05 June 2009

God looks after babies and fools,
I look after drunk people.

Call me crazy, but when I leave the house headed to an event for which I've paid my hard-earned money, I like to have an idea of where I'm going . . . unless of course I'm traveling by taxi, in which case I do still need an address to give to the driver. Even then I still need an idea of where I'm supposed to be going so I'll know if the driver is trying to rip me off.

But that's me.

Apparently leaving the house with tickets in hand but only some vague idea of a venue's location, suffices for people who have already had way too much to drink. But then again, why do they need to know where they're going, when I'm around to help them sort things out?

Thursday evening, for instance, I was buying a ticket in the U6 Mehringdamm station, when the guy in the ticket machine next to me said in German, "You look like you know what you're doing, can you tell me how to get to Pariserstraße?" Pariser Platz I knew, but I had no idea where Pariserstraße was. To which he replied, "Okay then how do I get to Pariser Platz?"

It was then that I noticed the half full/empty bottle of champagne in his hand and caught a whiff of everything that had been consumed before he went upscale with his liquor choice.

"Well I could tell you how to get to Pariser Platz, but is that really where you want to go?" I asked.

"I need to get to a cabaret," came the slurred reply.

Yeah you and Sally Bowles, I thought to myself, but answered, "Do you have an address?"

"Here," he said, giving me his tickets, which unfortunately had no address printed on them.

Then his date appeared from somewhere behind him. Unfortunately she was in no better condition than he was. "I think it's the street you said before," was her contribution to the discussion.

"Okay, Pariser Platz then."


"Okay, then take the U6 to Friedrichstraße, then transfer to the SBahn and go one stop to Unter den Linden. When you exit the station, just head for the Brandenburg Gate."

"Thanks a lot," they said walking away. Two seconds later they turned around and came back to me asking, "Which U6? Alt-Tegel or Alt-Mariendorf?"

"Alt-Tegel." For which I was thanked again. Watching them walk away, however, I became concerned that I was sending them to the wrong place. So I called after them and asked if I should show them on the large station map where they were going.

"You're really nice," said the young woman.

I'm really stupid, I thought to myself.

As it turns out, in addition to Pariser Platz, there are two Pariserstraßen. So without the actual address of the venue, I couldn't really be sure. I was just about to offer to call information to get a telephone number for the place, when I snapped out of whatever reverie I had been in that had allowed me to spend so much time worrying about their evening.

Convinced that I had been right in the first place, they stumbled off to wait for the train. I stood there watching them go down the steps to the platform wondering who in the hell doesn't use online maps or get addresses or whatever to figure out where they're going before they leave the house?? But I suppose the more important question is this: what the hell does it mean to look like you know what you're doing when all you're doing is dropping coins in a machine??

He might have been drunk, but he was still smart enough to know how to hook me. Respect.

No worries drunk people, I got your backs.

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