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Lost in Berlin.

Wandering the underground station of Berlin’s Alexander Platz might confuse you. Tangling webs of corridors could lead you in the wrong direction.

“Do we take the U8 to Hermannstraße or to Wittenau? Or the U2 towards Pankow?” A group of students contemplate their route. Maybe they would prefer to take the newly opened U5 towards Hönow. Or rather one of the above ground trams or one of the suburban railway (S-bahn) lines. “How do we get to Kotti?” The hustle of and bustle of Berlin’s daily life squeezes the students out of the underground’s narrow stairwell, like a tube of toothpaste.

Finally leaving the station, the students hear the loud rattling of a train overhead. Metallic sounds strike in rhythm as the world time clock chimes.


“Alexander Platz is home of the world famous Fernsehturm (TV tower)  as well as Berlin’s first department store: Galeria Kaufhoff. The students overhear a guide informing his tour group – “The Berolina, Alexander Haus was designed by Peter Behrens and built between 1929 – 1932.”

Peering out onto the vast square, the students take in the information which they can overhear. Slowly, the Park Inn’s shadow creeps west with the sun changing in the sky. In addition, a blanket of darkness sets on the north face of the square. Tourists, students and versed art critics alike rush to view the current exhibition at the Forum of Contemporary Art, Art Place Berlin.

While sifting through the metallic cob webs of seemingly never-ending tram lines and slew of pedestrians, an odd structure catches the eye of one of the students. Finally something constant, something quietly ticking –  the world time clock.

History of the World Time Clock

“Established in 1969, the world time clock was built by the East German government. Adjacent to the Berolina Haus and across from the Galeria Kaufhoff, the world time clock was constructed as a symbol of progress during Germany’s redevelopment phase.” The tour guide explains.

“Quick! Let’s stop at the world time clock!” says an Australian student from my intensive German course. “It’s not so bright over there and I want a Currywurst.

The students stop under the world time clock to check their map.

“That’s it!” One of the students points to their map. “Let’s catch the U8 towards Hermannstraße.” Just then, an Australian student is bumped by a pedestrian and accidentally drops their Currywurst. A yellow-red splash of ketchup mixed with curry powder lands on the students shoes.

The world time clock chimes twelve.