Stop Work Travel | Sly Humor in Beautiful/Ugly Berlin

Sly Humor in Beautiful/Ugly Berlin

January 19, 2016

Wenn Dee Hahn kraht auf dem Mist, dann ändert sich das Wetter, oder es bleibt wie es ist.

When the rooster crows on the dung heap, the weather will either change or stay as it is… 

Blocky apartment buildings, built hastily and cheaply after the war. My first impression walking through Berlin is of ugliness – block after block of…well…blocks!

I soon happily discover that Berliners love nature. People stroll and bike through parks that extend forever, like beautiful Tiergarten.


As I explore the Mitte neighborhood, I expect to see more of the same – ugly buildings and wonderful parks. And I do.

While looking for the back entrance to Gorlitzer Park I find myself in front of the Café Salvataggio.

It features roadkill.

The sign in front says “Sorry! We are open!”

Next to it is the White Trash Fast Food restaurant. The menu outside lists octopus burgers, “flied” shrimp, and valley porno-nachos.

I have stumbled upon Berlin’s funny bone.

What's for Dinner?

What’s for Dinner?

Today’s agenda is set, so I move on – to explore the park and eventually find the laundromat on Ohlauer Strasse that is near the hostel. I have worn the same clothes for three days while waiting for my backpack to find me. The pack was headed to Reykjavik. I had missed that flight. (Yup. That’s another story.)

Random sightings in Berlin were going to have to amuse me for now – so far so good!

A fellow traveler, Ming Lee, has figured out how this laundromat works. She gives me the lowdown, pointing at the console on the wall. It displays the names of the machines, each with a button, and it has a coin slot.

The washing machines all are named after women. Pick a woman to do the wash (duh!!) – and push her button. Drop coins in the slot. For €3, she will wash, rinse and spin your clothes.

I chose Berta. We got along fine, with only one feeding of coins. No need for further instructions. She ran to completion. I thanked her and moved on.

The dryers were all guys. I picked a hulking guy named Heiko.

He was okay, but I had to feed him 1 Euro every ten minutes.

Heiko and spent more time together that night than I was planning!

Heiko finally gave it up for me, though I had to pay him €4.

I fold up my laundry and head back to the hostel, satisfied that I have clean clothes and have engaged the sly humor of Berlin today.

Do you find fun-in-the-mundane while traveling? Got some choice Berlin humor to share? Let me know in the comments!

See you on the road!


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