Random Berlin Observations

18th December 2014

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Tea ist ein Berliner (well… for the coming 3 Β½ weeks) I landed on Berlin soil and survived my first day and here are some random observations.

The seats on some trains can be a bit scary (I can imagine if you have social anxiety or something) and confusing (how close is too close?) as there’s no divider or arm rest. At first people keep space in between them, but the busier it gets the more people try to squeeze in between. What is the etiquette here?

One of my favourite past times on the London Underground is when people push buttons in the hope the door opens, but it’s automatic and it takes a few seconds before the doors open and when they don’t you will see a slight panic hit their face. I forgot that in the rest of the world you still have to press a button and I was that idiot who stood there like a spoilt London brat.

Beer on public transport after 4.35 pm is completely acceptable and not frowned upon.

Jay walking is frowned upon and just not as appreciated. People just seem to relax a bit more when it comes to public transport.

Berliners are not as stuck to their mobiles as Londoners. During the rush hour people are on their phone or Kindle/book. But here I noticed 50% less people glued to their mobiles.

Some brands labelled as ‘still’ water are just less bubbly mineral water. Not cool. Their selection of juices on the other hand are the best. Cherryjuice anyone?

12 thoughts on “Random Berlin Observations

  1. Ruurdje

    “Beer on public transport after 4.35 pm is completely acceptable and not frowned upon.” and also on the streets! I think it’s also nice that it doesn’t matter at what time of the day you take the u-bahn or s-bahn, it’s busy anyway, even if it’s 5 in the morning or something.

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  2. Lisa

    Do be careful with jaywalking, I’m not sure if it’s the same in Berlin but when I lived in Hamburg you could be given an on the spot fine if you did it!

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  3. julia

    germans prefer to keep physical distance of about an arm’s length – public transport often crashes the beloved private space o.O if you’re not sure about where to sit just do what feels best for you πŸ˜‰

    btw i frown upon public beer drinking…

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  4. Josy

    “The seats on some trains can be a bit scary (if you have social anxiety) and confusing (how close is too close?) as there’s no divider or arm rest. At first people keep space in between them, but the busier it gets the more people try to squeeze in between. What is the etiquette here?”
    To be honest, I don’t think there is one πŸ˜€ I’ve been using the Berlin train all my life and it’s bascially: if you fit, you fit. πŸ˜€ In your pic I’d say two people on the right side, two or three (can’t see how long it is…) on the left. If you need your space you’ll have a hard time using the underground.

    “Jay walking is frowned upon and just not as appreciated.”
    And you’ll get fined for it, if ithe traffic light is red. It’s 5€, so be sure there is no around to fine you πŸ˜€

    Greetings from Berlin
    Josy

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  5. Katie @WorldWideVegetarian.com

    Sounds like you already have a good feeling about Berlin. I was surprised to find no one drinking beer on the train in Munich after living in Berlin for four months, people were looking at me like I was crazy and I was looking back like please I am from Berlin. Oh, and I have been yelled at on several occasions for disobeying the Ampelmann. Welcome to Berlin πŸ™‚
    Katie

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  6. Anniek

    Wat lijkt Berlijn me een toffe stad! Leuk ook om hier wat van je ervaringen te lezen, grappig. Berlijn staat nog op mijn bucketlist, en redelijk bovenaan, dus in een van de komende jaren kom ik zeker weten nog wel πŸ™‚ Liefs Anniek

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  7. Amanda @ MarocMama

    We were just in Berlin this past weekend with our kids. We live in Morocco and let’s say there’s no concept of jaywalking. I had previously lived in Germany and told my Moroccan husband in no uncertain terms not to jay walk. We didn’t get fined but I had to pull him back several times. The drinking beer at all hours was so strange to me. Especially when the public transport had signs saying not to do it (where are the rules then?!) But overall the public transport system is amazing!

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