Travel is an addiction. It’s as simple as that. It shares with drug abuse and alcoholism all the major addiction symptoms. Withdrawal effects, desire for a bigger and better highs and, quite often, no real control over ones actions.
This latter point is very much on my mind as I sit in my
My tourist attraction of choice is actually so far from the city that it’s completely off my Hamburg map and as such I desperately resort to scribbling a route from Google onto a piece of paper. I turn the computer off, get myself ready and head off. I study my home-made map as I lock the front door and realise it looks like a treasure map drawn by a retarded pirate. The possibility of getting lost in suburbia looks quite likely.
I walk out of the apartment block into a wall of heat and make my way to the U-Bahn (underground) station. It’s an easy 2 minute cycle but by the time I get there I feel disgustingly hot and sticky. I take comfort from the chap standing next to me at a pedestrian crossing, his light grey t-shirt informs the world just how hot it is by being almost entirely dark grey with sweat. I haul my bike up the station stairs and onto the platform. A train pulls up almost immediately and I inwardly thank the public transport gods for the efficiency of the Germans. Three stops later I’m at Berliner Tor station and looking to change onto a suburbia bound S-Bahn train. I get lost in the myriad of tunnels and I’m forced to surface onto street level to hunt down the different section of the station.
I manage to find the adjacent S-Bahn quite easily but, my pride in my own simple accomplishments is soon shattered by the realisation that by breaking away from the rest of the human traffic, I’ve made myself more vulnerable to attacks from the clip-board and question wielding fraternity. I’m accosted at the entrance by a Frau armed with the board, a pen and a plethora of guilt inducing scenarios complete with monetary solutions stemming from my bank account. Being very aware of my own financial plight, it crosses my mind to strike the first blow and ask her for money but instead I claim complete ignorance of the German language and, with an apologetic look, walk straight past her. She shouts questions at me in fluent English and we have an increasingly distant conversation as I continue walking towards the platform.
The train arrives after a couple of minutes, I wheel my bike on and realise that outside it’s
The train driver announces each station we arrive at, but he does so with a very distinctive muffle, as though he might be eating socks for lunch. I resort to counting the number of stops to go instead of trying to understand what he might be saying. I slide off the train after 10 minutes of baking,