Starbucks Challenge Ruhr – First Impressions

Did anyone think this challenge wa a crazy idea? Well, so did I every once in a while today. But crazy doesn’t necessarily mean a bad thing, right :-)? It was fun in its very own way. I didn’t think that it would be so stressful, but it was. Maybe because the schedule I had worked out was too tight? But for some of the trips between the location there were just two suitable times within the hour so I had to keep that in mind and hurry every once in a while.  And I definitely learned a few things for any future Starbucks Challenge (which I or anyone else might do):

Don’t do things like this on a Saturday, because there are too many people around, especially in the malls. Don’t do it during the winter, because it get’s dark rather early and thus photo opportunities might be limited. When you’ve worked out your schedule for traveling and walking add at least 15 minutes to every city (or every hour if you’re staying within a city). This all takes more time than you think. Or maybe it doesn’t if your planning includes several bathroom breaks in advance. Mine didn’t. Check if there are some special events taking place on the date you want to do the challenge. Medivial Markets in the shopping district with a lot of additonal visitors / costumers will slow you down. Don’t do this with a sore knee, because you surely have to climb some stairs to the train platforms (when the escalators in the stations are out of order) or to the bathroom or to some other place. Don’t expect to get a receipt in every store, especially if you only buy things like a 1 EUR cookie. The cashier grabs and throws it away faster than you can imagine. And I felt bad asking for the receipt in these cases when there was a long queue behind me and the whole place was busy in the first place.

I thought the caffeine or the sugar might be a problem, but I realized that the bigger “problem” for me seemed to be the huge amount of milk I drank with all the coffee. Milk obviously stuffs. I already felt full after the first two latte within an hour and that feeling didn’t really disappear during the rest of the day :-)
Although the time I spent in every city seemed to fly (maybe because of my tight schedule) the time I spent traveling seemed to fly even faster. On paper it looked like so much time spent on trains and underground. I visited three malls, one I never sat a foot in before and of course I was walking through even more shopping districts and I was tempted to do some shopping as well quite a few times. But of course that would have totally messed up the schedule, so I braced myself.

There are so many different and sometimes really weird people on public transport or on their ways in the shopping districts on a Saturday morning. Remains of a Friday night partying, maybe? Very old guys who mumble or yell about things noone except themselves understand. Football fans on their way to the game. Drinking beer at 09.30 am already. And it not much different later in the day. On the train on my way home there was (drunk?) and almost asleep football fan again. A typical Saturday in the Ruhr metropolitan area probably.

I will upload photos of the stores and receipts (and tell a bit more about the challenge and the Starbucks stores and staff and all) tomorrow. Or in a few days, whenever I will get around to do it. Right now I’m too tired to work on that and tomorrow I have to do all the things I couldn’t/didn’t do today. Like taking new photos of the construction site. Clean my apartement…

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