How I got scammed in Berlin!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

It’s summer!

And that means going on holiday/vacation.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as the sun comes out, my brain begins to fry and I’m not as alert as I ought to be.

As you know, I’ve been living in Berlin for more than seventeen (17) years, and it really is one of the best cities ever.

Is it safe to travel to Europe right now ‘cos I’m scared to travel abroad?

But it wasn’t always that way!

Yep!

My beloved Berlin used to be quite a different place back in the 90’s.

Back in the day, I used to go to the Love Parade every summer, and electronic techno clubs Berghain and Tresor practically every weekend!

In fact, the gentrified areas of Mitte and Prenzlauerberg in East Berlin (where I live) today, were quite trashy, horrifying, and in some places, even dangerous!

Hence, I lived in arty, grungy, student, alternative Kreuzberg in West Berlin.

Love conquers all. We had controlled rent, but we didn’t have a bathroom in Berlin!

My boyfriend and I lived in a huge rent-controlled apartment near the river.

It didn’t have a bathroom.

It didn’t have any heating.

Hauling up steel-buckets of coal every week in Berlin, wasn’t as romantic as this!
Hauling up steel-buckets of coal in Berlin, was more like this!

And I had to haul up steel-buckets of coal every week!

It was worth it though ‘cos we were living in a 19th century building, and my share of the rent in those days, was a mere €17.00 per week!

It took me just six (6) weeks to get a well-paid teaching job, and six (6) months later, I was the Head of not one Corporate Language School, but two (2)!

One day, I went to the bank to pick up some money for a summer-BBQ party that I was organising for all our schools in Berlin at the time, and on that day, I got scammed!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Scammers are everywhere through Europe!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Woah there.

Tell us what happened?

I’m coming to it.

Hold your horses!

Well, I made a few mistakes that day, and really, I shouldn’t have been so gullible.

But I was.

MISTAKE NUMBER 1:

I went to the bank & collected loads of Deutsche Marks!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I went to the bank, collected 500 Deutsche Marks or about €1,000. (Yep. it’s that long ago!) And then decided to go into “town” a mere 10 minutes away from my establishment.

I should have gone straight back to the office instead!

MISTAKE NUMBER 2:

Most sane people would run away. I walked towards it instead!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I saw a large crowd gathering at the town square of East Berlin’s most popular tourist attraction – Alexanderplatz. And went to investigate what people were looking at.

Most sane people would run away if they saw a crowd.

I tend to do the opposite, and walk towards it!

I should have just kept on walking!

MISTAKE NUMBER 3:

There were some men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guessed right, you win!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

There were a group of men playing a sort of cup game, where if you guess which cup the dice or ball is under, you win.

I should have just minded my own business!

MISTAKE NUMBER 4:

I stopped to watch other tourists and lost all my cash!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I stopped to watch the other “tourists” playing and “winning.” Each and every “tourist” that played won. I thought it would be a laugh, and I could easily “win” too!

To be honest, I don’t even know why I even bothered, as I’m not the gambling type.

I don’t play cards or games for money.

I don’t play scratch-cards.

I don’t play slot machines.

I don’t play bingo.

I don’t even play the lottery.

And I’m not in the habit of “playing” with my money.

I’m far too stingy!

The cost for each “go” was 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I gave the man the money.

And I lost it!

I should have just taken it as a done thing, and gone back to my office.

MISTAKE NUMBER 5:

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse. And lost that too!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

I didn’t.

I’m arrogant and stubborn.

I was so convinced that it was a “game” and that I could beat them.

I decided to “play” again.

I had quite a bit of cash in my purse, so I gave the man another 50 Deutsche Marks or €100!

I lost that too!

100 Deutsche-Mark banknote or €200 – © 2016 – 2018 Bank Note World

I was quite annoyed and convinced that something was up as I had looked quite closely, and didn’t take my eyes off the “cup.”

Now I’m not mad enough to spend more money, as that cash wasn’t really mine, and I would have to replace it once I got back.

And 100 Deutsche Marks or €200 was still quite a lot of money!

So I stuck around.

And watched really carefully.

And then I saw it.

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done. But what a scam!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

The “tourists” who had “won,” weren’t tourists at all!

They were friends and mates of the game organisers and were involved with scamming pretty much each and every legitimate tourist.

Not only that, but the guy issuing the cups somehow kept the ball in his hands so that all the cups were empty!

And if, like myself, you insist the cups be checked as evidence that the ball was actually still under one of the cups, the guy then dropped the ball under the cup, in the same motion as lifting it up!

I’m not entirely sure how it’s done.

But what a scam!

I protested, and asked for my money back, but they insisted that I leave their space.

And like I said, Alexanderplatz was a rough place in those days and I still had 400 Deutsche Marks or €800 in my purse, so just to be sure that I wasn’t being followed, I took a taxi back!

What an idiot and a fool I was!

And that was how I lost 100 Deutsche Marks or €200, just like that!

HOW I GOT SCAMMED IN BERLIN!

Images of Berlin Alexanderplatz.
How I got scammed in Berlin!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and stupidity, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

For more of what to do if you’ve been scammed, and how to avoid it in the future, follow my blog!

