First off, greetings from Mannheim, Germany, my home for the next month. Now that my fingers are no longer frozen and I can finally type, let me tell you the story of how I got lost the first time I was on my own in this city. Having the afternoon free, I decided to go and see what the city looks like, get to know it, eat something and just wander. I did take a map – because while space orientation may not be my thing, I know my way around a map – hopped in tram number 3, as instructed earlier and ended up just where I wanted – Stadtzentrum. After seeing what the city looked like, eating something and just wandering, just like I had planned to, I concluded that it was time to go home. The weather hadn’t been too nice, all foggy and cloudy, with just some bits of sunshine and I was starting to get tired. But how to get back? I had no idea what the name of the station where I had to get to was, but I figured that if I took the same tram it would eventually get me there. Great thinking on my part, eh?
So I innocently sat down with my eyes glistening at the thought that I would soon be in bed, covered with a warm blanket, in a warm room while the tram rolled on, whispering to itself “you poor, poor thing…”. Because little did I know, I was going in the wrong freaking direction. I never realized it. Not even when I got out, under the impression that I’d missed my station…”Oh, I’l just walk the two or three stations back, I’m young and fit, there’s nothing wrong with walking”. And I walked, and walked and walked, and in my head I was drafting a blog article about how great it is to discover new places by foot. It never occurred to me that I may be so far from my destination that where I found myself wasn’t even on my map. Not even while I was looking around and saw how uncivilized (well, maybe that’s not exactly the word, becauseeverything here looks – and most likely is – safe and polished) that area was. And boy, was it creepy. At first, I liked it – I took a gazilion of photos and marveled at how pretty the fog looked and the tree and the houses and the river that I decided it was Rhine, but it wasn’t. And then it got creepier because the station kept running away from me and I was getting colder by the minute and the damn streets were not on my damn map and I really, really didn’t want to give up and take the tram again. I did, though.
When I realized there was no way I would be getting home today on my own, I asked for directions, headed once more for the infamous tram number 3 and in 15 minutes I was back in the warm room, downloading the pictures. I guess now I can call myself a true blogger because as I was walking alone, regularly looking over my shoulder and slowly being swallowed by fog, all I could think about was “Wait ’till I write about this!”.
I take it you could see the difference for yourself: it was like visiting the dark side – still entertaining, though.