A good inconvenience of my U-Bahn line to my project closing for maintenance and how it forced me to explore more.
On Monday the 17th September I had the task of re-working my barely established transit route to my ESK project. I've been in Berlin for only 2 months and had just about heard of it. But then a sign went up: "The U1 line wants to be closed from the 17th to the 18th of November". Well, this threw a little spanner in the works and i was nervous, not just to re-arrange the bus system, since I've just used the subway (Berlin's underground). And I was too pleased to know that I was going by bus or walking in the cold and dark month of November (or so I thought).
But now those 2 months are up, 2 months of 2 subway connections and then a bus or walk. The U1 is re-opening and so my plans for my daily commute will revert to my initial simple plan. But overall I'd say the closure was a good inconvenience. For one thing the warm, sunny weather continued for a good while, and even now I would not call it cold (although I'm told, slightly worryingly, that this is abnormal). So many days I had a lovely 20 minute walk from the alternative station to my project, full of sunshine, warmth and interesting sites. In fact I'm glad to report that I've widened my comfort zone of non-GoogleMaps requiring areas in Berlin due to this occasional walk. And an interesting walk it is, going through a main artery of the lively and artistic Kreuzberg district. I pass everything from hipster bike shops with their own outlets, to fantastic traditional falafel restaurants, a stunning church, ever-deserted playgrounds, independent vintage shops, ice cream boutiques and a myriad of vegan, Vietnamese, tapas restaurants with their quaint chalkboard adverts and dark, classy interiors. The people I pass, the conversations I catch it, the street art I'll never stop discovering it! classy interiors. The people I pass, the conversations I catch it, the street art I'll never stop discovering it! classy interiors. The people I pass, the conversations I catch it, the street art I'll never stop discovering it!
I also discovered interest in podcasts during this commute. Although music still takes precedence, podcasts are an occasional treat when my brain is not out of work and figuring out German. As someone who can not stand the sound of the constant droning of voices on the radio, I amazed to actually enjoy an occasional podcast. I'd say the difference from radio is my ability to choose the topic, and the shorter length of podcast episodes. So far I've learned about womens' care in developing countries, mountaineering accidents, gender identities, circus safety and bees. Bad for a 40 minute commute!
So I guess I'll go back to the convenience of a subway station 200m walk from my project. The winter and the dark is closing in after the 20 minute walk is not so appealing in the blustery dim streets of Berlin's winter. But I really feel that it's moving, it's getting more and more stressful for a girl with a serious language- Barrier problems. I vow to walk more, I want to explore, I want to try new ways to get around .... But after winter!