A lucky escape: Sumiko Tan

A lucky escape: Sumiko Tan

Two weeks ago, I was nearly killed by a tram in Berlin.

I was in Germany with several colleagues to study how newspapers there are transforming into digital operations.

We had an interesting and useful meeting in the morning and were headed for lunch before our next appointment.

A German contact had suggested we check out restaurants around Hackescher Markt in the centre of the city, and so we went there in a taxi.

It's a busy, noisy area outside an S-Bahn station. We spotted eateries much like those in Clarke Quay, and the taxi dropped us on the opposite side of the road.

There didn't appear to be a pedestrian crossing, so when the coast was clear, we made our way across, to a traffic island with railings sited at the bend of a road.

Then there was another 2m of road to manoeuvre before we hit the stretch of restaurants.

My colleagues were a little ahead of me, towards the left.

The sun was blazing.

I saw a gap between the railings on the right and decided to cross from there.

I looked around for cars. There was none coming my way and so I stepped out.

I remember three things.

One was looking down and wondering why there were metal grooves running across the road.

Two was hearing one of my colleagues shout "Sumiko, watch out!"

Three was glancing up and seeing a yellow tram coming towards me from the left. Its wheezing sound was growing louder and louder.

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