October 26th, 2016
I really can’t imagine what staying in a hostel would have been like without the internet.
Imagine this: a small group of people sitting together in the reception/ bar area of a hostel in central Berlin. These people are not talking. In fact, none of these people have spoken to each other since they walked in, saw an empty seat and sat down. Most of them haven’t even acknowledged each other. Several of them are drinking beer, some are having tea, all in deathly silence.
Sounds weird right?
But then imagine the same group of people are all on their phones, tablets or laptops. They still aren’t talking to each other and they still aren’t acknowledging the world that’s right in front of them, but they are messaging their friends on Facebook, uploading their photos to Instagram and/or watching other people live their lives on Snapchat.
Suddenly it’s completely normal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my phone and tablet. I like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. And honestly you don’t want to be social and do the whole “where are you from and where are you going” all the time. Having a phone or tablet means you can go into a cafe, bar or restaurant by yourself and sit and eat by yourself because you’re not just there on your own staring into space. You’re not alone because you have a phone, and it makes everything easier.
But all the same, I just can’t imagine what it would have been like in the ’60s or even 10/20 years ago. If we didn’t all have our phones as shields what would we do? Would we make an effort to meet each other or would we all just sit there staring into space? I honestly don’t know.
I think it’s a lot harder to meet people in the bigger, more established hostels. Or maybe it’s harder to meet people in Europe. Or maybe it’s hard to meet anyone who isn’t a super needy desperate man. Or maybe it’s just me.
Berlin is really nice. There is this Indian restaurant that does vegetarian kebabs and thalis right next door and the owners speak just enough English that you can successfully order food. I eat tons of vegetables at home and its hard to keep that up abroad when the only vegetarian stuff you can easily get without going into a restaurant is sandwiches, so this place has been great and the guys who run it are so friendly.
I finished working at about 5 pm and spent the next few hours getting lost on random streets. I haven’t seen the wall or any of the iconic stuff yet but I somehow managed to come across what I think is museum island.
Berlin is really artistic and it’s full of beautiful architecture. I didn’t think it would be given the whole Soviet thing but some of these buildings could rival the beauty of Munich.
Did I mention all the street art?