This post was originally written in May of 2016. Click here for the original link.
Well, Germany has certainly been eventful.
I’ve seen some beautiful things, I’ve met some very interesting people (including Egyptians, South Koreans, and German male strippers), I’ve drunk some of the best beer in the world, I’ve been robbed…
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
The First Day In Cologne
I arrived at the Meininger Hostel in Cologne last Thursday after a nine-hour coach journey that went through London, France, Belgium, and Germany. The first day was pretty uneventful; the hostel was a few underground stops away from central Cologne and, whilst it’s easy to navigate if you know where you’re going when you first arrive and have no idea what’s going on it can be damn confusing. I got there in one piece though and just had time to go for a wander around the area and stumble upon a little castle type thing literally five minutes away from the hostel.
The next day started out ordinarily enough; I managed to walk into the city center by walking in the general direction of the Cathedral and pretty soon ended up on the Rhine, which is a really nice place surrounded by beautiful old buildings and cheap restaurants/pubs. German beer really does taste better than the regular stuff we get in England, and on Cologne, it’s really cheap.
They also sell little beers and massive beers, so never ask for a big one unless you are prepared for it.
I also went inside the cathedral (which is free) and it’s a really beautiful place.
After the cathedral, I was sitting by the Rhine when some random dude came up to me and started talking to me. In England, I would have politely smiled and rushed off, but this is Germany and when you travel alone it’s good to meet people, so I chatted with him and he ended up buying me a load of free beer. He was a little too keen, to tell the truth, but we had fun sitting by the Rhine drinking beer and listening to music.
Then when I left and was on the underground going back to my hostel some other random man started speaking to me in German, for which I was all “speech du Englisch?!” (still pretty much the only thing I can say confidently in German), and it turned out he could speak English too and then he invited me out for a drink, and again in London as a general rule I don’t hang out with people I meet on tube stations, but again I am a tourist and it’s good to meet the locals so again I said ok.
It turned out he was:
- 37 years old (I’m 23).
- Apparently both a masseuse and a male stripper
Somewhere along the road started saying that he loved me and wanted to marry me, which was a little disconcerting. I’m not sure if he thought that’s what I wanted to hear or if he wanted to skin me and hang me from the ceiling (or if he actually meant it ) but either way it was getting annoying so I made it quite clear I wasn’t going home with him and I took my leave.
I then ended up getting lost and wandering the streets of Cologne for friggin ages when realistically I started off really close to my hostel. I ended up somehow walking to the town and back before eventually stumbling into my hostel at God knows what hour just happy to be alive.
And that’s when I realize my tablet is missing.
When you go out drinking you shouldn’t take valuables, but I hardly knew I was going to be out drinking. I didn’t exactly plan my day to go like that.
Realistically thinking back I was very lucky. These guys could’ve been nice and normal, but they may well not have been. Traveling alone doesn’t mean the world is suddenly going to turn into a nice and snuggly friendly world full of free stuff. You need to be careful.
There are people who will do bad things to you when you’re out of it or you’re stuck in a confined space with them or you just have enough bad luck to come across or know the wrong person, and so going to a totally new place with a random guy I met on the Metro when I was drunk may have been a little naive.
You should be a little wary and careful because, until we somehow manage to condition everyone on the planet to be nice and respectful and non-murderous, there isn’t a way we can totally prevent people doing bad things no matter how much we tell them it’s bad.
We can’t actively control what other people do and as long as bad things happen we need to try and prevent bad things happening to us. It won’t always work of course, but we should still try.
Stay tuned for even more strange men, beautiful pictures and a history lesson in Nazi art!
This website is powered by Biz.Nf, an awesome hosting site which offers free domains!