Berlin’s new main train station is going through an Eiffel Tower-ish phase at the moment. There seem to be many people who are enamored with it (Where can I buy miniatures of the train station?). But there are also just as many people who seem incensed about something, anything and feel personally insulted that Mehdorn himself didn’t ask them where to put the bathrooms.
Undeterred by the crazed stabber incident at the opening event, people from all over the world, from Rio to Rostock, are visiting the station. And they all have questions…
Is there a special underground tunnel for politicians who arrive at the Hauptbahnhof? They don’t really walk to the Reichstag do they?
An hour later, Gerhard Schröder came down the escalator, walked on out of the station and kept walking. No secret tunnel – I guess he’s now an oil baron, not a politician. I also showed a CDU party member, orange striped tie and all, how to get to the CDU Zentrum on foot. No tunnel for him either. Politicians (former and present) walk too; they just didn’t pay for the train ride.
Can you talk to the person on the phone in German? I can’t understand him and I don’t know how to get to where I’m supposed to meet this person?
I was relayed the following information: Take the train to Zoo, go down to the lower level, left to the taxi stand. I will be there in an hour with a white Mercedes-Benz. How will I recognize you? I don’t even want to know what they were planning. I told him hey, ich bin nicht dabei but the guy you are looking for is wearing a blue t-shirt.
With all of those crazy questions throughout the day, I can understand that people’s patience would be tested, just a bit. But the American-me is sometimes appalled by the minimum level of service. I’ve seen one Bahn employee frustrated with lots of people and a ringing phone, pick up the phone, lay the headset down without answering it, and then take a break with the phone still unanswered. Yelling to someone’s back as they leave grumbling, You’ll have to wait anywhere you go! is not really helping the situation. Welcome to Germany, die Welt zu Gast bei Freunden.
Fußball pause… finally.