Saturday, August 12, 2006


SAT Verbal: Analogies.

Pop Quiz: Potsdam is to Berlin what Versailles is to....?

Headed off to UNESCO WHS town of Potsdam today (I had passed it on the bike on the way to Berlin a few days ago but didn't have time to stop then). There are 4 main things to visit near the Palace:

Schloss Sansucci (Palace) --- 8 Euro for guided tour (cannot visit without tour).
Bildergalerie (Painting Gallery) --- 2 Euro.
Damenflügel (Lady's Wing) --- 2 Euro.
Schloss Küche (Palace kitchens) --- 2 Euro.

Quick: How much does this add up to?

The day pass, which gives you access to all of the above, costs 15 Euros (pass valid for two consecutive days).

Again, how much does the above add up to, if you buy the tickets individually, as opposed to buying them in the packaged day pass?

I, of course, wanted to see everything, so I asked the ticket counter woman for tickets to each (did you say the total for that comes to 14 Euros? Because if you did, you'd be correct). But just as I said: "1 ticket for the palace, please. Then 1 ticket for the Bildergalerie and one ticket for the Damenflügel. Oh, and one ticket for the kitchens, also, please," (all of this in German, of course), the ticket-selling woman actually asked me (I kid you not!): "Would you like to buy a day pass?"

I of course said no.

"It gives you access to all of the above," said she.

Man, either these people are so dense that they really miss the obvious, or they are so smart that they think that everyone else is so dense that they miss the obvious. So I said:

"Yes, but if I buy the tickets separately without the day pass, it is cheaper."

She nodded knowingly (ah, so they really are too smart then): "Yes," she said. "It is 1 Euro cheaper."

Me: "Separate tickets, please."

Honestly. I wonder how many stupid tourists they dupe with this one? I mean, does it really work?


Anyway, I had a couple of hours to kill before my tour was scheduled to start, so I went off to the town, had a nice snack of the obligatory bratwurst with bread bun and mustard, played around on the internet, then started heading back. But just as I arrived to the Palace gardens a half an hour before my tour I realized I had left my memory card reader and 2 GB worth of photos in my memory card at the internet place, another half an hour's walk away from where I currently was.

So I had to go back.

I hadn't eaten much, and to be frank the past few days had me in a rather cranky mood in general, so even though I luckily did find the memory card, in the end, I no longer felt at that point like going back to at least see the kitchens and the lady's wing or the paintings, which required no guided tour and one could go whenever one pleased. So I ditched my Potsdam day. Sat under a tree for a while. Looked at the old people passing by. Maybe with a friend the whole day's events would've produced much laughter and pleasant memories. As it just kindof sucked. {shrug}

Back to Berlin.

Do you know what is the first (or one of the first) thing(s) that happened after the Wall fell?

The Wall got taken over by a private company so that they could sell the chips of it to tourists.

What a triumph of capitalism. :|

I haven't finished visiting all of the sights of Berlin. But all of its square-tiled checkered sidewalks are driving me insane (it is impossible to stop thinking about chess knight move patterns on the diagonally-arranged 25cm x 25cm brick slabs as you walk over them in every street). So I'm fleeing this city tomorrow.


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