You might be well-travelled, but you can still be scammed!
How I got scammed in Berlin!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I got scammed in Berlin!

Have you ever been scammed? Do you think I’m an idiot? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

It’s Summer Time.

Yeah!

Phew!

What a scorcher we’ve been having!

Now by that, I mean in the UK.

I mean, buildings are melting to pieces in Glasgow, people are sweltering on the London Tube, and due to the intense heat, there are fears that train rails might buckle!

Global Warming at it’s best!

In Germany, we had all of that.

Victoria at the River Elbe in Dresden – Germany ©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

In April!

Ah well!

So here are my plans for the summer. And the rest of the year!

PLANS FOR SUMMER

Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

The summer is pretty exciting ‘cos in a fortnight, I’ll be doing a quick weekend away to the Czech Republic, a quick weekend away to Osnabrück in North Germany, and then just a mere one (1) day after, I’ll be travelling to Sweden, Estonia & Latvia!

There’ll be lots of train travel and a few flights!

And no, sadly, I won’t be at the TBEX Conference Europe this year, but I will be in the Czech Republic quite a few times!

So let’s see where I’ll be going:

Firstly, I’ll be spending two days at a destination very close to Dresden, and very close to Prague!

I’ll be visiting a little place called Kutná Hora!

KUTNÁ HORA

Cemetery Church of All Saints in Sedlec – Ossuary – Kutná Hora

Kutná Hora otherwise known as Hory Kutné or Kuttenberg is a city in Bohemia.

It is not the Bohemian Rhapsody, but a historical town, in the Czech Republic!

You may notice that Kutná Hora has a variety of names. This is because at certain times in history, the town belonged to different countries.

Kutná Hora was first recorded in roughly 1142. By 1260, the town became known as Kuttenberg, not only because of it’s famous Sedlec Abbey – which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also because of it’s silver mines which brought the town enormous prosperity in the 13th century.

In fact, from the 13th to 16th centuries, Kutná Hora was given special recognition by the Polish King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia, in 1300, and was on par with Prague!

By 1526, Kutná Hora, along with the rest of Bohemia, became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria until it became a part of Czechoslovakia 1918. Sadly, during 1935 – 1945, it became a forced division and a Protectorate of Nazi Germany, before being given back to Czechoslovakia after WWII, and then into it’s peaceful dissolution into the two separate nations of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, in 1993.

Phew!

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done. There’s just so much to doooo!

I will also be travelling to:

  • Sweden
  • Estonia
  • Latvia

They need no introduction because I written extensively about them before, but if you’re here for the very first time or simply need a reminder, here are the articles I wrote previously.

SWEDEN:

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

ESTONIA:

Tallinn Medieval Days. Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau

LATVIA:

The most popular international post so far was….Latvia!

WHY IS VICTORIA GOING TO SWEDEN, ESTONIA AND LATVIA?

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

Well, you all know how I love going to the ITB Berlin – the international tourism trade fair, otherwise known as the Internationale Tourismus-Börse!

And for those of you who don’t know, the ITB Berlin represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

It’s one of the highlights of my year, and one of the places that I tend to meet contacts and plan where I’m going to travel to during that year, or the following one.

In fact, my first media trip ever, was sent to me by the virtue that I was chatting to a media person from Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency!

My first press or FAM trip ever to Nord-Pas de Calais otherwise known as, Northern France!

I didn’t know that at the time, but she was so impressed, that she sent me a FAM Trip invitation to Nord-Pas de Calais.

I thought I was going to Normandy!

Haw! Haw!

I was the only press / blogger person there.

And well as the only British person too!

I had a fantastic time!

Myself on the M/S Star Tallink mini cruise from Tallinn to Helsinki.

A year after, I met another contact who invited me to use their sailing cruises. I didn’t have the time to sail extensively, but I did use the services of TALLINK SLJA LINE to cross from Estonia to Finland.

A year later, that very same person invited me to fly to Sweden and do a couple more cruises. I still wasn’t able to go since the timing wasn’t right, but she introduced me to a contact from Visit Stockholm instead, and before you knew it, both The Tall Young Gentleman and I were in Stockholm for the very first time!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

I also met the PR person from Hamburg about a year ago, and when a window opened, I contacted her, and she invited me to a weekend in Hamburg for their Christmas Market / Holy Hamburg / Winter Event.

I had a great time!

In fact, it was at the ITB Berlin, and wandering through the Poland Stands, that some of the Polish staff recognised me from an article that I wrote all of four (4) years ago, they were so excited, and the word soon spread, that that blogger was actually there!

Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!

And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!
Apparently, in Poland I’m a bit of a notorious star!

Is it any wonder that this year, someone else reached out and invited me to a very interesting event, so interesting in fact, that how could I refuse?

The event in question is called Explore Hansa!

EXPLORE HANSA!

Explore HANSA

WHAT IS EXPLORE HANSA?

Explore Hansa with me!

Explore Hansa is a partner project consisting of nine (9) small and enchanting Hanseatic cities from Sweden, Estonia and Latvia!

All of these countries are enormously rich in heritage and tradition, and have developed active and culinary tourism that offers visitors a chance to explore nature, authentic history, and exciting local food!

