Commuter Adventures: 45 is a number

The photograph above was taken last night and would never have come into existence had I been paying attention. Sometimes making a mistake turns out incredibly fortuitous, and in this case, I took the wrong bus. If I were new to Berlin and not know my way around the public transportation system it would have been a forgivably mistake, but my head was literally in the cloud(s) and just wasn’t looking.

I left the office at the usual time, with every intention to head towards the Charlottenburg Palace to photograph it in the crisp winter night light. Last time I attempted to do so, I discovered that the Christmas markets were already setting up, thus ruining the perspective I wanted. Oh well. So I headed to the main bus station at the Zoo and waited for the regular bus that takes me home, as the palace is along the way. Like the rest of the world at any given bus station these days, I fiddled with my phone, checked messages and emails, and the bus rolled up. I saw the number 45 and hopped on, without giving it a second thought. Several stops later, the bus took a turn and I frowned in confusion. This was not the normal route, but perhaps it was a detour. Two stops further the neighbourhood was unrecognisable, and it was only in the reflection of the next bus stop that I realised it was Bus 245 and not M45! Oh dear. Well, I was already in an area I was not familiar with at all, and decided to sit back, relax and get off at the next subway station to work my way home… somehow.

The route turned out to be fascinating, and in the process I discovered two bridges that I definitely want to return to on a given day during sunset. As it turns out, the final stop of this 245 bus is the Berlin Central Train Station, and was back onto familiar territory. Essentially, I had just found the most inconvenient way possible to commute between my office and the Central Station. Hrmpf. In any case, all´s well that ends well, and I hopped onto the tram and made my way home in peace, grinning at my long convoluted adventure, inevitably thinking of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhikers Guide To The Universe. I didn’t have a towel with me, but I did have a camera and a phone, so that would have to do!

When I got off, all I wanted was to reach home and call it a day. But the lights on the stairs really stood out in the darkness and there was just one other person at the station with me, the stranger in the photograph. I couldn’t simply let this moment pass by!

By the time I opened the apartment door two very hungry and angry cats were frowning grumpily in greeting.
You are late! Immediate service is requested.
As my dear friend commented later on, getting lost is something I can do very well!

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