June 2010


Today I practiced my future commute!

So it’s Monday and today I went to work at my new job for the first time—well, not really.

I actually went in to the future office so that I could sign my contract and hand over some documents that are needed for employment, plus to collect the documents I need to get registered with the foreigner’s office. I would have gone directly to that office but I’d accidentally left my passport at home, which made such a trip difficult.

It’s on my agenda for tomorrow.

One cool thing about my new commute is the fact that I will pass through Checkpoint Charlie twice a day, every day.

I really hope that, as I become a regular walking past the shack in the middle of the road, it doesn’t become so boring and usual that it doesn’t inspire me. This was the front line of the Cold War for so many years that to casually walk through it and be annoyed by tourists taking photos would be a sign that I’ve taken the commute one too many times.

This morning, as I walked past.

8 comments to Today I practiced my future commute!

  • Wow, how exciting! I am jealous. I have a halfway lovely commute to work on my bike, but nothing as awe-inspiring as that.

  • Jul

    Yay for interesting commutes.

    Back in the 90s I went to German school across the street from Checkpoint Charlie. The restored little shack wasn’t up then, but the importance of the spot still hung in the air (or maybe it hung in the construction dust, which hung in the air).

  • starman1695

    Who is the soldier pictured there? Is it always the same one?

  • cliff- I just hope I never get immune to the commute. That’s the part that worries me the most. Of course, if I move and I don’t walk though Checkpoint Charlie everyday, this spot will not loose meaning for me.

    Jul – It’s amazing how some places just reek importance. Walking through Buchenwald gives a feeling of being somewhere.

    starman – The soldier you see facing you is a Russian soldier because when you stood in that spot and looked in this direction, you were looking from the west to the east. The other side of the sign has an American soldier because that was looking from east to west. I don’t believe the image of the soldier has changed in the years that I’ve known the sign to be there, but I could be wrong.

  • Tee hee hee… Oh Adam. Trust me, walk through there a few times when you are late to work and have a gawking tourist or two stop right in front of you, impeding your way on what is a narrow sidewalk anyway… and you will grow tired of what is most certainly a significant spot. I am even overly cautious when riding my bike through there because tourists do the most unpredictable things.

    Yes, I’ve become that jaded Berliner… and I only go through that area once or twice a year. But in truth, that area has long since been overrun by commercialism which mostly benefits the lady who runs the Wall Museum and who smartly bought up LOTS of property around Checkpoint Charlie after the Fall.

    If you wish to feel the significance and weight of the remnants of The Wall in Berlin today… go to Bernauer Strasse.

    On a side note, that CC intersection is the only one in the city where traffic on both streets is stopped at the same time and pedestrians are allowed to walk not only across one street, but BOTH streets (as in jaywalking) at the diagonal. Why? Um… dunno. Maybe to cut down on the frustration levels of Berliners trying to get through all the sightseers.

  • Prashanth

    Well..this friday I came to Frankfurt only to realise that I have to commute to it every second week…..not at all as interesting as passing by checkpoint charlie and watching tourists and their thousand cameras!!

    Hope you have fun!

  • @ prashanth: oha, every second week in adams favorite city. maybe he wants to visit you there?

  • koko

    How fun! I think that you’re aware of the possibility to become immune…so I think you’ll be more careful to avoid those feelings. 🙂