Carol Bontekoe

This blog has been keeping track of my adventures since 2004. The stories and the adventures have come from my college dorm room to Uganda, Peace Corps Kyrgyzstan, learning Dutch in the Netherlands to living in the wilds of Homer, Alaska. I went back to school in Amsterdam to study Theaterwetenschap (Theatre Science) at University of Amsterdam. And now my adventures as a Fruit Fly, a Sexy Unicorn, and creating a movement with Team Sparkle in Chicago.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

all year round.

When I rode into Berlin I had a 102 temperature. I just wanted to get off the train and find a hotel and sleep through the fever. Unfortunately I don't know German, so I didn't know the word for “main station“. This lack of knowledge led to me getting off at a train station that was “something“-Berlin. For all I know the “something” was German for "suburbs" or "out-in-the-boondocks". I was wondering why no one else was rushing to get off but I figured I didn't have time for questions and grabbed my bike from the rack it was hanging from, threw my saddle bags out the door, and then dragged both parts of my bike off the train. When I left the train station I looked around at all the single family homes and realized I had made a mistake. Fortunately Berlin has a big television tower in the middle of town. It is visible from quite a distance away. I figured with no other guesses on where to go I should try and find my way to the Television Tower. It became my Emerald City. I wish I had had a yellow brick road to follow. It would have been a lot easier. I kept dead-ending and ending up on little back allies. Sometimes I would take a turn and lose sight of the tower and start getting all panicky. Also, the whole time I was dragging around my bike halves, and had that aforementioned fever.
When I reached the tower it wasn't exactly the hotel/hostel ridden place I had been hoping for. There was, however, a mall near by. I really don't care for malls in America, it is honestly because I can't go to one in the Netherlands that I get so excited for malls in other countries. Inside the mall I was able to get a directory of hostels. I had sweat through all of my clothing and was in desperate need of fluids. The girl at the information desk in the mall was looking at this disgusting looking creator and quickly showed me where the nearest hostel was. After walking around the tower lost for about another hour I eventually found the hostel and checked in.
I should have just taken a shower and gone to bed and slept through the fever. I was unable to do that because I had passed a certain store on my way to the hostel. I was in Germany and I had seen the store. It seemed like fate.
The next day I asked my friend Caitlin to guess what I would go out shopping for despite having a fever. I gave her the clues that I was in Germany(so a German specific thing) and it was a piece of clothing.
She sarcastically typed back that I had bought ladderhouzen.
I pushed her to put in an honest effort. Think German and my FAVORITE article of clothing. The one thing I will wear all year round regardless of weather.
She knows me too well. Yes, I got a pair of Birkenstocks in Germany. I didn't buy myself a lot of souvenirs but this was one thing that I really wanted. I got the only pair that fit.
On my way back to the hostel I bought some orange juice to get some vitamin C and some fluids in my system. I couldn't go to sleep now-Birkenstocks(!)- I wanted to embrace German culture. I went and got a pair of socks and put them on and then put on my Birkenstocks. Now, I was ready to really experience Germany.


  1. Kyle said...

    so, as always your blog entry was a good one. however, since i have been clicking on your ads a lot i feel as though i have earned something. All i ask is that you send me one postcard (my mailbox has been empty for like a week)either friesland or africa...just one post card...please.
    for your post card sending assistance
    810 College Ave.
    Apt. 8
    Clemson, SC 29631

  2. Sam said...

    Nice birks. I thought it was going to be beer! What better way to get rid of a fever than a nice mug of german beer?

  3. caitlin said...

    AWESOME. they only count when worn with socks. loves it.