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Observant Thoughts From Mexico By Someone From Berlin

I have lost count of how many times I have used the sentence other countries, other customs  on this blog. I may have done that so many times that it is almost like a cliché by now. On the other hand, at the end of my fourth week in Mexico City I notice that some things are really different from Berlin. In a good way. In a way I find so interesting that…

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The Movies and Books That Inspire My Travels

As I grow older I realize how difficult it becomes for me to find a book that really fascinates me. One that I would read while waiting for the train instead of listening to music or that I would secretly get lost in,  the pages hidden under the desk, instead of listening to a lecture I find rather shallow in content. With time it also becomes difficult to sit through a movie…

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Happy Halloween

For the last couple of days, on the news feeds of my social media accounts, Halloween jokes have been shared and costumes and make-up presented with a pinch of pride. Growing up in Berlin and never having been anywhere near the United States or Canada, this holiday had always appeared to me as something…let’s just say “rather American”. Even though one can find tons of decorations for this theme, I have never seen…

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Germans and Small Talk

I started watching a vlog by a charming American woman who lives in Munich with her German husband. In her cheerful voice full of positive energy, she talks about living in Germany, explaining different aspects of the daily life here to those from abroad while also addressing habits and the lifestyle in the United States. In one of her  videos she talked about how small talk is not really a thing here in Germany…

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Torn Between Home and Elsewhere

When I walked the narrow, nostalgic streets of Lisbon, listening to the sounds of Portuguese TV programmes escaping through open windows and watching the yellow streetcars pass by, I thought to myself: “This would be a great place for a honeymoon”. When I visited Madrid two summers ago, I started thinking about what a nice idea it would be to come back  for an ERASMUS semester. How come I rarely experience such…

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Christmas in Germany

Over the last two days I found out that Russian Orthodox Christians actually don’t care very much about Christmas. I listened to the Russian radio online and noticed that none of the wishes that people sent to each other and had the radio hosts read out loud on air were about Christmas or Christmas Eve, instead everyone was congratulating the rest on the upcoming new year. Some people may wonder, upon reading…

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Talking to Strangers

So far I have met many people who had the ability to strike up a conversation with pretty much anyone. Yet, as much as that trait impresses me I am rarely able to adapt it myself. I am not so sure whether I am already German enough to say that I can’t stand small talk or whether this is due to the experience that last time I approached someone at random, that…

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My Childhood Among Berlin’s Muslims:Eid

Yesterday night I came across a very interesting post on a blog I have been reading for quite some time. In her article a young American woman married to a Saudi national, talked about the way she experienced being a Muslim in America vs. being a Muslim in Saudi Arabia. These words brought back memories of my very first years in Berlin where I spent several years living in a district with a…

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On German Culture Shock

I did not know that one could actually experience such a thing as culture shock upon coming to Germany. That was until I got in touch with the international students of my university, listening to their impressions of this place, over a plate of a tofu pâté at the cafeteria.  Berlin is so rich in different cultures and their customs that culture shock seemed non existent to me as there are cultural habits…

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In the Sparkling of Crimean Wine, Youth Does not Know Age

Even though I have spent so much time here in Berlin that my humor may be considered German by now (it is nearly nonexistent or not understood by others), there are still some places in Berlin that I have never been to. As I stood on the metro platform of Bundesplatz station on the U9 line, these first lines of my blog post crossed by mind.  “It’s right by the train station”, my…

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