Last night a friend and I were catching up and walking by the river when we saw a boat pass by with several people on it, singing and having a blast. It seemed like a great time. As the boat passed, we later heard a rustle in the bushes followed by a curious splash. We assumed it was yet another boat. Seconds later we hear more noises and as we look towards the direction of the gurgles and the noise, an older man with a worried look on his face approaches us for help. In German he tells us to call the police and through his pantomiming we understood that someone fell into the river. I asked him what the emergency number was and he told me, in German, hundertzwölf. Because my German is definitely not up to par, I thought he said a hundred then twelve. All of this was happening while we heard, what we thought was an older lady–possibly a grandma, screaming in pain and for help in slurs. Luckily, some concerned civilians who were passing by, stopped and corrected the numbers on my phone. They told the police what happened and where we were and within minutes we heard sirens near by. Then another. Then another. Cop cars after firetrucks after ambulances. One after another, they kept showing up, even after the (fairly young, but drunk) woman was saved. At the end, a firetruck with a boat arrived unnecessarily. A boat. Now I know that if ever I’m in a crisis, I should call 110 and/or 112 (not 10012 and/or 10010) and expect half of Berlin’s cops, ambulances, and firetrucks to help me. Also, firetrucks, here in Berlin, have boats.
DAS IST DA BOAT.