I’ve been pretty spoilt with the weather here in Berlin so far. In six weeks, a bad day usually means it’s not quite hot enough to go to the open air pool for chicken nuggets and sunbathing. But today, the sky opened. And boy, did it rain.
I’d cycled to my German class when the first dribbles began and been laughed at for my wet hair and pour choice of outfit. By the time the session ended though, all of us were sitting ducks, facing no dry option home.
Annoyingly, I had a top to take back to H&M – with a whole £30 on the line (as if I ever spent that much on a top?! must have still been in holiday mode) – and boldly decided to still go ahead with the mission. After sharing an umbrella which my significantly smaller classmate, I got absolutely drenched on my way to the shop, only to then discover I’d brought the wrong receipt. And so began my very own series of unfortunate (and wet) events…
Heading back out into the monsoon, I found my bike and headed home. It was chucking it down and I was cycling blind, my rain-spotted glasses absolutely USELESS. My sodden dungarees felt ridiculously heavy, weighing me down so that I couldn’t help but laugh as I rode, like some sort of spider experiencing an adrenaline rush as it gets washed down the plug to it’s doom. Just imagine swimming in your clothes and then having to run down a busy road with your eyes shut, while someone sprays you with a hose. At one point a man jumped out and took my photo, along with the last remains of my dignity.
And then, a lorry came. A big fat lorry came alongside me and created a full on wave that went right over my head and hit me in the face. I had several seconds of complete submersion. I shrieked. I screamed. I was SOAKED. By the time I got in to my apartment I was leaving water trails as strong as the weather itself. I was a rain cloud personified, creating puddles wherever I stood.
But yet, when I got in, I showered, changed and before I knew it, was heading back out into the wilderness to pick up the three year old from Kita. Round two. Ready.
Well, you know how this goes. I got bloody drenched again.
But even after dragging the pushchair there, convincing the child to get into it and then allowing him to convince me to go the long way home (kids can be very persuasive), the nightmare was only just getting started. One mile from the house, the wheel of the buggy came off. Oh no.
For a little while I am crouched, my glasses opaque, the stroller half submerged in a puddle, the three year old slowly sinking, trying to be both a mechanic and a babysitter, all while underwater. Luckily a kind woman then came and helped me carry the pushchair to the nearest S-bahn, where a group of recent passengers were sheltering under a thin ledge. I got the three year old to get out and join them but there wasn’t enough room for me AND the stroller underneath, meaning that to try and fix it, I had to stand out in the rain. So, with my captive audience of commuters, my hair plastered to my head by this point, I tried to fold the thing down. But it would not fold. It just WOULD NOT FOLD. It was slippery and muddy and I couldn’t even SEE it anymore. At one point I looked up at the sea of faces like “DON’T YOU HAVE CHILDREN?!?!! SOMEONE MUST KNOW HOW TO DO THIS”
Finally I gave up, threw the wheel in the buggy, grabbed the three year old and we power walked home, me clutching on to him with one hand, and dragging the wheel-less buggy behind us with the other. We only momentarily stopped while going under a bridge so that he could admire waves of the flooded road lapping at the pavement like the tide. Despite our distance from the edge, the water still managed to submerge our feet. I suppose from a little person’s point of view, it was the grandest of days out.
Got to the three year old’s tutoring where I was given an unimpressed look but allowed in. Made a puddle on their beautiful wooden floor as I waited. Helped a woman mop it up guiltily. By the time I got back to the apartment, our cellar had flooded. I went and got changed into outfit number three.
Once dry, I ran the three year old a bath to warm him up. He had some new goggles and he wanted to test them out in the water but couldn’t seem to get them on his head. I then, rather stupidly, thought it’d be a good idea to get my own pair from my room so I could show him. Ten minutes later I’m leaning over the side of the bath with my face in the water after being begged to “look at the fishes” too. Idiot. I tell you. Almost as if I hate being dry.
A couple of hours later it was time for me to rush out and go to a house viewing I had organised. I realised upon opening my wardrobe, however, that all three pairs of trousers I had brought to Berlin were wet. Same for my only two pairs of acceptable shoes. My next best option – a short black tailored playsuit. Teamed with some plimsolls that used to belong to my Grandma (and have several holes in them) and a £5 waterproof jacket from a second hand store. Great. Rain ready.
Apart from being the only barelegged person in a ten mile radius, the rain jacket also completely covered my shorts making it look like some sort of bin liner dress. Anyway, I got lost on the way. I got wet. I don’t know if I’ve made that part of the story clear enough at this point?
Saw the house, made a puddle in the house, left the house. On the way back I decided to treat myself and got some biscuits and M&Ms from a nearby shop foolishly thinking: “Ooh these’ll be great to eat when I’m home and watching Love Island”. It was a 16 minute walk back to the S-bahn or 2 minutes to the U-bahn so thought I’d get out the rain asap and take the short cut. Huge error. The U-bahn was flooded. I didn’t pay attention. My line was diverted and ended up going in the wrong direction for four stops before realising and jumping off. I then waited for a million years for a train to take me in the RIGHT direction, only to then be forced out again at station I started at. It’d been almost an hour and I was still. not. home.
(By this point the rain had also gotten into my phone and stopped it working… There’s nothing quite like going up and down the same tube line while your Love Island whatsapp group repeatedly shares snake emojis and your boyfriend is convinced you’re in a huff because you’re ignoring all his messages)
Finally I ended up hurrying back to the S-bahn in the pitch black, looking like a thug with my hood up and baseball bat under arm. Only on approaching me, would strangers then realise it was just a wet girl in an anorak, clutching a now open pack of biscuits in one hand, and furiously shovelling them into her face with the other. I felt no shame, not even when I made accidental eye contact with the shopkeeper who sold me them in the first place.
I reached the S-bahn safely, even taking my hood down in the darker parts of the road so I would be able to stop someone knocking me out and stealing my snacks and broken phone. Twice, I thought a person looked sinister, only to then realise that they were walking a dog and immediately feeling at ease. Realised I’d always trust a dogowner, and that therefore I was probably very likely to be murdered in Berlin. Got on the train and had to wipe my glasses on the seats as literally no part of me was dry.
And now I am sat here, my phone lovingly placed in a box of cous cous as the family I work for don’t have any rice. I can’t get into it and keep disabling it instead. I have changed out of my wet clothes for the fourth time today. The bathroom is like a morgue for the outfits I selected to face the downpour. RIP, looks. We lost some good men out there today.
I was on my fourth pair of socks until I just tripped with a glass of water and spilt it all over my foot on my way to bed. Ironically I’ve also realised I am wearing my old rugby tour T-shirt which says ‘loves getting wet’ on the back. A name chosen due to my love of swimming and wearing swimming attire on nights out. My University days really should have lead me to be better equipped for today.
Update: I got myself some rice: