The bahn of Berlin
February 17, 2012 § 10 Comments
Berlin was one of the city I had been wanting to see for a long time, for its trendy design scene and, of course, a piece of history. From what I know about German design philosophy, I expected everything in Germany would be highly efficient with easy-to-read instructions. However, it turned out to be a little surprise.
After 2 hours from Dresden, the train slowly pulled into the Berlin Hauptbahnof. Looking at the light filled station, I’was so excited that I’ve arrived in Berlin at last! I knew I need to go to Alexanderplatz, but I didn’t know which train I need. I thought, the German must have designed a user friendly map. I’ve always been good with reading maps and direction, so I wasn’t worried until I saw the map…… Holy Jesus. It looked like multiple layers of spider web laying on top of each other. I made the mistake as most other tourists did: assuming we have arrived on the outer edge of the subway area. You know in a lot of cities, how the long distant trains don’t really stop in the heart of the city? So it took me a good 5 mins to locate myself, while panicking inside thinking “crap crap crap, where the hell am I?”
But the fun didn’t stop just because you found out you were in the middle of the map. There were 4 lines passing through and all going to Alexanderplatz. I started to trance the line to the end, got confused, went back, traced again. Followed the dark blue line, to the end, no numbers… started again, the purple ended at S75, but so did the orchid one! Which one was S75? The dark red didn’t have numbers we well, was it the U2 or the S9 on the legend? But seriously, could you tell which one was a slightly brighter shade of red…
I asked someone who was looking at the map, and she wasn’t sure which one I should take too… At the end, I went to the ticket office, bought a weekly pass and asked which platform and train I should take to Alexanderplatz. The man kindly adviced me to go to platform 5. Then I figured out, all 4 trains passing through would stop on the same platform, I couldn’t get it wrong.
After another transfer, I took a seat and started looking around the rather “retro” interior. I really like the pattern on the winder actually, but not so much with the horrible looking “video” sticker. The blue sticker with a white cross and a white L is a little mysterious to me. Then I wanted to check the map and make sure to get off at the right station. Now, where’s the map?
For the love of God, I know you Germans are tall, but sticking a little map on the ceiling…… seriously? Who the hell can read those mini-tinsy words? At least, not me, standing at 5 feet dead.