Berlin – Dresden Sat March 10

100,55 $ One golden rule of hitchhiking is to start really early in the morning. I wasn’t able to follow that rule today. I made it even worse by sitting all day uploading photos from

100,55 $

One golden rule of hitchhiking is to start really early in the morning. I wasn’t able to follow that rule today. I made it even worse by sitting all day uploading photos from my camera. I also checked hitchbase.com for how to hitchhike towards Praha. Annoyingly, all entries were in German. But the most popular place seemed to be a “JET” gas station in Schöneweide. One person had had trouble with the gas station staff, but the others ranked it three thumbs up out of three possible. So I went there. The subway system really discriminates against the inhabitants of Schöneweide; it took me almost two hours to get there. Waiting for a train that never comes is much more stressing than waiting for a car that never comes. Once in Schöneweide I walked some 100 meters in the Gronaü direction and found the place at 16:05 and started asking.

After 15 minutes driver number 11 accepted my company to Dresden. He was wearing a “Sweden” sports jacket and before going to pay his gas he asked me “sugar or no sugar?”

“Um… no sugar” I said and he went back into the shop. He was apparently going to buy coffee 🙂 But he didn’t ask about milk! What if he puts milk in my coffee? Damn, I knew it was dangerous to hitchhike.

The drive to Dresden was very pleasant. We talked a lot. But I gave him the address to this blog so I can’t give you any details 😉

He was a photographer, but only had one picture on his website. I told him to load more, hey Lars, no one will steal them!

As we approached Dresden the sun started to go down and I gave up the idea of getting to Praha this night. But why don’t check out Dresden when I have the chance? Lars drove me to Kangaroo Stop hostel where I got a bed with clean sheets for 15 euro.

With the cheapest beds in town and 500 meters from the “bars and alternative culture” district according to the tourist information, it was an easy choice. They needed cash payment so I went out to get some. On my way home I got lost (of course) and found many abandoned buildings. Some buildings looked like they hadn’t been touched since 1945, still standing with roofs bombed away and walled with fences and “no trespassing” signs.

After finding the hostel I hit the Neustadt night. It was dotted with bars like was it some Mediterranean party island in peak tourist season. Kids aged 15-50 roamed the streets in black leather jackets and racks of beer. I walked up and down the streets unable to choose which one of all places should get my few Dresden euros. Finally I sat down next to a young man who sat alone with his beer. He was waiting for doing civil service instead of military service and in the meanwhile he was painting stuff with his friends. I asked if it was them that painted all the walls, but they had only painted some of them. After civil service he would go to Spain to learn Spanish. Now he was sitting waiting for his friends and then they would take the tram to the “slaughter house” where there was a free party tonight. He recommended me to join them, but I wanted to go a place that was closer to the hostel. Then he recommended “Hibedas” which he said had “cheap beer, students and alternative people”. That settled it.

The place had red walls and candles on the table. I tried to talk to someone but failed. Instead I went on a kebab hunt. At “Dönerpoint” on Allésstrasse I saw a man getting a roll of something big as an arm. “I want one of those” I said, and for 3.30 I got a “dürüm” kebab; the largest kebab I’ve had in my life. It was one kilo of concentrated happiness. While eating it I watched 8 green-dressed policemen watching 40 black-dressed kids of all ages watching the night.

On my way home I passed a line of abandoned houses. I peeked through the open windows and wondered why they weren’t used for something by someone. Then I heard from one of them a strong bass beat: “du-du-du-du”. I found an entrance on the backside and they wanted 3 euro to let me in and 2 for a beer. I said I only had 4 euro and they discussed with each other: “There is guest from Britain here …” and then they said OK, come in”. One guy added: “Hopefully you have some euros for the flight back to Britain!”

“It’s OK”, I said, “I hitchhike”.

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