It was nice to leave Paris, a huge noisy, fast and furious city. It was quite an experience, but I had hoped to slow down a little. We had a 12 train journey to Germany ahead of us which ended up being 2 hours delayed. We got a 50% refund.
Upon arriving we immediately noticed how quiet it was. We stayed just outside of the immediate city centre, near Victory Column. We wondered if we’d arrived in the right ‘Berlin’
We came across several museums dedicated to WW2. However it was roughly 5-10 euros for entry which was a shame. So we decided to take the metro to find some of the last standing bits of the Berlin wall. Seeing the wall really made you think how pathetic it was. A slab of concrete separating a country for political reasons.
A city walk wouldn’t be complete without someone trying to sell you something, or in our case, scam you. In the distance we had a guy counting 1! 2! 3! At first glance it looked like street magic, but we quickly realised it was far from it. The guy had set up a temporary table for a quick get away and had 3 cups. All you had to do was guess correctly which cup the ball was under. There was quite a crowd gathered but as we watched we noticed that we could tell which cup the ball was under, every time. If you’re not familiar with the scam, or haven’t seen The Real Hustle, this is how it works.
The guy will work with 3 other guys, the baiters. They’ll 1) make it look like a crowd has gathered to bet, and 2) show you that ‘ordinary’ people can win, and lose at the game, it makes it look a bit more legitimate. As a bystander you soon catch on that you can miraculously tell which cup the ball is under, every time. While you’re watching in the background the baiters will be betting huge amounts of money, and winning. An easy way to double your money! As the baiters play you’ll notice that they’ll suck you in so you’re eventually standing at the front of the ‘crowd’ and you’ll start pointing at the correct cup while others lose their money. The only reason you know the location of the ball is because he’s showing you every time by flicking the cup up as he stops shuffling them. So you think you’re amazing and put down 50 euros. The guy shuffles the cups again, and of course the ball isn’t there.
It’s fascinating to watch a scam like that in progress, especially when there are 3 or 4 people involved.
Germany has been an extremely interesting place and somewhere I’d like to visit again with a bit more money for the museums.