I got off the plane in Germany and saw my friend Joe waiting for me. It was my first trip to Europe and I knew I was in for an experience. Joe had been one of my best friends growing up and was studying abroad for a year in Germany. My plan was to crash with him for a month while we travel around Germany and other countries. Joe informed me that we going back to his place first to drop my stuff off and then out to eat and drink with some of the other students in his program.
“They are really excited to meet you. They were a little disappointed that I wasn’t a heavy drinker. Plus the other American in the program is kind of an anti-social loser. So they are excited to get you out into the bars.”
Running on about four hours of sleep the last thing I wanted to do was drink but I figured that it would be good for me to stay up and get acclimated to the time change. We headed to the bar where I met a handful of people in his program including Joe’s new English girlfriend Sarah and started drinking. One drink turned into about five and we kept talking and having fun.
As early evening approached Joe informed me that we had to meet Sarah’s mother and Grandmother out to eat, it was one of their last days visiting. Sarah, Joe, Sarah’s gay British friend Stuart, and I headed out to eat and drink even more. We made it through dinner but all kept drinking like fishes. Stuart was giving me crap about how slow I was finishing a beer, I informed him that I wasn’t much of a beer drinker I was more of a Jack Daniels drinker. We turned to doing shot at that point and things quickly eroded. Lips became rather loose and Stuart started talking shit to Sarah’s mom and how he wanted to hook up with her. (Which I still don’t get being that he is gay and all. Maybe he was willing to switch teams for a middle-aged lady? Who know.)
While this line of conversation was initially funny it quickly got graphic and Joe pulled me aside and asked me to take Stuart out of there and go drinking at a new bar where they would find us later. I told Stuart that I wanted to do some shots of something that they didn’t have at this bar and we should move on.
Stuart and I stumbled into another couple of bars where we continued to do shots. At this point we were both pretty wrecked but Stuart was much more badly off than I was. While sitting at a bar he looked at me and said, “Have you been to Berlin yet?”
I reminded him that I just flew into Berlin today but didn’t see the city at all. His reply was, “Fuck it. We are going into Berlin and going clubbing the last train ones at 1 am so that means we will have to stay out until 5 when they start running again are you up for it?”
Let me see:
-I have been up 40 hours with maybe 4 hours of sleep
-I can’t speak German
-I don’t know how to get back to Potsdam
-I don’t know Joe’s phone number just in case I need to reach him and he doesn’t know we are going into Berlin
-I am piss drunk
It sounds like a plan to me! Dreams of hooking up with a freaky German girl flashed through my head.
We boarded the train in Potsdam and took it into Berlin. During the ride Stuart passed out. We reached the Berlin station, which I recognized from earlier in the day, and I told Stuart that we were there. Nothing, he was out. I shook up a little and ended getting him standing where I helped guide him to a bench in the station. My dreams of hooking of with a German girl were now dashed and I had to get us back to Potsdam. Except I didn’t know how to get back and I had no way to ask for directions in German.
So there I was the ugly American walking around asking if anyone spoke English. I found a girl in her late teens that was fluent in English and she informed me the last train was about to leave and I had to get on it. I gathered Stuart and lugged him to the train, I felt like I was in a Vietnam War movie I was helping a guy with his leg shot off. I got us onto the train and off it in Potsdam, except this wasn’t the stop that I had gotten off earlier in the day. I had no idea how to get back to the college.
There was a cab outside the station, I got Stuart into it and the driver didn’t speak English. I kept repeating University and he nodded driving towards (what I thought was) the University he kept asking questions in German. I shook Stuart awake and he promptly popped up, answered the question on how to get where we needed to go. Then Stuart vomited all over the back of the cab and passed out.
I was left sitting there getting bitched at by a German cab driver, smelling vomit, drunk, and totally lost…. Welcome to Germany.
When the cab stopped I paid the cab driver. Not having a grasp on the German monetary system yet I think I paid him $50 for like a $10 cab ride, but I guess when you factor in the vomit it evened out.
What was the worst start to a vacation ever?