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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

On 18.7.17 by KieronMoore in    No comments


I've taken a short holiday in Berlin over the past week. Here's what I learned:
  • The Germans really love their techno music. Not only is it played in all the bars and clubs, but sometimes people sit next to you on the train and start playing techno at you.
  • I don’t like techno.
  • They also really love their beer. They drink it in the street, and shops that appear to be corner shops actually sell little but beer. I first thought that beer was really cheap, but then I realised it’s everything else that’s expensive. One club I was in charged €3 for the cheapest beer, and €2,50 for water. 
  • Cider doesn’t exist.
  • Marlene Dietrich was the coolest film star ever (and the film museum is amazing).
  • There's a U-bahn line called U2, and imagining the train's being driven by Bono never stops being funny.
  • The term for East Berliners is ‘Ossis’, though I actually met more Aussies than Ossis - Berlin is a prime destination for Australian tourists.
  • And some New Zealanders, though never compare them to Aussies.
  • The entire history and culture of New Zealand.
  • Germany's equivalent of WHSmiths is called McPaper.
  • There are so many types of absinthe, with names like ’Suicide’, ‘Leaky Crucifix’ and ‘Death Suckle’ (I made one of those up).
  • Lola Rennt is even more of a '90s masterpiece when you're watching it in a hip Berlin cinema rather than across two German lessons at the end of term.
  • The Germans sure know how to party. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe...
  • English really does seem to be the lingua franca, and I heard it probably as much as I heard German. Visitors to Germany, wherever they’re from, are more likely to know English than German, so bartenders, waiters, etc. tend to switch to it very quickly when they realise someone ain’t from around these parts.
  • Despite this, I managed to maintain a few conversations in German, but my Achilles heel is 'sorry' - if I got in someone’s way in the street, I’d immediately say this and forget to even attempt a German equivalent.
  • If they get in someone’s way in the street, the Germans generally don’t attempt to apologise in any language.
  • They do, however, have perfect etiquette when it comes to waiting for the red man at road crossings. Even if there’s no traffic at all.
  • The burgers at ‘The Bird’ are the best in the world, ever.
  • Speaking of birds, the term for what happens to one when it flies into an aeroplane engine is ‘ingested’.

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