Leaving Berlin to Italy – Trieste or a small town somewhere?

Rosenthaler Platz gegenüber von Sanct Oberholtz

I just went to the main train station to ask a few more questions and precisely figure out where to park the bicycle over night to find it upon arriving with my luggage on a bus, Turns out the train i had scheduled has a bomb threat and is canceled ( uh hum, glad I went there today) so the woman agent printed out a new starting point and time and new track. As if in a dream, part fatigue, slight edge of anxiousness, I went through the motions to see where i need to go, where the elevators are, preparing as much as possible so that it will flow in the morning. This is perhaps from the influence of my parents, or perhaps i am even more extreme about taking precautions. I scoped out where to leave my bicycle over night, near where I’ll get off the bus.

Postdamerplatz Berlin

I was able to meet with my friend whom I met and hung out with up until I departed from Berlin, 10 years ago. Great to catch up with Argentinian Mariano, doing well with his wife and daughter starting 1st grade. Still see things in a similar way and harmonious support. I am taking advantage of the last day of the 9 € regional train ticket, anywhere in Germany. Going this last day of Aug. 31st that it’s legit, to Austria by the border. Decided that I’d rather go there if I have to hang out with my stuff all night, than to sit in the Munich station. Then buying a regional ticket via Innsbruck to Verona. Still need to investigate a hostel, and where i might land. Gonna have to learn Italian, pretty quickly. 

Berlin is like a circus of activity. Soooooo many people in the streets everywhere, all night, presumably. Many tourists….blah, blah. The bicycle lane actually freaks me out. Super fast, super determined bike riders, along with those carrying toddlers in bike seats before them and in wagons. Love bike culture, but don’t love rushing, high speed,get over or get hit bicycling. Went to the freakin mac store where Hermann, 1 man show, is still operating very successfully. My bluetooth keyboard magically started working, in his store. He also informed me that one can buy an English keyboard in an Apple store. Good to know. Also got my bicycle very elegantly repaired with a Farrhad Doctor, Bike Doctor – Berlin (Fahrrad-Doktor – Berlin) Bicycle Doctor, literally situated blocks away. They found and exchanged the left gear fixture with one they had in stock that exactly matched the other. This also not a chain, but very small bike shop literally crammed with bicycles. You can’t enter beyond a rope. 

I was so happy to stroll through Mauer park on Sunday to see a street musician every 10 yards, the park full of people on a sunny afternoon and then coming upon the hundreds of people listening, singing along and dancing on the stage to the institution that Irish Gareth started bicycling with the speakers and hosting, MCing with comedic flair Bearpit Karaoke

Bearpit Karaoke
Garth from Ireland who has created this karaoke institution in Mauerpark Berlin, Germany

Now with my repaired bicycle (derailleur replaced from a bike at some guy’s house in Portugal) outside of Aveiro, repaired by not a bicycle shop but guy who is a machinist, creating shifting gears for automobiles. 

Sitting outside of ,Sankt Oberholtz, still owned by Ansgar and evolving and trickling into other areas.

Circus Hotel gegenüber from St. Oberholtz
Blue Heron in the middle of Berlin

I do love Berlin. And at the same time I’m sitting here looking up trains through Austria and Italy and finding that it’s easy to find the trains and schedules and all allow bicycles. 

And the trip continues.

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Economic Reality Worldwide

I rushed off to Portugal, after determining a year ago that it would be affordable, so that I could complete my book. My oldest sister warned me that Lisbon would not be affordable, and sent me links to more affordable towns in Portugal. I hadn’t realized when I departed that august is the least affordable month in Europe, anywhere, and that the availability of rooms / vacancies in hostels etc. shrinks to nothing. I have been separated from my luggage, most of the time, except the first fabulous days in Lisbon at a wonderful hostel. Then I slept outside for over a week. Then i chose a random town in Portugal near the ocean, and have only once, for several minutes there, had time to jump in the water. I have been too occupied looking for occupancies. I found an expensive hotel there in Aveiro, and slept 12 + hours. Then there were no more occupancies there, or in that town. Same thing when I returned to get my luggage, no rooms. 

