she said it was pretty easy so it shouldn't take too long.
I navigated the bus and the subway (thinking I was a rebel the entire time, because I didn't buy a subway ticket, until Johanna later told me it was included in the bus ticket..) just fine, and I got out, saw my landmarks, and started walking. And walking. And walking. It was getting darker by the minute, and I hadn't seen the next set of markings or street signs, but I figured maybe it's just a little further. I don't want to not walk far enough, and then have to double up in the end...naturally I got completely lost, I had no map, no phone number for Johanna (not that my phone was working anyway), and no actual street address. I was, in a word, screwed.
I kept trying different streets, thinking, you know Katy, you really suck at directions and that's exactly why you need to get yourself out of this predicament. But I was so hot, sweaty, exhausted, and just frustrated from lugging 60 lbs around for the past hour and a half, when it should've taken 10 minutes, that I just sat down and cried.
Just as I was pulling myself together to give it another try, a group of people walked by and asked if I needed help. They said I looked lost, and I could only nod. THey used their iPhone to look up the street I was looking for (I walked in the completely opposite direction I was supposed to), and sent me on my way. Turns out they had just come back from living in Vancouver for the past 3 years, and commented on how nice Canadians were. THey saw the flag hanging from my backpack and thought it would be a nice way to pay it forward. So thanks for the flag, Mom! It's already getting me out of trouble.
I made it to Johanna's in the end, and the lessons I take from this are: 1. I still suck at following directions. 2. I should've gotten the iPad with 3G.
Tomorrow is another day!