illustrations: Berk Karaoglu.
Berlin is often thought of as a capital of individualists, and its inclusivity is something we’re grateful for every day. But as many of us Ausländers know, the idea of having to integrate into life in Germany is still very much preached by some institutions, and its principles are accordingly taught in special courses. Obviously, the western mindset of molding unique people into perfect(ly boring) citizens is inherently flawed and we can do better. But why not have a little laugh as we’re striving for social change? We’ve put our own spin on the integration process, and present you with our iHeartBerlin Guide to German Integration that will finally let you fully immerse yourself into life in Berlin!
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu.
We all know Germans have their quirks – previously, we’ve written about their obsession with bureaucracy, their linguistic fondness for the Wurst, and their unique sense of humor, among many other riveting subjects. This time, we’re entering the strange realm of German food inventions: things you can easily find at a German supermarket, but would really rather not. A warning: this article doesn’t really fall into the NSFW category, but you should probably avoid it around lunchtime.
illustrations: Berk Karaoglu.
Over a year into the pandemic, it seems like we can find its traces in almost every single aspect of our lives. Whether it’s work, leisure, or socializing – chances are you’ve had to make multiple adjustments, and wearing a mask was just the beginning. But here in Berlin, there are at least five things that have remained unchanged throughout the raging pandemic.
illustration: Guen Douglas.
After 16 years in office, our chancellorette Angela Merkle has stepped down just a few days ago. Her departure from her position as head of state of Germany was preceded with several photos of her in very private settings that prompted many memes, such as the iconic one of her with some tropical birds at Vogelpark Marlow, or the recent photo spread in Bunte magazine of her in casual clothing with her husband. In all those photos she looks really happy and relieved, probably looking forward to the time where she doesn’t have to deal with the Trumps, Putins, and Erdogans of the world. For some reason, her release into the private life seems to be the vibe of our time. It doesn’t take a lot to imagine under what pressure this woman must have been.
Despite being part of a very conservative and capitalistic political party that has basically blocked any kind of progressive or social movements in the last decades she was an icon of the liberal world and respected worldwide. It’s a mystery to many, why she was even in this dreadful party and her internal quarrels with her more conservative male colleagues were no secret. But she managed through all of that and because of her more social policies in recent years she even had voters on her side that might have voted green or red this year. In a way, the fact that she didn’t run again this year, was a relief to many that might have been torn between her and more liberal/social/environmentally friendly parties.
If we’ve learned anything in the past 1,5 years is that we really really need to be more aware of our own mental health and wellbeing than ever before. Self-care was of course already a thing before the pandemic, but it certainly reached a wider audience during it due to the mental stress and isolation many of us went through.
But of course, self-care is a very subjective practice and everyone has a different understanding of it. From sharing inspirational quotes on Instagram, visiting yoga classes, or taking the time to cook a healthy dinner for one – self-care has so many faces. My personal version of self-care is taking a long bath with tinted green lights while fantasizing about hikes in the tropical jungle, and sometimes I take myself out to brunch alone. On the other hand, we have this writer who joins orgies as a form of self-care. Well, everyone to their own, right?
Our partner in crime Sophia Halamoda, with who we published the fabulous Like A Berliner book, has come out with an adorable comic about her own self-care routine, and let’s say, it is really of a different kind… But look for yourself!
illustrations: Sophia Halamoda.
As a native Istanbulite, summers always meant eluding the city as soon as possible with everlasting fear of crowds, the heatwaves and the tourists during the entire three months. Leaving the city in summer is almost a global tradition for every metropolitan, except for Berliners. We prefer to foray into foreign lands in winters, but every true Berliner knows in their heart that our city is exceptionally beautiful and sexy in the summer, and we don’t want to skip a bit of it.
Inspired by some of the chapters in our book Like A Berliner, we narrowed down our favorite activities that make Berlin so special in summer. If you enjoy it, you should get the limited summer package including our 2 books Like A Berliner, Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin and the “Summer in Berlin” poster in our webshop!
Whether you just moved here yesterday or have been settled for several years, we are all well familiar with the joys of flat hunting in Berlin. I’m sure we’ve all heard the horror stories, scamming stories, funny stories, and even the nudist stories.
And now this collective flat search experience has been transformed into a hilariously cathartic online game known as Berlin Flat Quest.
Created by Bastien, the man who runs the Settle in Berlin blog, Berlin Flat Quest commemorates this rite of passage by combining people’s flat search stories gathered from the Facebook group berlin EXPATS.
photo: Notes of Berlin
Berlin’s meme accounts are at it again and so are we. We’ve covered them before and but today we’re discussing our cities best bits of quarantine comic relief in this winter slump. The weather seems to be reflecting our general mood these days, so today we’re rounding up Berlin’s best snow memes. Baby, it’s cold outside so cozy up with a cold club mate or steaming, hot Glühwein, and prepare to be entertained.
The second lockdown is holding on to our sorry asses and it looks like it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It’s a bleak outlook, I know, but what can you do other than trying to make the best of it, right? Did I just hear you say: “Shut up!”? Well, fair enough.
I think I’m not exaggerating when I say this whole corona era has been a mixed bag. While some of us have our sanity hanging on a thin thread by now, others finally got the time they needed for self-fulfillment. I’ve seen people falling in the abyss of mental unwellness, while others keep on trucking with their lives as if nothing has happened. People’s responses to the pandemic and the lockdown could not be more divisive.
But how are you doing, dear iHeartBerlin reader? We were wondering about this so we sat together with our cherished collaborator Sophia Halamoda with whom we authored the fabulous Like A Berliner book and created a brand new personality quiz to find out what quarantine type you really are. It’s fully illustrated by the lovely Sophia, so make sure to check out all the cute little details in the drawings. We hope they can brighten your day a little.
Whatever your end result of this quiz might be, always remember, we’re all in this together and there will be another, happier day. Whenever that might be…
“Learn Deutsch with iHeartBerlin” is our Christmas present to all those Deutsch A1 drop-outs in need for some other kind of motivation to get into the German language. We collected some of our most beloved features about the German language (such as the one about casual German skills) and turned it into a sassy little book. And to make it even sassier we asked internet sensation and stand-up comedian Daniel-Ryan Spaulding to write the foreword to the book who is elaborating on his own naughty reasons why you should learn German – at least a little!
With vocabulary gems such as “Arschgeige”, “Feierabend”, “Wegbier” and the all-embracing “Na?” you will be equipped with the most practical and comprehensive terms that will fool any German into believing you are proficient in the language.
If traditional German classes make you cry our book will be an excellent remedy. Because everything is easier with a good portion of humor.