A beginners guide to the Berlin Ubahn

As they say here, public transport has only 4 enemies… spring, summer, autumn and winter. Having survived two of them, and by the state of the weather the past week looking like we’re going into winter, here’s a (semi) short, (okay I’m just editing this post and whilst reading it back I have realised yet again, this is not a small rant-get yourself a brew-) but realistic moan about why this is so true…

1. IT’S ALWAYS TOO HOT.

Whatever the season you will sweat on the Ubahn like you’re on a tropical holiday. I came in summer, honestly one of the hottest summers i’ve probably ever experienced, and it was uncomfortable to say the least. Reaching fresh air at the end of your journey was a new take on the hunger games that I hadn’t experienced before…Then autumn came, every human and dog seemed to migrate towards public transport now that it was a ‘freezing’ 25 degrees meaning the sardine-situation stepped up a notch. Now, from the look of things it’s winter!🤒 I used my umbrella for the second time in nearly 4 months today, and it’s fair to say now we’re all starting to remember what it actually feels like to be cold! This means a new phenomena is beginning! The game of the public transport heating. Do the BVG think all transport needs to be at a constant 27 degrees? This new involves finding out how quickly you can de-layer yourself from outside’s cold and damp weather to the tropical paradise that is the inside of the U7 towards Rudow.

Tip: Don’t invest in a sauna, just take a trip on the underground🙃

2. NEW, UNWANTED FRIENDS.

Trust me you haven’t experienced public transport in Berlin if you haven’t been one step away from being overly close to a stranger on the Ubahn. We mentioned the sardine situation above: The struggle is real. There’s nothing worse realising you’ve been densely packed into the deepest depths of the train carriage and knowing you’re about to have to climb across, prams, pets and people to get out at your destination. Sometimes, I have genuinely just got off at the next stop to avoid the ordeal of falling over people and the inevitable accidental hand hold. Just remember, 44 minutes to go and then you can have a shower and cleanse your soul, it WILL be ok. 🙌

3. THE 4 MINUTE RULE.

You know you’ve truly settled in when waiting more than 4 minutes for a train really affects you. Congratulations my friend, you’re a local. Forget planet earth, there’s no phenomena more interesting to watch than a hundred people tutting in unison seeing the wait time for the S42 from Neukölln. And the crazy thing is, before you know it – you’re doing it too! Stay calm, get your book out!📚

Wrapping up…

SMILE AND DON’T BE A DICK.

The general rule I live by in Berlin is that you’ve got to accept wherever your going by whatever form of transport it’s going to take 45 minutes, it’s going to be uncomfortable a lot of the time and you will probably have to face the ordeal at least twice a day, 5 times a week. So, from all of us lovely morning Berlin commuters, and in order to make the whole experience less awful for all parties involved, please may we kindly ask you abide by the following guidelines:

  1. Don’t be the idiot that gets stuck in the doors, just wait for the next train.
  2. Please do get off your seat for old people, pregnant ladies or children.
  3. Smile, don’t huff and puff when someone bumps into you, just be sympathetic they haven’t developed their Ubahn balance skill yet.
  4. And lastly, if for whatever reason you are traveling across Berlin at 7.30am at a glacial pace enjoying the hustle and bustle without having the responsibility of actually having to get anywhere 1-get a better hobby, and 2 MOVE TO THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE ESCALATOR…we have places to be.

Many thanks and kind regards,

-Everyone with responsibilities on a weekday morning.😉

Bis bald. x

Disclaimer: Although this post comes from me honestly and truthfully, it’s not all bad! Compared to other cities i’ve been to it’s pretty good value and easy to get around. Let’s just allow ourselves to vent this once.😛 See you soon!

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