After living in Berlin for eight years, I finally started consuming German mass media because of my work. A few months ago, I got a job as a subtitler; I essentially binge-watch German movies and write subtitles in English. While I enjoy my job because I get to sit around, watch TV and write all day, I can’t help but notice a trend in all the German content I watch; it’s seriously lacking comic relief that I can relate to as an American. However, it is also witty in its own unique way that I, as a native English speaker, can’t entirely grasp.
There’s this extremely prevalent stereotype: “German’s can’t take a joke; Germans have no humor” bla bla bla. But this doesn’t really match up with the German people I know and love, many of whom are absolutely hilarious.
I decided to unpack some of the intricacies of German humor through a few conversations and an internet deep dive. Here’s what I found:
Having your own business is a tough choice. Not only because you have to navigate new challenges and obstacles every day. But also because you have to be responsible for all of your choices and own the consequences.
This said if you build up your own freelance activity, your yoga studio, or even if you become a self-employed tax consultant it can feel immensely rewarding when your efforts become a tangible enterprise that pays your bill, your rent, and even your drinks on a Saturday night.
Because 2020 without being too polite has been a fucking disaster for freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs our colleagues from the Blog Mit Vergnügen and Holvi, an online-bank specialized in the needs of freelancers launched the competition #ZeigdeinBusiness to give freelancers more visibility and also the possibility to win some amazing supports for next year.
We’re halfway through November lockdown and to put it mildly: people are on the edge. I’ve had so many phone calls about depressions, worries, fatigue, anxiety – and that was just about November in general! I’m feeling you here, I’m feeling all of that – I really do. But to be honest, I think at this point it’s better not to dwell on these feelings too much. It’s just going to become a spiral that leads further down, and we’re probably better off staying optimistic hoping things will get better once the situation somehow passes – whenever that will be.
And in that optimistic spirit I did what we do best here at iHeartBerlin: gather some ideas for a fun listicle – this time about some lovely spirit-lifting things to do to make the lockdown period and winter, in general, a bit better. And I’ll spare you the obvious such as taking walks in the park and binge-watching Netflix because I think we’ve done enough of that already. And I’m sure you all already Marie-Kondoed your house and perfected your sourdough baking skills during the last lockdown. So we’re moving on to new things, more specific things – all of which are approved and tested by me personally!
It’s been a while since we last published a feature from our ongoing series “Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin”. In fact, you haven’t got any German tips from us since you were introduced to the “10 German terms that describe complex personalities in one word”. But now, we’re back, and taking it a step further: here’s not just a few new words, but actual sentences! And might I add: extremely practical sentences, since Berliners have always been somehow notorious for their complaining. So if you want to bridge the gap between a tourist and a rightful dweller of this city, you better learn these by heart.
Caitlin Hardee, an American who’s lived in Berlin for almost 10 years, slept badly beside her laptop on Tuesday night awaiting results she knew would not come by morning. With the presidential election still undecided until Saturday, Americans in Berlin haven’t slept much at all last week.
Because Donald Trump hinted he would declare victory before all mail-in ballots were counted, Democrats Abroad, the overseas chapter of the Democratic Party, organized a “Rally in Berlin for free and fair elections in the United States” in front of the Brandenburg Gate on Wednesday to demand all votes be counted. Around 50 people attended the rally with little commotion, but police were present to ensure social distancing measures were followed. Emily Lines, the vice-chair for Democrats Abroad, said that only two counter-protesters came to the rally. One of the counter-protesters was not an American, but still chose to support Trump and was not wearing a mask.
Berlin is a city of reinvention at every level—individuals come here to reinvent themselves and the city itself is always reinventing itself. With a constant influx of people coming to Berlin every year to discover its rich history, plentiful parties or simply political safety, the future of the city could go in many directions. Will housing become even more competitive? Will the city find ways to become more environmentally friendly? Will the coronavirus force the city to stagnate or will creativity continue to flourish? Right now, Berlin seems to be on the brink of another phase of reinvention.
100 Years Berlin – Unfinished Metropolis, a free exhibition at the Kronprinzenpalais that is still open until February 2021 but currently closed due to the lockdown in November, seeks to answer some of these questions by examining the last century. Unfinished Metropolis celebrates the centennial of the conglomeration of Berlin and asks the visitor to examine the past to look forward. The exhibition reviews urban planning successes and failures of the last 100 years in Berlin and also features winning entries from the International Urban Design Ideas Competition for Berlin-Brandenburg 2070. These entries provide an idea of what the city may look like in 50 years. Here’s what those winning entries propose.
If you’ve lived in Berlin for a long time and your job is all about knowing everything about the city, I can tell you, to surprise me with something new is a feat you are gonna be destined to fail at. Alas, of course, you are really inventive. And whoever organized that scavenger hunt by glo™ that I was invited to join last week sure was!
The whole experience made me realize, that the city has an infinite amount of surprises left for me to experience. Discovering Berlin from a new angle, seeing places I hadn’t seen before, or seeing familiar places in a new light – this is what keeps me motivated to do this blog and it keeps my enthusiasm for Berlin as fresh as on the first day.
photos: Eylül Aslan.
Berlin’s dating scene is shaped by three important factors. First of all, mostly thanks to its kinky parties, Berlin is a city commonly characterized by a spirit of sexual liberation. Secondly, while it’s a popular choice for international expatriates, some see it as an ultimate destination, and others as a temporary stop. And finally, the notion of “finding yourself” in Berlin is used equally often as a synonym for deep soul-searching and as an excuse for flaky behavior.
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Hannah Joy Graves has a magnetic presence which I have first registered when I showed up for a tattoo appointment at AKA, a Neukölln studio that she managed at the time. With Berlin being more of a village than its map might suggest, our paths crossed again when I found out that Hannah, introducing herself to the world as Cult Mother, began offering tarot readings – a practice that can only grow more relevant as reality becomes increasingly uncertain. As Cult Mother put it: “People are feeling disconnected and disorientated and are discovering that tarot is a great tool for navigating confusion and uncertainty.”
But there’s more to this interview than cards. Hannah told us about finding her way into spirituality, how she envisions tarot as part of Berlin’s nightlife, and why the city continues to inspire her after she got sober.
photos: Roger Sabaté.
Close your eyes for a second.
Imagine a 28-year-old who just moved to Berlin. She lived here a while ago, but was unable to find a proper job and returned to the country of origin. She promised herself that one day she will be back and conquer the city.
Five years later, she’s here again, this time not as a cleaner but as a project manager. She feels immune to any job market crisis, she has a strong game plan and some money to spend. New shoes? Sure! Techno party every weekend? Bam! Eating outside all week? No problem!
Now pause for a minute. Or maybe pause forever. Can you? Can you pause it forever for me, please? Cause what’s coming next is the infamous “Contagion” reenactment which washed away all my dreams and hopes. Yes, this careless adult was me, stuck so much in my capitalist privileges, that being laid off completely crushed my world.