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What a Day to be Alive, Said the Dead

Ever since my beloved old-fashioned hand written letters were replaced by E-Mail, Facebook & co. , conversations with friends have not only taken new dimensions in the distances traveled by our words but also in the topics being discussed. Hence, while walking the streets of Mexico City not too long ago, a question from Israel kept crossing my mind. What did I think of the fact that there were different religions in…

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A Berliner in Mexico

Two hours before my high school graduation ceremony on Saudi Arabian soil, I met Catherine. I have never been good at talking to random strangers but when constantly traveling from one place to another you eventually realise that, in the big picture, making a fool of yourself is really no big deal. So during my very last hours in the air-conditioned hallway of the science department, the photographs of the past students…

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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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Mind the Fine Print, Know Your Grammar: The Odds of German Pricing

One day a lady came into a beauty salon in Berlin and said: “I’d like to get some highlights in my hair please.” The hairdresser asked her to take a seat and started to work with the lady’s full long hair. When asked how many highlights she wanted, the young woman told the hairdresser to spread them out evenly over all of her head. When told the price of her new hairstyle,…

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Dandelion Skeletons High in the Trees

My café au lait came in a big white bowl. Finally things start being worth their money, I thought and happily took it from the waitress. My first serving of coffee in about two months and in such a big portion. It must have been a good day, even though I had to learn that the office hours of the enrollment center of my university were listed wrong on their website, meaning…

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5 Reasons Why You Should Volunteer

Since yesterday’s experience was quite enlightening and probably the most fulfilling thing I have done over the last couple of months, I decided to think for a moment and share my motivations with you guys. Who knows? Maybe someone else gets inspired, too? I hope so. 1. You help people in need.  Just think about it for a second. Think about how great it feels when you know you can help poor…

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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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Show Discontent the German Way

If you look closely, you will see the word ‘NEIN’ (German for no) written on the window in tape. The people here are quite creative when it comes to showing discontent. Just recently I have seen a poster on one of the bus stops, announcing a demonstration somewhere in town. The name of the demo was something like ‘saving the world quickly’. It was an environment related demo. The poster was colorful…

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Berlin Before Sunrise

An empty bus station standing there alone in the street. Everything is dark. Only the light behind the glass is shining. Behind the glass of the advertisement poster. Of course the light has to be on, or else no one will know why they should buy the newest Surface. The bus arrives after several minutes in the dark and in light rain, the cold wind gets through my jacket. Some people would laugh…

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So Old and Yet so New, Five Years Ago and Now

  I have been back in Berlin since June and now the time has come that my life gets the routine of academic studying, homework and rather empty buses and trains at 6.15 in the morning. This is  my new life and I guess it is just now that I realize that this is what it really is now. A new life. Classes are starting properly tomorrow morning. The schedule was put…

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