Thursday, January 12, 2006

January Crumbs

Had a couple of beers last night with yet another person who's giving up on Berlin -- or so he thinks -- and returning to New York at least through the end of the World Cup. (Incidentally, he's trying to sublet his apartment in Prenzlauer Berg, so if you're interested, toss me an e-mail).

He says that in recent months, nine of his close friends here have left. Nine. "And how many close friends do you have at any given time?" He can't seem to make a living, although I'm not sure how hard he's tried, but the stuff he's doing to pay the rent disgusts him, so he's reached a sort of career impasse.

One does hate to see someone in such misery, but I do take some sort of comfort in the fact that I'm not at all alone in this.

Now if I could figure out what that stuff the bartender made us drink before he'd let himself be paid, I'd be okay. It sure wasn't a good dessert for Bohemian black beer, I'll tell you that.


Yes, folks, there is a German sense of humor. One separate from the usual crude slapstick and excrement jokes. Heard today:

"Why do neo-nazis make such lousy DJs?"

"They can't tell the difference between '33 and '45."


It's hit me. In four months I'll be gone, if all goes as planned. It makes it hard to look around the apartment and think, I'm going to have to either pack or get rid of a lot of this stuff. It makes it hard to concentrate on the book proposal I'm writing about my time here. It occasionally give me a twinge of melancholy as I look at something and think "next year, I'll be looking at something else." For instance, the GrĂ¼ne Woche, the big food trade fair that's been a landmark, a sort of start-of-the-year tradition for me for the years I've been here, opens tomorrow, and I'm making plans to go, but it'll be my last unless chance catches me visiting Berlin when it happens again. I guess I'll be settling for Vinisud from now on. And pining for a Berliner Pilsner.


Puckpan said...

If you can just up and leave then you were never a part of Berlin in the first place. Also you were not German. Your leaving is good for the German people.

Don't let the door hit you in the ass.

Hudson said...


That Ry Cooder is humorless. Every record has him forcing some culture down your beak. I'd rather be the goose.


DaKman said...

PuckPan, can your asinine comments be more abrasive? Auslander raus? what? will have to drop your red/white flag with black insignia for a moment to listen:
Everyone Expat i know that lives here contributes more than most of the germans i know. A friend of mine is a scholar at Humboldt who is being certified as a university level teacher, another friend of mine not only has private consulting clients, but teaches 4 times a week at a university, another friend of mine is a partner in a architectual firm and yet another has successfully started a small IT consulting firm and his german skills are still very poor! Myself? I am a top manager, promoted in less than 6 months, in a German firm. Luckily I get to fire Germans and replace them with better humored, better working auslanders. it seems that we have all made it here with a little hard work and ambition...too bad that the typical lazy, looking for a handout german cant do the same...that is what is wrong with this mentality...if it werent for the non-germans, there would be no business infrastructure...we are the ones making it possible for you 80's fashion, mullet styled, faded jeans wearing, beer in one hand at the arbeitsamt at 9:00 fools to exist. By the way, keep enjoying the American culture since you have none to offer.