One of the ways that these lovely cities want to do that is by inviting influencers and media representatives, of which I am one, to experience what these HANSA cities have to offer, feel the charm of tiny Hanseatic cities, immerse ourselves in nature, and to spread the word!

I’m certainly going to do that!

There are two (2) trips being organised:

A level of fitness is expected for the HANSA Active trip!
  • THE ACTIVE TRIP route that will go through Limbaži (Latvia) – Valmiera (Latvia) – Viljandi (Estonia) and Visby (Sweden), to explore the cobbled streets and cultural heritage of these small Hanseatic cities, as well as the beauty of nature, in which a level of fitness would be expected!

You all know how I am with bicycles!

Ha! Ha! Ha! Haaaaaaaaaa!

Explore your taste buds & create an inspiring gastronomical experience on the HANSA Culinary Trip!
  • THE CULINARY TRIP route that will go through Viljandi (Estonia) – Valmiera (Latvia) – Cēsis (Latvia) – Koknese (Latvia) and Visby (Sweden), to explore one’s taste buds of seasonal local produce and create an inspiring gastronomical experience

Aha!

You can guess which one I chose!

I’m most interested in the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan taking place in Sweden!

They’ll be lots of stuff going on, but one of the activities I’m most interested in the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan event taking place in Sweden.

For one week only!

Medieval Week is a paradise for all who like jousting, markets, church concerts, street theater, fire shows, storytelling, walks, lectures and more.

It takes place mainly in Visby’s medieval fairytale environments, but also on the rural island of Gotland.

Locals all dressed up & a Medieval Tournament to remember at the annual Medieval Week or Medeltidsveckan taking place in Sweden!

You get to see knights and maidens, people jousting and battling, locals dressed up as grand nobles, poor peasants and minstrels, medieval street markets, street theatre, fireshows, storytelling, and a medieval tournament to remember!

It’ll take place from August 5th to August 12th, 2018 and I’ll be there to see some of it for myself!

And of course, if I’m there, you can go there too!

Exciting stuff!

TRAVEL PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR!

I wanna travel the world with you….

And at the end of the year, I’ll be travelling to:

  • The Czech Republic. Again!
  • And India!

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

Myself as lovely as Prague!

I’ll be going to the Czech Republic ‘cos I’m going to celebrate my birthday there!

Prague is one of my favourite cities, so I’ve invited my family to come join me in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

I really can’t think of anywhere better!

Here’s what I wrote previously:

INDIA:

India

I’ve been to India before.

Thirteen (13) years ago!

And I have to tell you.

I’ve got mixed feelings about it!

I travelled solo and I was there for a month.

I went to North India and I really liked it and enjoyed it enormously.

But I didn’t love it!

I went to Romania. It didn’t wow me!

And if I don’t like a place, I’m certainly going to tell you!!

I went to Rajasthan and saw tigers on safari at the Ranthambore National Park, adored the beautiful lakes at Udaipur, chuckled at the wedding cake cinema at Jaipur, licked and tasted camel ice-cream in Pushkar, rode elephants in Jodhpur, went camel-riding in the sandy desert of Jaisalmer, danced to the music of Bollywood, delighted in the openness of the local people, licked my fingers at authentic Indian food, and marvelled at the wonderful amazing-ness of the Taj Mahal.

India is awesome!

It was awesome!

However, road traffic was mad and over-whelming, the noise was deafening, the dirt and grime was disgusting, the River Ganges at Varanasi was not only filthy, but I actually saw a bloated dead body being dragged across the water by a dog!

The beggar children were heart-breaking, the overnight train was horrific that I couldn’t sleep a wink, and the food- poisoning that I caught from stale / under-cooked eggs at a 5-star hotel restaurant was so awful, that my skin colour actually turned grey!

That isn’t good news!

I’m sorry, but India’s Holy River Ganges in Varanasi is utterly filthy!

In fact, I was so exhausted by the shopkeepers and city of Delhi that for the only time in my life, I actually wanted to go home!

I stuck it out though, but was thrilled to be able to fly away, and leave it all behind me.

Eek!

You can’t keep me away from India’s beautiful Taj Mahal!

So how is it that I’m going back to India.

Again?

And to some of the very same places too!

?!!!?!

Perhaps India has changed!

Well, thirteen (13) years ago is a long time, and perhaps India has changed.

I know I have.

I’ll be going to Rajasthan again but focusing only on Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur and Mumbai.

I’ll also personally be doing all the planning and organising.

Gulp!

And this time I won’t be backpacking.

I won’t be taking any bumpy buses.

I won’t be going as cheap as chips.

I won’t be visiting Varanasi.

And I won’t be taking the over-night Indian train!

Who doesn’t like an exciting adventure?

Well, follow me over the next few months, and find out!

‘Rah! ‘Rah!

SUMMER LOVING & MY TRAVEL PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR!

Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and the thrilling summer that I’m obviously going to have, are my very own!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment! ©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Summer Loving & my travel plans for the rest of the year!

What are your plans for the summer? Have you ever been to Latvia, Estonia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Germany, or India? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!