Sleeping on the Street in Germany


First, let me dust off my tuxedo and properly fit my top hat, that’s better.

This gentleman just spent the night sleeping in the street, indeed he did. I arrived in Rostock at about 10PM and it turns out there is this huge vanilla gay sailing festival where they played music that made my mind cry. Suffice to say, the entire town was sold out.

Being an ex-lobbyist and someone who could be said to have the gift of gab, I managed to get a lady in one of the hostels to store my luggage. After that, the door shut behind me, I heard the key turn, (LOCK) and it was just myself,  a freshly pressed tuxedo, a tall top hat, a cane, pocket watch and eye piece in the cold streets of Rostock.

I found a place suitable, it was this big shrub in the core of downtown. I tried to get in and this army of rose bushes cut into my legs. I immediately went back to the hostel and offered them full price for a spot on the floor in the luggage room. I’ll have you know, I may travel first class sometimes but I couldn’t care less, let’s get that perfectly clear, yes?

They say sorry despite having a place, there was even a moldy bed in the luggage storage room and only my luggage there. I’ve been many places in the world and NO ONE has ever refused a solo weary traveler, let alone one in a tuxedo past 10pm, it’s simply not right.  The lady who owned this place looked like a lumber jack, had broader shoulders then myself and more facial hair, yes I have a full beard. Not a nice lady, as I said no where in the world has anyone ever done that.  Cold.

So I’m back on the streets, I go back to my place. There is a festival. I could be a creep and try and meet some ladies and go back but that is not my style. Also once the festival is over there will be a stream of people. Part of sleeping incognito on the streets is NOT having ANYONE see you go into your “rabbit hole”.

I go through the rose bushes and they slash my legs. Then I find it, a perfect little spot, under a tree. The weakest part of my “fortress” if you can call it that was a cap about 10 feet to the side of the road, low shrubs. Once I was in my spot for a bit, I sunk in so I was even lower and it was dark. To my back about 30 feet of dense brush, to my right the “rose bushes of death”.

Suffice to say it’s hard to sleep when sleeping on the street, your mind is racing. A few times people came and went to the bathroom in the “weak spot”. I just lay there still like “eh, wtf”. At ~3am I woke up coughing like crazy. I now know what it feels like to be a homeless man coughing up a lung sleeping on the street. I didn’t ask for it but I can now relate. I also had crazy nightmares of possible outcomes and would wake up being like, did that just happen then be like “no,no, I’m still here nothing changed”. That is why homeless people sleep all day, much safer.

Experiences are the key to understanding.

When I woke up at 3am or whatever coughing, I was also freezing, totally and completely freezing. Somehow I fell asleep again until 6 am, then wandered the streets until I found a coffee shop, bought a coffee and passed out for an hour or so, well mainly just spaced out. When I woke up there were these guys my age going by, the saw me get out and brush off my tuxedo then gave me a round of applause and I bowed, seriously.

Some other “funny” stuff involving this night but I will keep that for another time and another medium.

Catching an overnight ferry to Helsinki at 2pm.

Brushes leaves off top hat and tips it,

P.S: Nobody does it like SHABL.

UPDATE:  Turns out the ferry is at 2am, great, just great. Luckily there is 1 tonight as well. A lady friend of mine got mugged last night, travel safely, lots of creep shows in this world, lots of them.  I am bored out of my mind in Rostock. The ferry is 28 hours and leaves in 12, this should be “interesting”.

Also remember, you can walk down a street 100000x and be cool or 1x and not be cool, that is a fact.

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  1. Diana

    August 7, 2010 at 4:23 am

    Poor boy. Sounds like a horrible night in a mad world. =(
    Hope your trip on the ferry will get better – even if ferries aren’t that nice as well…
    Nice song – thanks for melancholic post on a rainy Saturday sitting in a warm home forgetting the “real world” outside.

    All the best

  2. Thomas

    August 7, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Hahah, you’re one of a kind, Rob!!
    I love the part that you slept on the street, but let’s face it, alot of us could have done that when in need.
    But in a tuxedo? hahah! I would have applaused aswell Sir, oh yes indeed!

  3. Rob

    August 7, 2010 at 5:32 am

    Diana . Heard weird things about the ferries as well, sigh. I am missing a warm home, or anywhere that I can have my space. Apartment needed, soon! Thanks for comment and hope you have a fun day.

    Thomas ß haha yes most of the crew we know could, most who read blogs, not so much. See you in Norway if I ever make this ferry.

  4. Fran

    August 7, 2010 at 5:33 am

    I think this is your best written post to date. I remember the first time you slept on the street (was it Thailand? Can’t quite remember right now) and you were much more positive about it. Germany has really gotten under your skin and it’s good to read you telling us how you really feel. Like you say, not some travel guide of positives.

    I hope Finland is better, but I have this feeling that Asia is going to be #1 on the list for the kindness and generosity of people. The “Saving Face” culture really makes it happen, doesn’t it?

  5. Rob

    August 7, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Thanks Fran.

    Not sure but I am sure Finland will be fun, meeting my friends and they have the concept of sharing down a lot more in Asia. Who knows really maybe had I tied my shoe laces and hit everywhere 5 minutes later everything would be different.

    Not somewhere I would want to live, cooler, nicer, cheaper places out there imo.

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