I found a remote hostel, an oasis in the dry Portuguese terrain, riding by swaths of formerly burned forests. Wonderful place, meeting enlightened people…and then I left, determined to live in a metropolis, as I mentioned, Plan B Berlin. However, Berlin is extremely expensive, little occupancy, huge competition….and the bunch of IT guys I met the first evening at a meetup, directly informed me of this…talking about how much they pay for a room (who can afford them and those who have pushed up the prices)…and that it can take 6 months to find a place because renters are protected by laws so that they simply rarely leave. I landed at a place after sleeping outside under a soviet military tank monument for shelter, and after sleeping 13 + hours, the stress I’ve had suddenly has made itself apparent in my body. 

This German guy’s coiffure I met at the U-Bahn pretty much says it all

I have an appt to see a place tonight, am absolutely grateful to have shelter yet now have more decisions to make about where to escape to, like a refugee, not of the climate, but of economic challenges. I just reached a wall emotionally, after discovering several possible places have slipped away, or are blatant scams. 

I will now go out into the town to use the resources of this city; replace batteries, get my bicycle fixed (bus driver jammed it into a space and the gears snapped). all along the way, I’ve had little successes, a derailleur that fell off, fixed by Portuguese men, the one key (the most essential one) for the bicycle lock suddenly appearing, after my key chain disappeared. And several people in town whom I can meet to say hello and catch up, (some who still have lived here, others who are returning in this exact week, to collect their things after having moved away a year ago). Several people have moved out of Berlin. 

Ukraine manifestation en Berlin, Allemagne le 24 Aout
August 24th Ukrainian demonstration ending at the Brandenburg Tor in Berlin, Germany

I more than likely must figure out a small town to live in where I can utilize a portable Glocal Me WiFi device with a local network, in an affordable town, either in Germany or northern Italy. Hadn’t realized that August in Europe is the least affordable with the least available spaces. I have hit a wall. I’m sure going out to do some errands and think as I’m riding, will help. 

Problems – one by one – resolved with right Intention

So, my arrival in Berlin, after the Russian man saw that FIXBus in Paris wasn’t acknowledging the Iberiabusline receipt for my Flixbus bicycle ticket which the annoyed Fixbus line Portuguese man had me pay, despite my repeated pleas that it was indeed a Flixbus line.This man approached me and told me the story of his Russian wife not being allowed to enter GB (and that he drove around with her for a wonderful 12 days and then drove across the border to allow her to enter England. He paid for a later bus from Paris to Hamburg, Hamburg to Berlin each with the bicycle sorted. It was not a FIXbus line.This assured me the ride to Berlin and allowed me to stay several more hours in Paris. I made my way to the other side of this woodsy park on a Sunday afternoon, dragging a heavy bag. I found a café restaurant open with a group of several families, from Cypress Greece I discoved. I ordered a cappuccino then rather than a breakfast, a pizza. It was huge, I ate all of it. I liked all the staff, my waiter and the (cat de la maison) of the house, who came to lounge on the chairs after the families left. They had WiFi, and one plug to recharge. The cat which appeared was not after  crumbs, he/she receives ample food. He merely wanted to lounge in the late afternoon on the empty chairs. 

Terrace Berry 102 Rue De Berry 75192 Paris
Terrace Berry Paris – Chat de Maison – Cat of the house

Sufficed with food, I headed to the bus, then had to sample the 2nd song that these local

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0343-Qkfc-UmDJH07_iEYzzQA weight lifter guys outside the underground bus station in the park, were playing French rap, as multiple guys choreographed their exercises, weights, swinging on bars rigorously, showing off 6 pack stomachs. Prior to this, after walking back and forth across the entire underground station, inquiring to numerous people about the missing keys, a lost and found, receiving only negative nods, that doesn’t exist, I spotted the black plastic top of what looked like my kryptonite bike lock key, which suddenly appeared after the 7th time looking at the same parking lot spots. What? No way? I hastily walked towards it, picked it up {broken at the top} and went to my bicycle. It slid into the lock! The most important item of the missing key chain. Unbelievable. Blessed!

I made it to Berlin via Hamburg. Upon arriving, I had to sit a bit, collect myself. Asked a group of police how to ride to Hackeshir Markt. The chief among them pointed to where I’d find Kaiserdamm, the main road past the Siegelseule towards the Fernsehturm and the Brandenburg Gait. I intended to make it to Montbijou park, where I read about a meetup that day, thinking I’d ask the group attending the BYO food, jam session, about housing. As I passed these tanks where years earlier I’d taken a phot of a 9 year old n the crowd before the Love Parade, sitting right in front of this displayed tank’s firing trunk and thought to myself, if it rains, I will sleep under the tank, high above the ground, protected from moisture, insects and hidden from people.

