I place this under the warning tips but not against Berliners but to warn those who come for a visit.
Standing shoulder to shoulder in a crowded U-bahn train, I observed two people separated by the rush. One was at the end of the train car, the other in the middle, many in between. One called for a box of tissues from the other. There was no way to push through the crowd to hand it over. So the woman threw it, at quite a clip (good arm) and hit a guy standing nearby in the side of the head. Audible sound. It must have hurt a bit. Oof! I thought, here it goes! But he did nothing, nor said anything. Typical Berliner guy, he was even wearing black with a small attaché case and "student" style glasses, yet he just looked curiously at her a moment, then to the guy...and that was the end of it.
Elsewhere something most likely would have been said, maybe even a casual curse word tossed. While this was a typical reaction in Berlin.
1. If someone moves your grocery buggy out of the aisle with no explanation and passes by, no reason to get pissed off or think them rude. They were helping you. You obviously did not realize you were blocking others from passing, as it were.
2. If you are "jaywalking" (going against traffic or signals) a car or motorcycle passes you close or doesn´t slow down, its a given. You had no reason going against the signals. You put yourself at risk.
3. You are two people sitting at a table for 4 or 6 in a crowded café. You are surprised when other sit down and start ordering. Tja, it happens. They are utilizing the space to full capacity :-)
Some visitors think German/Berliners can be rude in various ways, but I find it basically a misunderstanding. So I say, visitors, tone down your immediate thought someone might being rude with you or disrespecting you. 9 times from 10, in my experience, they are not. Much more common heated arguments on abstracts among friends than to have confrontation with someone you don´t know over trivia.
Berlin seemed like a very relaxed city, and I didn't feel threatened at any time, even walking in some of the quieter places late at night. Of course it helped that I was never alone, but I'm usually alert to trouble, even when I'm with other people, and Berlin just didn't feel all that dangerous. The city had a few crazies and beggars, but far less than many of the other big cities I've been too. You'll need to keep your wits about you, like anywhere, but there didn't seem any need to take any special precautions when visiting the city.
Berlin really draws many gay and lesbians to Germany´s hauptstadt, and it is not unusual to see persons of same sex expressing affection for each other in public places. It´s a casual and common site in many areas just as you´d see two lovers give a kiss or hug when parting or meeting other places in the world, but certain areas of the city one still needs to be more careful.
In areas like Kreuzberg, Schöneberg, Mitte, Friedrichshain & Prenzlauer Berg, its more common areas you might see such affection, or any place you might see me and my partner :-) Nollendorf platz is popular area for gay men, Motzstraße has many gar bars for example it connects to this U-bahn stop. But when you go into suburbs and farther away from the centre of the city, especially east of Berlin better to be circumspect. These are general warning only! Some may experience different, some may never see or have anything at all happen to them but good, yet its still always better to be cautious certain areas. Ask those gay ones you know who live in the city before going to a place you are not sure of just to be safe.
SIEGESSÄULE is a gay mag which is been published since 1984, 20 years now! Its free and tells you about events going on in and around the city. Articles also which discuss safety and other issues.
Be on red alert, when you see a group of people surrounding 1 gambler showing you a tricky game with three boxes, which he keeps on mixing among each other. You will have to find out, under which box the dice or cube is located. It looks rather simple and one is easily tempted to participate. But once you have given an amount to play, the mixing will speed up, you are being pushed, another tries to deviate your attention from the game.... and for a split of a second of your inattention the box containing the dice has been moved and your amount is gone .......
They push you literally to participate with any amount and the gang surrounding him or her consists of 6 - 10 members all of them assigned to different jobs. Pushing,watching for police, inviting, looking how much you have in your wallet, convincing etc. All of them do not speak German fluently. They are mostly former East Block foreigners.
Their favorite targets are tourists of elder age and foreigners.
DO NOT PARTICIPATE - instead call the police (112) and help to clean up this city from these unwanted elements. Just tell the police their present location.
Many of these illegal gamblers frequent the tourist area around Berlin Cathedral, the TV tower, and other spots of the city and on the end of the bridge (see picture)
Berlin is a wonderful city, the sights I mean. Public building stay open later than most cities I've visited and prices are relatively cheap, however, the people are so rude.
I've read so many reviews say its misunderstanding etc. Nonsense.
The majority of the people I encountered directly or indirectly are just plain rude and there is no misunderstanding.
When I was first time in Berlin, 1996, I spoke to my mobile phone in a train. People started to shake their fists towards me and I finally had to stop the call and hide my mobile.
Luckily nowadays mobiles are popular also in Germany. It seems to be very common habit to use phone in trains, busses, etc, so there is no more need to worry about using your mobile in public.:)
I was accosted by this man while taking a picture of the Rathaus in the Alanderplatz area. He hit my hand causing my camera to fly out of my hand then just stutted away to a group of people. I went up to him and took his picture saying polezei,( probably not very smart) luckily there were other people around at that time.
I did not have enough time to visit much, but one thing I will always remember: the cold, rude people of Berlin.Asking anything in english and the answer was , them turning their back pretending they did not hear or understand.I had waisted a lot of time due to this reason-nobody would give any information when they heared english.I truly hope that things changed over time.
Beware of the little punks! They can be found in every majour city in the world! What is it with the youth of today - Can't be a man by yourself without 5 of your friends?
Upon riding my friends Bike I was the center of attention of some young punks!
You have to ignore people like this...Just go about your business...There is still a underground racism problem in Germany! I went to a Reggae gig and they even spoke of it on the stage.
I am glad I have true German friends, otherwise I would have a poor vision of Berlin! Let it be known though, if you have darker skin they might stare because some are jealous and can't get a tan! This was only in parts of Berlin...near Kaiser Wilhelm.
(I found Munchen to be the exact opposite and much friendlier - as was the rest of Europe.)
I would also like to say "Hi" to the eVol Blonde girl on the Berlin U-Bahn who kept staring and giving me the EVILIST looks! What was your problem honey...mad because you've never tasted Chocolate and mad because I was walking with one of your Blonde sisters! :) Thank God for my Blonde friend, I am glad that I know her, and I'm glad that not all Germans are like you! You need help Beyotch!
you won't believe but and here.. Italian men!!! :) Or am I attracting some of them like magnet or are there too many of them.. seemed it must be German at least, but oh.. Italian IT-Alien, even if I was nice little innocent girl and even parents traveled together, my mom's friend was constantly commenting 'look look, how he's looking at you, seems he'll swallow you in a moment!' oh well.. piacere of course, but somewhat scary :) real Aliens those 'Italiens' (when they are out of Italy borders) ! ;)
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