My Samsung Galaxy phone slipped right through my fingers and collapsed onto the concrete stairway. The horror! I rushed down the stairway to retrieve it. The pixels around the three cracks quickly began fading and shortly after the screen went all black. “OH MY GOD!” My photos, contacts. Gone!
The day preceding the horrific event…
I arrived in Berlin after having spent 4 nights in Milan. The journey involved a 4AM bus ride to Malpensa Airport and what seemed to be the most excruciating 2-hour flight of my life. I hopped on the S-Bahn heading to Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The hostel was a quick walk from my stop. I dumped my stuff into a storage unit and then off I went into the wet, busy streets of Berlin.
I stumbled upon Cafe V, a vegan/vegetarian restaurant with a lovely atmosphere and friendly staff. I’m totally giddy about restaurants that cater completely to my diet. I had a glass of red wine, of some Germanic origin. My only complaint is that it was served in the tiniest bowl ever! I selected the Spinatbällchen mit Mandeln off their menu– spinach balls with almonds, mushrooms, and spätzle, a soft egg noodle which is a specialty of German cuisine.
The day of the horrific event…
That morning I had brunch at The Bowl, a 100% plant-based kitchen known for its clean eating, gluten-free, sugar-free, hipster loving, vegan bowls. The Buddha Bowl was dished out in a large bowl of Sumatra curry, beetroot, sweet potatoes, wild rice, and pickled shiitake mushrooms. Raw and rich flavors came bursting through in every mouthful.
I made my way to Pergamon Museum via the S-Bahn. The temperature had dropped suddenly and my fingers had gone numb. I haggled some street vendor over a pair gloves. “They’re real leather!” Yeah. Right. Sure. I walked away. “OK. OK!” He called back after realizing that I was stubborn as hell. I handed him five euros, he clipped the tags off the gloves and then I was on my way again.
I approached what seemed to be a back entrance to the Pergamon Museum. Visitors being guided like cattle to the ticket window. I spent the evening strolling through the vibrant and enchanting collections. A few redundant details courtesy of the museum’s audio guide including the magnificence of the reconstructed Ishtar Gate, one of the entrances to the city of Babylon and the Aleppo Room, what used to be the foyer of a Syrian broker.
By the time I retired from the museum, the rain had subsided. I used this opportunity to explore Berlin Cathedral Church and Lustgarten before heading back to the hostel. It was then the incident occurred while I was heading down the stairway to the hostel’s break room. I confided in the receptionist about what happened. He offered direction on where I could purchase a phone.
Bye, bye Berlin
My final day in Berlin was spent frantically hunting down smartphone stores. I must’ve skipped breakfast because I was completely drained before I came across Maroush, a small Lebanese restaurant. I scarfed down a falafel platter served with hummus and sautéed veggies. I discovered a small mobile phone store in the vicinity and decided to check it out, make a purchase, and call it day. I later learned that my purchase was an 85 euro counterfeit phone with a sucky Google maps app.
I left the city feeling remorseful; My Samsung Galaxy tucked away in the right pocket of my quilted coat and the counterfeit phone in my left.