The freestyle photographer’s backpack rule no. 1: Get to a new place, learn the culture, make friends with strangers, adapt, blend to the environment, and to get to the heart of the image. Never be called the tourist!
I was hosted by a lovely German family with 4 lovely kids with absolutely heart-warming hospitality. Thanks to them, I was able to get to the heart and experience German life at Undorf, and to make a short trip on bicycle on the countryside which I’ve always wanted to.
The next morning I took the bicycle out to look for gifts that I could offer them, but everything closes on Sunday. So I made my way to the train station, lock his bike (which he will come pick it up later), bought a super expensive ticket (comparing to carpooling, which I missed) to Berlin. Oh, I met another German family who’s lost with the ticketing machine. Thanks to the past solo travel, I was experienced enough to provide local Germans with directions. Nonetheless feel good to help other people.
The journey to Berlin on train is a 6 hours plus ride. I sat at an empty seat of four, later found myself surrounded with three old folks. An old man started talking to me in German, I replied I don’t understand, but I think he wanted to sit with the other folks. He said ‘Scheiße’ (shit in German). I was surprise, I figured he wanted me to move, I offered him the seat, but he said ‘it’s okay’. Afterwards he tried to talk to some cabin attendant, and a young pretty lady came talk to me in English that they have another seat for me if I could shift. ‘Sure of course’ I said, didn’t I offered the seat earlier? Later I found myself sitting with 2 beautiful German ladies for 4 hours of the journey instead of the old folks. Pretty pleasant.
I arrived at Berlin in the evening. To be honest, I did not do any homework on the place, I made a spontaneous decision because 1) it’s along the way on my itenary. 2) My friend in Munich strongly recommended and helped me with the plan 3) My cousin from the States is here 4) The historical wall of Berlin. I arrived with a lost look, it’s different from Munich, much more spacious, though same train companies, same bike sharing. I made a spontaneous booking at a hostel and make use of the night for photograph opportunity.
While strolling around, I dropped my lens cap into the drain! With some brute force, I lifted the 20~30kg, thing, only to find it leads all the way down. ‘Scheiße!’ A waitress from a wine house besides came to offer his help, but nothing he can do. He said he likes to take photograph too, and we started a conversation.
We started drinking together and having a meal with his two other friends from Serbia, he’s from Latvia by the way. Thanks to them, I suddenly filled my to-do list in Berlin. We just keep on talking and sharing, ended at 2am. What a way to start my exploration in Berlin! More pictures of Berlin coming soon.