Published: December 7th 2010January 10th 2010
Kee here again:
On our way to Berlin we had to change trains twice and at the first train change is where our epic train adventure started. When we arrived at the new station (I can't remember the names of the stations), there were already millions of people waiting on the platform and there was a buzz all around, a sort of excitement in the air - then the train arrived, pulling slowly into the station and begins the drama! Everyone on the platform surged forward wanting to get on this train and let me tell you, the train arrived at the station already packed full of people. Picture this: Hundreds of people running towards the coaches with huge suitcases, trolley bags and backpacks. Although the train was so full, everyone just wanted to get onto the train(us included). Everyone was pushing (this was so unlike the Europe we've been experiencing thus far). We started also pushing our way forward, as mom started panicking. She pushed us forward and I was on the train, Kris was halfway on, but couldn't move anymore in - there was just no more place and she did not want to let go of mom's
bag in case we lost mom cos mom was still outside! then I started panicking, as I was the only one on the train and I wanted to jump off back onto the platform because I was afraid the train was going to take off, but mom said stay on as she was afraid we were going to miss our next train, but EVERYONE was feeling the same way - they were all just pushing to get on the train. We eventually managed to get all our bags on and Kris yanked mommy in so now we were all on the train, but gosh it felt like we were standing on other people. People tried for almost an hour to squeeze onto the train, hanging on the doors, but the train would not move with the doors wide open. Eventually, the doors closed, but we could barely breathe, people were sitting on the luggage racks on top, happily drinking beers enjoying the chaos, others were smoking, in this closed confined space, while others just moaned and squealed. Next to us there were these moany girls, who were making racist remarks about the Chinese people on the train. I know mom
wanted to click at them and say something because I saw her glaring at them, but I think she had the same thought as us - that these women were so butch they could easily kill someone and we should not mess with them. On this train was a side of Europe we had not seen before. All we had seen in Europe was kindness, manners, honesty, order and just good natured, helpful people and now this. I was a bit disappointed:(
On a happier note, standing next to us on the other side, was this gorgeous boy and we looked at mom and said 'take a picture, take a picture'. After a three hour delay, the train finally took off. We then changed trains at another station to get to our final destination which was Zoologischer Garten in Berlin. this train was also full but not as hectic and it was actually a rather pleasant trip from there on as there was a general party atmosphere on the train with everyone sharing drinks and snacks and laughing. We arrived at this station at 7.30pm and the train was scheduled to leave at 8.30pm. We were starving by now
so we went down to the shops in the station to get some food. I had a doner kebab which was delicious and Kris had a sausage roll (boring).
Our host in Berlin, mom's friend Andreas, kept on phoning to check where we were as he was already at the station to pick us up 5 hours ago. We eventually made it to Berlin, but could not find Andreas as he was waiting on another platform, so mom left us in a dingy area with drunk people while she ran from platform to platform to search for him. We were exhausted as we had left Heidelberg at 9am that morning and only reached Berlin at 10pm. Luckily mom came back with Andreas and he took us to a nice coffee shop where he bought us hot chocolate and doughnuts and then to a warm dinner at his lovely house.
Wheew what a day... although as mom would say 'it was an adventure', I would not recommend anyone to take the slow trains during the festive period especially around the New Year as it seems everyone wants to be in Berlin for the New Year and it it way too
There are more photos below