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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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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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German College Life Germany Life Stories Local Blogs Observations

What Do You Notice the Most About Germans? Or: The Freedom of the Individual

German class on Friday morning. Or should I say ‘German as foreign language’ class because this is what it really is. A harder version of German 101. German literature is a different class and, thank heavens, a little more challenging than the rest. Finally some proper literature. Lenz, Zweig, Goethe and not some sort of children’s nonsense like I used to have in local school. Well, so there we are, most of…

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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 Germany Life Stories Local Blogs Observations

Berlin at 9 a.m. (Random Thoughts Part I)

Cigarette smoke filling the air while someone waits for the bus to arrive. One, two, three whole cigarettes in only five minutes, then it’s time to leave. We are told to show our bus tickets upon entering but in fact, the driver has stopped caring long ago. A free seat near the window. Shall I take it or not? I might. I still feel tired from a night full of nightmares and no…

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Berlin cross cultural stuff Germany Local Blogs

Streets of Berlin: Kreuzberg District

Today’s findings from the streets of Berlin in the district of Kreuzberg. In search for things to take pictures of, I remembered some street art works that I spotted during my first visit last winter. While I was looking forward to a nice lunch at Amrit, one of the Indian restaurants in the street, I grabbed my camera and went picture hunting. 🙂 Here is what I found:    …

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Berlin Germany Life Stories Local Blogs Observations

Things People Do

  When you have lived in a place for a very long time and have seen everything there is to see, there is still something that makes going to town an interesting experience. I have recently been to Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, which is also known as Kochstraße. It used to be a historical place during the cold war. The things that remind of that time today are some tourist attractions and…

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