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cross cultural stuff

Berlin cross cultural stuff German College Life Observations

What Natives Can Learn From Exchange Students

Today is the day before one of our exams. As usual, even at university age, many students start losing their minds, ask last minute questions and decide to do all night shifts, surviving on Red Bull, coffee and whatever else they can think of. Given the fact that my German has become pretty good after 13 years of being in Germany, the one or the other international student might think that I…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Local Blogs Observations photography

Books and Art at Café Moskau

‘Don’t you dare to spill that Jim Beam and Cola can all over me! DON’T YOU DARE!!’ I thought silently while angrily eyeing the man who was standing next to my seat and was slightly swinging from right to left as the already over filled train that was taking a turn just in that moment. The horror of being on the train, surrounded by already slightly drunk Hertha soccer fans on a…

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Berlin commentary cross cultural stuff Germany Observations Politics

Commentary: The ‘Easiness’ of Not Speaking German in Germany

About a week ago the Christian Social Union Bavaria party (CSU) demanded that all immigrants speak German not only while taking part in public life, but also while they are in their German homes. In my opinion that is the most absurd thing demanded by a German political party, since the suggestion that tax defrauders should be punished by a revocation of their driver’s licenses (because as all of us know, Germans…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Observations Society

How Volunteering Helped Me See the Lavishness of Society

Just as I left the train, the wind got stronger and all of a sudden my jacket seemed like a useless joke rather than something that is supposed to keep me warm. I got out my tablet and turned on my GPS. I have never been any good when it came to finding my way around a place, despite my passion for traveling. My fingers were nearly numb within a couple of seconds while…

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cross cultural stuff Germany Lifestyle Society

Fine Feathers Make Fine Birds…Unless You’re German

We all have heard the saying that clothes make people. That the better you dress, the better you will be perceived by the people around you. As an east European born woman with some of my Belarusian genes left in my system, this is one of the things that still give me a little ‘culture shock’ like feeling upon going out in Berlin, even after so many years of living here and…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Life Stories Observations photography

A Stroll Through Treptower Park

The tooting sound comes on, the red light above the door flashes and then they close. The train leaves. I mix with the rest of the people on the platform and the fact that someone constantly keeps bumping into my backpack from behind is slowly getting on my nerves, so I walk faster. ‘Sorry, we are already closed. We work until 12 in the afternoon’, says the guard at the Belarusian embassy…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Life Stories Local Blogs Observations photography

German- Saudi Culture Week 2014

During my first years in Germany, I have visited all sorts of fairs and so called “culture weeks”. Be it the annual Grüne Woche or ‘Green Week’, an exhibition to get to know the Russian Federation, The Long Night of Science or The Long Night of Religions. Berlin has them all and this week, even Saudi Arabia made it to the area between the Sony Center and various cafés near the Potsdamer Platz.…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Life Stories Local Blogs Observations

Mastering German Bureaucracy 101.3: The Fault in Our Stereotypes

During our first English lesson in college last week, we started talking about national identities. Starting with characteristics of a certain nation, having many to choose from considering the variety of nationalities one can find in my group only, going over to stereotypes  we have about a country and its people. One of the most common stereotypes I am confronted with as an ‘almost German’ when meeting people from abroad, is the idea…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Local Blogs Observations Travel

Alternative Tourism: Panzerkaserne, Soviet Military Base Near Bernau

A week or so ago, I joined the online platform couchsurfing.org, where I stumbled upon a conversation about abandoned places in Berlin.  Driven by my curiosity about everything new and because the touristy, regular Berlin can become very boring after a particular amount of time, I met up with some of the couchsurfers the next day to go see an abandoned military casern called Panzerkaserne, a little bit inside a forrest near…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Life Stories Observations

Don’t Sell Your Soul to the Russians, Talk to Them Instead!

The longer you live in a place, the more you get to know it and one day you will reach a point when you can only shrug your shoulders while everyone else tells you how awesome it is that you live in Berlin. But sometimes, even after more than a decade one can come across lovely looking places not seen before. Walking down the narrow streets of Oranienburger Straße, I came across…

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