Bergstraβe? How do you even pronounce that? All of the street names looked the same; the convoluted layout made it even harder to navigate with a map.
I was lost. I had decided to try and navigate Berlin with a map to inevitably end up at the Berlin Wall Memorial near Bernauer Str. Obviously I was not doing so well.
I had folded the map into a tiny square a few inches long, so it wouldn’t be so obvious that I was a tourist. It had actually worked, since two women had come up to me, at separate times, asking something in German.
Where the hell is it? Is this it? I don’t think I would be asking myself if this is the Berlin wall if I actually saw it.
My finger traced along the angled streets as I attempted to navigate my way around.
I ended up in a graveyard. I don’t think this is it… I walked around, trying to look as if I was supposed to be there, while quietly staring at the map, confused.
I felt weird being there, so I decided to leave. The map wasn’t helping me at all, so I decided to walk straight and turn right to see if I made it.
The vibrant graffiti and smell of curry worst distracted me a bit as I tried to navigate the streets of the Mitte area.
Wait, am I supposed to turn right now? Crap. I was lost, again. I think I turn right here.
I walked down a street that was lined with dark green bushes on one side. It was a dead end.
I turned around and walked the other way, cursing under my breath.
Suddenly, I saw a road that cut in between two buildings and looked like it would take me to the other street.I checked the map just to make sure, and from what I understood (which wasn’t much) was that it did.
Hell yeah, I got this.
When I got to the start of the road, there was a fence on one side with a sign that said something in German. Being the genius that I am, I ignored it, and walked right through the fence. At least it was open…
As I walked further, I felt as though I shouldn’t have ignored the sign. Suddenly, I was on a playground with school children running around, shouting nonsensical phrases and staring at me like I was a witch.
Oh, shit. For a moment I debated saying something to them, but I only knew English. Do these kids speak English?
Through all of this internal debate, I ended up standing and staring at them instead. Probably not for the best.
I turned around and saw a man standing a few feet away from me. I tried to smile at him, which probably ended up looking way creepier than I intended. He muttered something in German, to which I then felt even stupider. There I was, standing in the middle of a playground, unable to speak any German, in my huge over-sized Northface.
“Uhh, I’m lost,” I said, hoping that he spoke English.
“Yep. Turn around and make a right,” he said in perfect English. Well, okay then!
“Okay yes sorry,” I said, turning around and stumbling out. I don’t think I’ve ever walked away faster than I did at that moment. I turned around at the last second and looked back. The man was standing there, watching me, making sure I left. I wanted to shout, I’m innocent I swear, but decided against it.
A burst of pent up laughter bubbled out of my mouth when I turned the corner. I couldn’t believe what had just happened. After that moment, I decided to treat foreign signs more cautiously.
I eventually made it to the Berlin Wall Memorial, ecstatic that nothing else had happened afterwards.
Note to self: Maps suck. Well… I just suck at reading them.