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Trains, Trams, and Subways

April 30, 2019

If you’ve kept up with my blog posts this semester, you might have picked up on how often I mention taking the subway or train. Berlin is a sprawling city, and I live about 45 minutes from the neighborhoods I spend the majority of my time in. Because of this long commute, it sometimes feels like I live on the subway. I grew up in a city with a single-line subway, which I normally only utilized when going downtown. Moving to Berlin has taught me how convenient it is to have a complex public transportation system at your fingertips. Here is a list of my favorite things about public transportation:

1. Your odds of seeing cute babies increases

This past Monday morning, I was on the train lost in thought about which pastry I was going to treat myself to as a reward for getting out of bed. While debating between my go-to cherry scone or mixing it up with a chocolate croissant, the baby in the stroller next to me woke up and started laughing. His laughter filled up the train car, and soon, everyone around me was laughing alongside this baby. My day is always made better by seeing cute babies on the train.

2. Top-tier people watching

I am nosey, which means I am a sucker for people watching. I love seeing what books people are reading, where their shopping bags are from, and hearing what they are talking about. Normally, I wear my headphones on the train, but even if I forget them, it is easy to pass the time by observing the people around me. I also get the majority of my style inspiration from my fellow passengers, since Berlin’s subway platforms are flooded with fashion-forward commuters.

3. Extra time to catch up on last-minute tasks

Forget to do the reading for class? Need to send an email? Want to flex your Sudoku skills? My commute budgets in 40 minutes each morning where I am forced to just sit down. This extra time comes in handy when I need to check a task off my to-do list that involves reading or using my phone. That being said, it also provides 40 minutes of interrupted scrolling on social media if I’m not careful.

4. Free time to think

Having a smart phone means I am always one click away from podcasts, music, social media, texting, or reading the news. I love having all these options available, but commuting on the train also gives me the opportunity to unplug from the world for a few minutes. I have loved using train rides to just sit back and reflect on my day. Honestly, I feel like I can solve any problem in the length it takes to get from my apartment to school each morning.

5. Daily cardio

The bulk of the physical activity I’ve done this semester involves running across subway platforms to get onto the train before it pulls away, and I can now rush down stairs in heels faster than ever imagined.

6. It is nearly impossible to get lost

Berlin has multiple public transportation options, which includes train, subway, bus, and tram systems. Because there are so many options, it is nearly impossible to be stranded without a way home. There is always a station or bus stop around the corner, which makes exploring the city so much easier.

7. It is easier to drink coffee on the train than in a moving car

No potholes and no sharp turns mean less drink spillage. Its basic science.

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