Berlin: hippos, chocolate, and space needles

As some of you may know, I spent a few weeks in June on a European adventure. The trip started in Budapest and ended in Berlin, two of the most fascinating cities I’ve ever visited. I’ve already posted my photos and experiences from Budapest—you can check them out here! Berlin is an incredible city, so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and photos with you all.

Berlin Germany Travel Pictures Photos Cool Historic Weekly Show Fernsehturm Soviet Space Needle Television Tower

The Fernsehturm, Berlin’s Soviet space needle, is a television tower in what was East Berlin. It is one of the few Soviet buildings still standing. The tallest building in Germany, it houses a rotating restaurant and on a good day offers a 26-mile view.

First, some history. Berlin is the capitol of Germany and sits in the heart of mainland Europe. Its central location on the Spree, Dahme, and Havel rivers has made it the capitol of multiple empires, including the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Republic, and the Third Reich. Despite these advantages, the city has a tumultuous past. It served as the headquarters of the Central Powers and the Axis in WWI and WWII respectively, tumbling into ruin after each defeat. After the Nazi’s fall in 1945, the city was divided between the Soviets and allied powers, separated in two by the infamous Berlin Wall. The city is no stranger to reconstruction.

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If you recline your airplane seat you are a terrible person

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As fans of The Weekly Show know, I try to keep the site as rant-free as possible. While the occasional insane paragraph may pop up from time to time, I do my best to play it PG (this is a family show, after all). There comes a time, however, when things become so outrageous that the blogger has a civic duty to yell at strangers on the internet. I am referring, of course, to the jerks who lean their seats back on a seven-and-a-half-hour flight.

First things first: nobody likes flying. Flights are always delayed, security is rude and intrusive, and by the time you touch down your luggage is likely halfway to Siberia. But these pale in comparison to the worst part about airplanes: the discomfort. Crying babies and sick passengers aside, the seats are so cramped and offer so little leg room as to give Shaq nightmares. In fact, airplane claustrophobia is so common that JetBlue recently unveiled this ad campaign to distance itself from its overcrowded competitors.

Given these conditions, it follows that anyone who intrudes on another’s space for his own comfort is a jerk. No, scratch that: a total dick. Think about it like this: each person has enough space to awkwardly hold a book or laptop in front of them. Leaning the seat back not only creates a claustrophobic shit show behind you; it also prevents someone from entertaining herself for the mind-numbing duration of the flight. These trips are miserable enough without some jerk lying on top of you.

Let me explain what inspired this rant. On my flight back from Berlin last week, two men wearing matching outfits decided it would be nice to lean their seats back—for seven and a half hours. These jerks ignored my family’s polite requests to stop crushing our legs, including during mealtimes when the angle of their seats made it next to impossible to use our tray tables (the flight attendant did not help with this either, refusing to become involved and acting as though we were wasting her time—isn’t that part of her job?). On top of this, the men spent the majority of the flight leaning forward on their tray tables. These jerks made those hours feel like weeks.

Flying Airline Plane Airplane Cramped Recline Seat Terrible Person Rude Uncomfortable Knee Defender Weekly Show

The increased personal space after they adjusted their seats at the end of the flight.

Some proponents of reclining claim they are not as horrible as I make them out to be. According to them, their behavior is acceptable because it is not against airline rules. Wrong. Just because my company does not require me to shower doesn’t mean I should go to work sweaty and disgusting. The same logic applies to the cabin—sacrificing others’ personal space for your own makes you a jerk, regardless of whether you are following the rules.

If you have ever reclined your seat, there is still hope for you. Be sure to keep your seat in the upright position, and do not let friends engage in such dickish behavior. As for all the polite fliers out there, remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for that smug bastard who reclines his seat at the beginning of the flight, and stay as far away as humanly possible.

Cramped Seat Airline Airplane Plane Passenger Coach Most SkyRider Awful Weekly Show

This was almost the future of flying. (But actually–check out the link below).

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any stories like this? Any that could top this? What do you think about seat reclining? I hope to hear about some crazy flights! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. That small click really helps me out. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday! IT’S FREE!

Click here for last week’s post: Budapest: City of Wonders and Flooded Subways!

Other related articles:

The Top Ten Gross Things People Do On Airplanes (Jaunted)

World’s Most Cramped Airline Seat to Launch Next Week (Wired) [Story from 2010 but so crazy I’m including it]

How to Avoid That Cramped Seat (New York Times)

Deranged Blogger Declares Death to All Bunnies [My first rant!]

Don’t Click This Link


Comment question of the week

Do you have a similar travel story? Any that can top this?

Budapest: city of wonders and flooded subways

As some of you may know, I’ve spent the last few weeks on a European excursion. The trip began in Budapest, Hungary, and I am currently exploring Berlin! Budapest is an amazing city, so I thought I’d share some of my photos and impressions with you all.

First of all some history! Budapest is the capital of Hungary, and is composed of two historically independent cities, Buda and Pest. The capital sits on the Danube River, which runs through much of Central and Eastern Europe. Hungary has been invaded many times throughout its history (most recently by the Ottoman Empire, Austria, and the Soviet Union), and these influences show in Budapest’s culture, especially in its architecture. The city served as second home for many Holy Roman Emperors, fought alongside Nazi Germany during the Second World War, and fell behind the Iron Curtain until the U.S.S.R.’s collapse in 1991.

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