Written by Captain Mary on Thursday, May 05, 2011

I just don't get it sometimes. I have no, none, nada, ability to read a map, especially when I have no idea where North of South is located. I can find an island in the middle of the ocean that is only 7 miles long, but I can't find my butt with both hands.

Thought I would take it easy today, but it didn't work out that way at all. I first strolled the local area to look at the buildings and architecture, and maybe find some pastry. That went well, I returned before most people even wake up.

Then I thought it might be nice to take one of those free tours I had read about. With map in hand I head out to the streets, after 45 minutes of walking I again looked at my map but none of the street names were right. After a few minutes of looking around I stop someone on the street and show them my map, with much surprise I am told that I walked South instead of North. Turning myself back in the direction I had come I got back on track. Too late at this point for the 9 am tour, I set my sights for the 1 pm tour. I finally get there with some time to spare, find a tour coordinator and sign in. A huge crowd is growing for the tour, I figured I have just enough time to go to the bathroom before my 3 1\2 hour tour. That was an adventure in itself, I had to go down two flights of stairs to the bathroom and wait, by the time I arrived back at the street the crowd had vanished. Found the tour coordinator again and she said that I could still catch the group, I walked as fast as I could in a swollen knee state. Slipped into the group without much notice. Only to find out that we were not going to catch a bus, we are now going to walk for 3 1\2 hours.
I can do it, and in the end I did, but not without incident. Walking from place to place through the city, we finally arrive at one of the old check points called "check point Charlie" and as the crowd moved along I was paying more attention to my camera than my feet, so with a thud I found the only pot hole in the city to step in and hit the ground. As I laid on the ground my only concern was if my camera had been damaged, I never considered that I should pick myself up. The guide Taylor, finally grabbed me and hoisted me on my feet. No worse for the wear I am now the center of attention, really I didn't plan it that way!
We continued and now the last stop of the tour has finally arrived, we had walked to the Holocaust memorial, the site of Hitler's bunker, the state buildings, museums and such, now I am approached at what the German's call gypsy's and the lady interrupts the tour by begging for money, going from person to person, there is 45 of us on this tour. She finally gave up and went away, now her daughter walks up to me and tries the same thing, I tried to ignor her but she became persistent, finally I looked her in the eye and said with a loud voice "no". She proceeded to spit at me, without a thought in my head I replied with, "f...k you, you little b...h". Why out of 45 people was I singled out to be spat upon?

The tour over and the day not finished, because now I have to get back to the hostel. I decided to take the subway, map in hand, I am now paranoid about my direction and how to pay for the ticket. Asking for some help from a stranger, she tells me we pay at these machines and punch the ticket or be fined. My reply was that they would never find me. Without much problem I found my way back to the hostel, not without literally crawling back. The most important thing now was to secure a German Beer. The day now over and I am comfortably numb.

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