Plenty of people showed up for this event, which I finally located, after listening to a horn and drum Ukrainian orchestra band. Half the guys were in IT, half were of Indian descent. Everyone of the people told me how difficult and challenging housing in Berlin had become. And expensive, because of you guys in the IT business I pointed out with amusement.

Very much later, after 2am, I rode towards this tank, first eating my remaining food, sitting illegally at the outside tables of a hotel roped off, sitting befor the Brandenburg tor, where 4 young girls with long hair giggled taking selfies, then 4 young guys approached the same space.I chose one then the other tank, sort of hid my bicycle. Obviously not hidden enough. I slept slightly under the tank, a Russian monument to its military weaponry. I was woken up from a profoundly deep sleep 4.5 hours after laying down in my sleeping bag under the tank by a Police Officer saying loudly “Guten Morgen”! I slept on the concrete block displaying the historical Russian army tank, my first night in Berlin. There were no inexpensive hostels. I got up, out of my sleeping bag, put on my sneakers and jumped down to stuff it into its case. The police officer had walked away, but was still in view. I deliberately chose to not walk away, but right by him, up these stairs, I said “es ist nass” – it is wet, pointing to the grass – I was 5 feet up on a block of concrete, very dry. He answered, not grumpy, nor angry, perhaps slightly amused, “Es hat geregnet”. It rained.

I was going to go to the other side of the Tiergarten park, then changed my mind, and went back towards Mitte, wanting to find this bakery I remembered with great bread. Didn’t find it, but did find a spot to eat breakfast, then another place with WiFi and a girl standing up to leave the one table adjacent to an electrical receptacle. I had 2% battery left. 

The key had been found. Two days before when I felt a foreboding, bicycling the several miles over the mountain to a train station, where just as I was reaching he peak of the hill, suddenly my bike chain dangled. There were hardly any cars. One elder man sitting in a tripuck, headed in the opposite direction. He said there were houses ahead. I walked, coasted, then spotted 5 or 6 Portuguese men hanging outside a garage with several motorcycles and cars. I pointed to my bicycle. The one guy made it clear that he was   not a bicycle mechanic, but shied me he car gear mechanics he built. Yet, he looked at my bicycle, disappeared into his garage, came back with a screw, then another, which was the right size. In the mean time, two of the guys took off in the car, and he explained to wait until they came back. One of the younger guys pulled out his phone with google translate, and we exchanged some sentences. There would be a number of trains from Estarreja to Aveiro. I had time. My Flixbus was the next morning at 7am. Then the two guys returned in the car and handed the guy a rusty derailleur from one of their old bicycles. The mechanic took it apart, attached this also to my bike, adjusted the front part of it over the middle chain, and ai was now able to pedal – still only a third of the gears available since the first bus from Lisbon to Aveiro had snapped the shifter as he shoved it into the bus (after at first refusing to allow me on at all). When I thankfully went to my purse to pull out a 10€ note, the guy vigorously shook his head, no, no, he would not accept payment. This caused me to tear up, already sleep,deprived.

When I finally figured out where to catch the FLIXBUS, I went there to park my bicycle, prior to approaching the hotel where ai had left my luggage in a separate town weeks earlier, and then vanished. When I finally walked into the hotel, I was super surprised and relieved to be greeted by the smiling face of the young hotel desk guy who initially allowed me to clandestinely leave my baggage there, giving me three tags. He had me point out which was mine, because they were going to be bombarded with luggage. He told me that if I’d waited several more days, they might have called the police to declare left luggage and a missing person. He was very friendly, and told me the story of his life, his period of homelessness, then he ushered me outside, where he could openly tell me the story of how he got there. That he used to sell drugs. I said, what marijuana? He said no, all kinds. Then one day he returned to his apt which had been torn apart, in shambles, with the threat to pay 10,000€ or he and his mother would be killed. They gave him two days. His mother left to stay with another relative. He left within two hours with just the clothes he had on and 50€? He showed me a video of the music group he was in, of himself with short dreads, he had been the lead singer. He showed me the picture of another guy in the video who was in the band, who was the person who turned on him. He told me of his travels, escape, living on the streets, dropping his identity, that many of his friends still don’t know of his whereabouts. That eventually he turned his life around. That he was blessed when he arrived to this town, found the job, and an apt right away. Blessed by God for having the right intention. He left me with this uplifting story. My luggage had been safe. He accepted the 10€ note for having taken care of my luggage. Showed me the music video. Talked of being in a really good place in his life. Talked of his curiosity, of people he has met through this job.

