Several months ago, on a whim, I called up my friend and suggested that we visit Berlin for the weekend.

Bike Parked on a Bridge

The ambience of Berlin was incredibly East meets West. I've never seen or felt anything like it before.

As an American living in Europe, you commonly hear how distances will seem so much shorter since you're used to crossing deserts and climbing over mountains to just get to the grocery store in the States. (Yeah, we don't actually do that for the record.)

However, once you've heard that often enough, suddenly you're confident that you can take on any weekend adventure and be there  in the blink of an eye. Then you actually make the journey.

Unfortunately, about half way through your trip you realize that eight hours is still eight hours no matter what continent you are on.

Eight. Tedious. Hours. And the whole time you try to ignore the sensation that your ass get flatter by concentrating on the variety of humanity that is surrounding you in various states of cleanliness.

Man Playing a Hand Organ

We saw this man at the Brandenburg Gate playing a hand organ. He also had a monkey and I thought that went appropriately with his face tattoos...

Why did I choose to get to Berlin this way? Well, because buses are cheap and I heard that everyone uses them. Ok, so both are true. It was very cheap, and literally everyone uses this method of transport.

I quickly learned that although  I respect my economic restrictions, I (in the words of my friend) am too American to bus around Europe. Yes, I know I should be more easy going, but we could have shared a car, gotten there quicker, and only paid $30 extra! Why did we have to take the bus!?

In fact, in an effort to be creatively frugal, we didn't just take any bus; we took an overnight bus so that we arrived in Berlin at 7am so that we didn't have to pay for an extra night of accommodation.

Let me assure everyone who has not yet attempted this creative, money-saving solution that you WILL wake up feeling like a five-year-old’s tangled shoelace. Dozing off in stiff-backed chairs with Turkish rap as ambient noise is not exactly ideal for relaxation.

However, Berlin was worth the discomfort. Every single hour of it. The city is beautiful.

But next time I'm taking BlahBlah Car.

Eduardo at the Berlin Jewish Memorial

My friend, Eduardo, pondering the Jewish memorial in the sunset.

Me making a face at my friend

Again, relaxing at the jewish memorial. I was hungry and ready to go feed myself.

Published by Jessi Devenyns