Get Lost then come back again
Getting back to Berlin after four days in Prague to get lost. It’s nice to be back, it’s also nice to know that next time I’m in Prague I’ll being playing a show. Plus my friend Tom who I stayed with said that I am always welcome with means a lot, it’s nice how people lend a helping hand when you are on the road by yourself.
On the train ride back, I didn’t have as much luck in my seating. I had to share the compartment with others (first world problems). I had a pretty nice conversation with this one girl from Germany who now lives in Austria while she is studying. However when we started chatting she immediately let me know that she was heading to Dresden to see her girlfriend. Too bad too, she was really cute. I mean like really really cute. She had the Sinead O’Connor look going for her really well.
I imagined in my head that she chopped all her hair off when she decided to take to the road and travel. Her bag looked like she had been living out of it for a year, but turns out that wasn’t the case, like I said she was just visiting her girlfriend.
But we chatted for a while, we talked a lot of about traveling and how to get lost and how neither one of us like to stay in hostels. We both prefer not hear people fucking in a bunk above us. And from what I was told the unwritten rule is if someone is fucking in the room, and they don’t stop when they find out they aren’t alone, you are permitted to take pictures and videos of them. I’m not sure why you would want to have videos of dirty travelers fucking high on mescaline in a bunk bed, but evidently that is the unwritten rule of the road.
For me, while I really don’t wanna hear smelly ball slapping hostel sex, mostly my reasoning for not doing the hostel thing is I’m not really interested in meeting other travelers. What the hell do I wanna meet a bunch of people that have no clue where they are either?
Locals Locals and loco
My goal is to travel to a place and meet people that ACTUALLY live, work, party, and love in the place that I get lost in. Some Kiwi from New Zealand is gonna have just as much information to give me about a place like Prague as I could find on Google or with my own eyes.
It’s the same reason I don’t get lost in Museums and old monuments erected to dead men. I’m here to see what the experience is of someone living in that place. I want to see the culture in real time, not a historical dissertation on events that affected the world hundreds of years ago. I want to talk about the things that are happening today, I want to test my opinions and ideas with those that are from a completely different culture. I want to be the American they meet that changes their perception of Americans.
I’m here to network with all the people that I can so that I can further my spectrum of those that are in my life. I want to fall in love with the smells and cultures and tastes of a new place that I had never seen before. I want to party in dank and dark sub level night clubs where the cities people in the know go to cut loose.
This also means a lot of alone time. Which for me is perfectly fine, because I love hearing nothing but the sound of my own voice (my ego can not be matched lol). As a writer this time is extremely important. Sometimes I will spend days in my room just so that I can focus on my novel, or rehearse for a new show coming up, or even just to experience being in your room with the world out your window to look at.
Traveling with other people can disrupt that get lost time. If you travel with the right person that will be fine, because they will be of the same mind. They will want to leave you and go off and do their own thing.
One of the big things that I think can throw a person off when they are aspiring to travel alone in a foreign country is the likelihood to get lost. Sometimes I’ll get turned around on a train, or I’ll be stressed (like yesterday at the Prague station) that I’ll get on the wrong train and end up in some random little town with no place to stay and no means to get out. But that just isn’t the case. That is simply stress making up the worst of a situation in your head. In truth, you’ll be fine. Perfectly fine. Embrace the fact that you are lost, take a minute, realize that it isn’t the end of the world and after you get past the idea of being lost, then you can begin to get yourself to somewhere familiar again…or you can just get lost for a while and take in everything around you. It’s these moments that you will remember forever. I don’t remember all the things that have come easy to me in life, I remember the things that I had to figure out in order to accomplish.
Back to where I been
When I got back to Berlin the train pulled up to Haupbahnhof station. I gotta admit I was a bit cocky. I thought since I’ve been in Berlin for a month and a half, that I can figure out where I need to get to no matter where I get dropped off at. Ladies and gentlemen that is not the case lol.
It took me several hours to get to my new apartment in Berlin, It’s in Charlottenburg, which is a bit more out of the way than my previous place of residence out here, but I figured, I been there once, I can get there again on my own.
I was so cocky that, when I got off the train I hit up my guy that gets me my herbal supplements, I was a bit early and had to wait for my roommate to get to the place because I didn’t have a key yet, so I went and picked up a little something so I wouldn’t have to do it later. Well that threw off my whole route back.
Since I only have service if I am around free wifi, when I’m out on the road I am totally without anything to contact anyone with. So I have to resort to using my actual brain to make things happen.
I ended up getting on the wrong train and heading in the opposite direction of where I needed to go. At this point I had already been on a train for almost five hours from Prague to Berlin, now I’m in Berlin but might as well be a world away from where I needed to get in Berlin. So I headed back to Haupbahnhof and tried to connect to the right U-Bahn line from there, no luck.
So I jump on the S- Bahn. There’s a guy with no shoes on, too many ankle bracelets, no pants, just a striped tank top on that reaches down to about mid thigh. He was bald, covered in piercing and like I said shoeless. Ya know, I try not to stare, but come on. You’re in Berlin and you got no shoes on.
The S-Bahn worked easy enough, but then I got on the wrong U-Bahn train. Actually, right train, wrong direction. I’m on it for a couple stops before I realize, holy shit I’m getting further and further away from where I need to go. Mind you I had arrived back in Berlin about an hour and a half earlier. The commute to my new place was supposed to take about 15 minutes. THAT’S how lost I got.
I’ve got a sixty pound pack on my back, dripping sweat from running up and down flights of stairs, I haven’t eaten since I was back in Prague and all I wanna do is get to my new place and relax. So I quick, jump off the train as the doors are closing.
Panic sets in
I start to panic a bit. I’m stressed from traveling, I’m tired and sweaty, and kind of over public transit at this point. Everything around me is written in German, they don’t put things in English as well in Germany, if you can’t understand them that is your problem is their philosophy out here lol.
But then I just stopped, I stopped walking, I stopped freaking out, I stopped worrying. I realized something, all it takes is a minute to gather your thoughts and figure out a plan. No sense in getting worked up about not knowing where you are. You will get there I told myself, no sense in stressing about it. And that is what I did. I took some time to look at the map of stops for the train, where I can transfer and then that was it. I didn’t rush to catch the next train coming, because I realized, I’m not in a rush. Sure I want to desperately take this bag off, have a drink and a smoke and watch The Dark Knight, but that wasn’t in the cards for the moment so I just focused on the task at hand. I found the right train, and before I knew it I was in Charlottenburg in my new place and felt like a million bucks, a million tired bucks that desperately needed a shower and herbal supplements.
So don’t let getting lost terrify you. It’s in those moments when you surprise yourself. When you realize how easy things are when you don’t let your emotions and anxiety get the better of you. Focus on the goal, don’t worry about how quick it happens so much as doing it right. This has helped me with writing my novel as well. I want to be deep into it already, but in truth, to get half way through the story I am writing that is going to take hundreds of pages, so how about just focus on everyday writing something and sooner or later I’ll be where I need to be.