I just did one of the stupidest things I have ever done. The cost was low, but the stupidity was high.
I was rushing down the stairs to the U-Bahn as I saw the dreaded wave coming up to me- my train was here! Struggling through the crowd with my bags I pushed through and got one bag half in the compartment as the doors slid solidly closed. I had the straps, but the goods were firmly trapped inside. Two guys tried to force it open from the inside as I frantically hit pulled the lever. But with a huff, the U-Bahn started to pull away and I threw up my hands & watched helplessly as half my groceries glided away.
As I waited for the next train, I felt enormously stupid. The next train was coming in 4 minutes- what was my rush? Pacing, I tried to remember what was in the bag. Ground beef, chocolate ice cream, and cherry tomatoes. At least it wasn't the beer.....
I jumped on the next train and sweated it out the wait to the next stop. As we rolled through the station, I saw the two guys who had tried to help with my Kaiser bag, holding it up to the passing train. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
I thanked them ineptly in German, and received a short lecture about not doing it again. "Never!" I promised.
Soaking in sweat and laughing like a madwoman, I made it home with all the groceries. As I re-counted the story to Ian, I couldn't believe that I could believe my luck. As much shit as we talk about the Germans, and the one extremely notable instance of us getting scammed, Germans are decent, honest, straight-forward people. While this may result in the blunt assertion, that "Yes, that dress does make you look fat", it also means there isn't as much worrying about hidden fees or getting ripped off. Most of the time- you can trust that things are as they seem. In a city as big and cosmopolitan and turbulent as Berlin, I have never felt ill-at-ease or in danger.
A Prost to the guys that stopped to help, and to all you other wonderful Germans.