So the bicycle was fixed in Portugal enough for me to ride it presently. The bus ride to Berlin resurrected by the Russian observer of the Fixbus corruption and the bicycle lock key found. And a German girl ( she and her boyfriend also had bicycles) informed the driver as he was about to leave without me , that there was still someone inside after the 10 minute break, where I brushed my teeth and almost missed the bus as he started pulling away. I call it FIXBUS, because only a few USB ports and electrical receptacles worked. The WiFimdidnt work at all. The drivers were far from customer service oriented. Another French/Portuguese woman teacher and her mother were horrified with their experience on an earlier FLIXBUS, when they had been left behind though returning to the bus in the allotted time and had to take a taxi and train, to catch up with their bus.

Now in Berlin, I’m in this café using the internet to explore northern Italy, which the Thai French speaking wine dealer woman at the remote hostel who consistently travels throughout Europe, told me that northern Italy, north of Verona, is the best place to live in Europe. Best quality of life, best educated people, most efficient transportation due to the influence of bordering Austria, and where many people ride bicycles. Then I saw today a message from one of he sons of my pastor in a palmyra, Pennsylvania home town who lives in Berlin, saying that he sent me a message when he saw that I was in Berlin,which I’m about to look at. 

Mass Delusion amidst Mass Disinformation and Fear-Based Distraction

Today, three of us had a very provocative conversation here at this hostel in the middle of nowhere ‘Now Here’ in Portugal; a Portuguese guy, an Argentinian IT worker I’ve come to know in the last week and myself. We talked about how the media uses fear to manipulate people, how Pharma companies have lied about and manipulated the entire world towards feeling fear and guilt about vaccines (along with truths about Covid-19) and how one very inexpensive and effective cure Ivermectin has been quickly denounced and silenced. We talked about cell phone addictions and ultra materialism….and that many of the political satirists, from George Carlin years ago foreseeing how the government and media are puppets to multinationals who are actually the elite in control. 

The Portuguese guy says that it’s almost the same as an authoritarian dictatorship, except that a tyrannical ruler has a face you can point to and blame, whereas this convoluted machine of money and power driving people to busily occupy themselves with just trying to survive with high costs and who are complacently consuming social media (addictively and incessantly) wind up not really questioning or even being consciously aware of the degree to which they are being controlled.

The NY Times has had one after another super frightening article in the last days, yesterday about Philadelphia being rife with guns and shootings, more than NYC or LA. And today an article about a MASSIVE PERFECT STORM that will at any time hit California. Not earthquakes, droughts or fires, but a brewing mega storm with water building from Hawaii, to the extent of the Mississippi river in the sky…and that when it hits the mountains of CA, it will bring biblical rains. This was in today’s paper. So though it may very well be true, the media does its job to keep people at a high pitch of fear and dread, because this is an excellent vehicle to control people.

The one guy was saying that George Carlin was so right on…and yet few people are aware enough to even question or seek to know. He and I have seen families, sitting with each parent looking down at their phone while their toddlers are acting out, simply seeking to get attention from a parent who sits there entranced, absent and unavailable to properly give the child attention.

I just made a list of (some) of the political satirists from whom I’ve been enlightened about issues, plus another Brit I hadn’t yet heard of till today, Ricky Gervais. If you haven’t listened to Russel Brand, Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Hasan Minhaj… I suggest that you do.

They discuss truths in depth, which mainstream media averts talking about. And the three wealthiest men in the world – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson – who each coordinated their rocket launches with their massive carbon footprint, have the complete audacity to ignore the global warming occurring that is causing the massive droughts, floods, mass extinction, as if they are above it all and act with impunity with absolutely no regard for what is occurring on the earth – rather than using their money and power to instigate massive action to begin to heal the world, they are guilty for soaring mass delusion. 

What can we do about it? It seems not much. Except that the more that people become aware that our financial system is perpetuating our demise – 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0G6obeUKWmw&t=k166s – the more that the massive population  – and the industries profiting from misinformation and disinformation – and government officials who are millionaire pawns pocketing their gifts and continuing as if we aren’t in the middle of a disaster of magnanimous proportions – can hold them accountable. But as long as people are sleep walking and bent over looking down at their phones rather than looking up and speaking personally with one another, nothing will change. 

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook and music composition. The PayPal donation button functions in Safari and Firefox, however is broken in Chrome.