Observations in Week 4: Grand Düssel Station and Luxury Beds

Week Four’s Observations

Maybe it is a sign of my continuing integration but I have only observed two note-worthy things this week. That’s nothing compared to, say, week two.

I work on Luxury Bed Street

The Düsseldorfers seem to attach a lot of importance to good sleep. The few hours the diligent German sleeps, s/he wants to spend as comfortably as possible. At least that is what the luxury-bed-store-ratio on my street suggests. The street I work on is a central street and while it is not short, it is not very long either. Still, no less than five bed stores are on this street. You come to work passing the shop where beds start at 4,000 euros. You go to lunch and cast a glance at the two stores advertising “ergonomical sleeping”. You go home and while you make your way past the last store, you wonder why you sleep on 90-centimetre-bed without a slatted frame while the rest of Düsseldorf must be enjoying all these beds worthy of a king or queen.

Düsseldorf has a show-off-station

The prestige of train stations is measured in number of tracks, the frequency of connections and which kind of trains stop there. Let me give you an example: The train station in Vechta (don’t go there!) has two tracks and the only train that goes there is a local train that looks like a tram and calls at literally every village. At Vechta Central Station, there are two trains going each hour. In Hamburg, there are 14 tracks and all kinds of trains frequent the station, even the prestigious ICE Sprinter that only stops at the VIS (very important stations). Trains arrive and depart approximately every third minutes.

And then there is Düsseldorf which suffers from a mild case of megalomania (“Of course 60 sqm cost 700 euros, this is the capital of North-Rhine-Westphalia after all!”). Yes, the ICE Sprinter stops here and yes, trains go maybe every fifth minute. But the tracks? They have 20 tracks! TWENTY! Only Berlin might have more tracks. I think Düsseldorf might be cheating with this track thing to upgrade their train station prestige: who knows if maybe six of these tracks are used for local trams and not real trains? What if Düsseldorf has two incorporated Vechta stations in its station? Whatever the reason, it sure is impressive to be led to “track 17” for the train to Dortmund. Well done, Düsseldorf, well done.

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