Berlin in spring. Photo copyright Nicolette Stewart
Eurovision is coming
On May 23 the contest for best song in Europe (I guess this is what it is about? Frankly, I can’t stand to watch it) begins. If you want to know what this yearly tradition is all about, here is a Eurovision primer.
How to survive on the Autobahn
“Surviving the German Autobahn. The whole world knows it, you know it, I know it: if you’re not speeding like a mad-man on the German Autobahn you shouldn’t even be there in the first place. But other than testing your Porsche, BMW or Benz, there are a few facts that you need to know before going on the highways to hell.” Read more on Caroline and Mathew.
This is a preview of The Week in Germany: Surviving the Autobahn, Eurovision, and Berlin.
After an 11-month adventure in Berlin I’ve arrived safely in the United States. I’m trying my best to readjust to the American culture but part of my mind is still stuck back in Germany. I could probably write an entire book about my experiences abroad, and one day I just might, but for now I’ll have to keeps things short. On Tuesday morning four of my closest friends in Berlin were kind enough to accompany me to Tegel Airport and bid me farewell before my flight. The night before had been full of laughs and stories in our favorite brewery, where I enjoyed my final sip of fresh German pilsner for the year. The morning after had a slightly different tone though. I was thrilled to have my friends by my side until the very end but there was a bittersweet feeling to everything.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Returning to the United States.
The end-of-term workload has begun to pile up quickly. While I’ve been managing to chip slowly away at my three final papers, a game theory exam is still looming on the horizon. To top it off, I’ve got a German C-1 level proficiency exam next week, which will determine if I have the language skills to directly enroll in a master’s program here in Berlin. I’m familiar with the stress from the winter semester, but it’s nevertheless going to be a long couple of weeks before everything is officially over. Luckily however, the World Cup (German: Weltmeisterschaft, or simply WM) is in full swing and helps to take my mind off of all the work. It’s become all the more exciting now that Deutschland has moved on to the final round of the tournament after this week’s remarkable 7:1 victory over Brazil.
This is a preview of One Year in Germany: WM Fever.
As my time in Berlin slowly creeps to a close one of the thoughts that’s constantly been on my mind is the impending “reverse culture shock” that so many travelers have warned me about. I may have spent 20 years of my life in the US, but I have a feeling that a year in Germany has done away with many of my American habits and rituals.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: How German Unis Work.
For decades the first of May has been known as an International Worker’s Day all over the globe. In many countries, such as Germany, it’s a federal holiday during which demonstrations (usually peaceful) are held in support of the labor movement.
However, May 1st (known in Germany as “Erster Mai”) holds a somewhat special significance in Berlin. Since the late 80s extreme left organizations have organized protests in districts of the city such as Kreuzberg during which riots have unfortunately broken out, leading to violence and police intervention. In more recent history extreme right groups have also proven to become hostile in the streets of the capital city. The violence has thankfully declined in the past few years, but we were nevertheless all warned by our program director to be wary in certain neighborhoods.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Being in Germany on May 1 and Games in the Park.