So I’m walking down the Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin, on my way from a visit to the cutting-edge Jewish Museum, designed by Daniel Liebeskind, toward the Brandenburg Gate, when I see all these weird little cars in a parking lot behind bars, some painted strange colors and patterns, like zebra stripes, and all with the words “Trabi Safari” on the side. WTF?
So I walk on and do my tourist thing — the Gate, the Reichstag, the Museum Island — until I’m sitting weary at sidewalk café table, and what comes around the corner but the Trabi Safari!
And after much Googling, I learn that the Trabi (nickname for “Trabant”) is a crappy little car that was produced in East Germany under the Commie regime. It took years to get one, and then its weenie two-stroke engine smoked and stank, one of the worst cars ever produced. East German joke: “What’s the best feature of a Trabant? There’s a heater at the back to keep your hands warm when you’re pushing it.”
But now it’s kinda cute, a piece of pre-reunification nostalgia. And you can see Berlin while driving your own Trabi, if you just sign up for the Trabi Safari!