As you may remember, the original post about Berlin mentioned a checklist of five must-do tasks while in Berlin. On Day 1, we were able to cross off four assignments and on Day 2, our journey through the concentration camp left us exhausted in more ways than one. But we still had one task to complete and little time left.
Thus, it was decided. We absolutely must muster up all our energy in the name of fulfilling our Berlin duties: (Task #5) Fill up on wurst, wurst, sauerkraut, bier, and more wurst. Oh, and Berliners.
We’d walked past a canteen the day before and thought to give it another look. We were in luck! They had all four of our sought after fillers, so we each loaded up a tray and found a peaceful spot in the shade of their outdoor patio.
I sat down my tray on the table and before I could pull the chair back and settle into a comfortable seat, a lovely bee perched on my beer glass. It was soon followed by a like-minded friend. And another and another.
Before we knew it, a swarm of bees began to enjoy the wurst, wurst, sauerkraut, bier, and more wurst which we’d waited so long for. Ben and I stood still with fear. I’d rather get swarmed by piranhas than bees but while in a garden in Germany, I had little choice.
Those seated at tables around us began to notice, none of whom seemed to have any pest troubles of their own. A man yelled something in German at me and I looked at him, helpless.
Ben managed to grab his tray and rush inside, but I could not gather the courage to do the same. Without a doubt, somewhere between picking up the tray and finding a new safe place inside, I would have wigged out and thrown my dinner into the air – “That’s it bees. You win!” Suddenly, a hero jumped from the crowd of onlookers and whisked away my tray to the safety of the indoors. I smiled sheepishly, and turned my back on all the pesky intruders who’d tried to steal my dinner. It turns out wurst, bier and sauerkraut are just as liked by honeysuckers as they are by Germany’s finest lederhosen wearers. Once inside, we found a few friends buzzing about, but none so many as in moments prior. We finished the main course and packed up the next morning’s jelly donut breakfast so we could end EuroTrip 3.0 while shouting “Ich bin ein Berliner!” in commemoration of JFK’s famous speech flop of 1963. (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Don’t worry… I didn’t know about it until Ben’s eyes lit up in remembrance and the story quickly unfolded. Read about it here: The Real Meaning of Ich Bin ein Berliner
The next morning, after enjoying our Berliners and wiping the last bit of powdered sugar off our noses and shirts, we said our grand good-byes. Ben walked toward the train station and I waved out the window. A few minutes later, there was a knock at the door. He’d come back to ask an irrelevant question, and set his bag down to give me a burly brotherly hug. I closed the door again and felt like a mother watching her little boy go off to school for the first time as I sat in the window until he disappeared from site.
Can you guess what else disappeared from site that morning? His wallet. Just minutes after leaving, it disappeared from his buttoned pocket and into the hands of a clever swindler while walking up the crowded stairs of the metro station. If you ever need to go from vacation mode to real-world, this is the perfect method! Within thirty minutes, he was on the computer emailing me, his bank, and insurance agents. This summer, we’d managed to travel within seven countries and never had an issue until the very final moments. If anything, it was a good excuse to take an extra day off from work while he got all his affairs in order back in France!
While he returned to the real world, I was off to discover a different kind of ‘real world’ – continuing to realize the loftiest dream I have ever imagined.