Things I forgot to mention

When doing a review of the recent trip to Berlin, there were a couple of things I neglected to say.

First of all, I heartily recommend the Alex food place in Alexanderplatz. All you can eat for six euro? Bargain.

Secondly, there’s something about the German way of treating people that is sometimes more civilized than that in the UK; train doors can be opened just before the train stops, platforms don’t have barriers stopping you from moving if you want to, there aren’t fences at crossing points and nobody will stop you if you try to do anything stupid. In short, you’re treated like an adult. There isn’t the same safety net that nanny puts everywhere in the UK. It’s reassuring.

In other ways though, nanny is much worse. Recycling taxes being a prime example.

There’s a much more of an aggressive police presence, but they do much less. We were walking about for much of Friday and Saturday night; there were plenty of people out and about, in varying states of drunkenness. And we only saw one group being spoken to by cops. That might be something to do with the way that the cops (and even the rentacops) were walking about with large dogs and body armour all day…

The tramps also impressed. None of your special brew here, no sirree. They were all on quality beers and hardly in the way at all. Not like over here. And the cops weren’t exactly bothering them in return.

But the thing that will stick in my mind most about the trip? This little dude:

One thing about travelling with TLF: she’s been to many places like this before, and she has random things that mean things to her in each place she’s been. In Berlin, it’s the ampelmannchen* traffic signal dude. He’s a symbol of east Berlin, and it’s only really seen in Berlin. And every time it appeared anywhere, there was a small voice saying ampelmannchen!; and it was mighty cute.

* – approximate translation: “little dude on the traffic sign”

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