willbryant.net

Berlin to Prague on the ICE

Published Tue 02 October 2007 00:08 (+0200)
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To a New Zealander, one of the coolest things about being “on the continent” is the ability to go to another country without going on a fecking big plane flight. Case in point, Berlin to Prague on the Inter-Continental Express: 4 hours (remember, you have to check in 3 hours ahead at most big airports), 29 EUR, no lame queueing and security checking, no cramped seats, no part where you're just waiting around and can't do anything useful, no bit where your ears go all funny, access to your luggage while you're in transit, and if you're lucky, even a restaurant car.

Read a book! Work on your blog! Stare out the window, because there's actual stuff that's not clouds out there!

Actually, I spent most of the trip attempting to pass on what I've figured out regarding the German train system (writeup due soon) to a young Spanish guy who was on his way to study at Dresden.

Neither of us speaks German (should be fun – lectures, exclusively in German, started 3 days later), I speak essentially no Spanish, he speaks limited English (though still impressively good from my perspective). I'm certainly learning some good simplifying, explaining, and synonym-finding skills on this trip :).

Also, don't let Spanish universities organise your academic career at any point. He wasn't even supposed to be going to Dresden, he applied to be sent to Sweden but his Registry sent the forms to the wrong university/country. So now he's going to Dresden instead. He seems to have taken it with a lot less kicking and screaming than I would!