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So I Just Visited Berlin...

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Hi, so I'm from England and I just got back from a Berlin trip and I have some thoughts that I wanted to share and idk if anyone cares lol. It was my first time in Germany and I fell in love with it tbh, some things I noticed about it:

  • i LOVE how Germany doesn't hide its history with the Nazis and holocaust etc. - of course there's the memorials but also even the Reichstag building shows this - how you can look directly into the room where debates takes place to symbolise the transparency between the state and the people after the government had previously kept so many secrets from the people.
  • everyone speaks English... this just makes me feel embarrassed tbh - hardly anyone in the UK speaks a second language, while in Germany i don't think i came across someone that wasn't bilingual. also there are english translations everywhere - there are no translations anywhere in england. i love that Germany is such a bilingual country but it honestly puts the UK to shame (as does the rest of Europe tbh)
  • crossing roads is STRESSFUL... so the green man can be on meaning pedestrians can cross the road yet cars can still make a right turn onto that road??? the amount of times i almost got hit LMAO
  • it didn't feel very busy? i was expecting it to be really busy all the time, but it didn't really seem it - i live in York which is quite irrelevant yet i don't think Berlin was much busier at all. maybe it's just the parts of the city i was in? the only time i felt it was really busy was at Checkpoint Charlie. idk, for the capital it didn't seem that busy.
  • nothing massive but WAFFLE FRIES at mcdonald's are INCREDIBLE. let's make them a thing in the UK, pls & thanks. also you have to pay for ketchup??
  • we visited the Sachenhausen Concentration Camp and it was so strange to me that there were literally neighbourhoods next to it and people's gardens went up to the wall of it; they must've known what was going on? but then what could they have done - report it to the government that authorised it? it was such a strange concept of how helpless the rest of the nation were to the Nazis. also majorly shocked about how little time the Camp Leaders(?) got in jail for their crimes? mad.
  • also the train/tube stations were like mini shopping centres, they all had loads of food places and other shops in them which i'd never come across before.

i probably have more things that i meant to say but i can't think of any at the moment lol. it just surprised me a bit at the difference between Germany and the UK, Germany (to me) seems like a much more modern democracy and society (idk)

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Queens of acknowledging their racist past, Japan could(and will) never

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Berlin is one of the cities I want to visit so bad.

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Oh, I actually love this kind of threads.

I have a friend in Berlin and she always talks about how wonderful the city is, I have to go.

And about this...

 

9 minutes ago, dangerousbutera said:

everyone speaks English... this just makes me feel embarrassed tbh - hardly anyone in the UK speaks a second language, while in Germany i don't think i came across someone that wasn't bilingual. also there are english translations everywhere - there are no translations anywhere in england. i love that Germany is such a bilingual country but it honestly puts the UK to shame (as does the rest of Europe tbh)

Don't you study any other language in school? In Spain we have English and French lessons in basically every school but a lot of them also have German lessons.

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Yeah, crossing roads can be super stressful, it's like that here where I live as well. I think one of the biggest problems in Germany is that we don't really re-invest in infrastructure a lot and there's a lot of traffic light systems (without a different signs for cars who do left & right turns) that are just straight up from 1960. When I studied in Mainz, I was used to RUNNING at crossroads because most people in cars are entitled dipsh*ts and have no problem running you over. :dies:

 

I think Germany not seeming as "busy" as other countries stems from the Christian churches influence on politics, it's literally illegal to have your business be open on a Sunday because it is "the lord's day". And even in states that are more liberal about this, it's common for stores to close at 8-9PM. The first time I went to Austria, I was so shocked to see a supermarket be open on a Sunday, it never even came to my mind that this could be a possibility.

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i'm going this summer so this was interesting to read!

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1 minute ago, yamiyuuuu said:

Oh, I actually love this kind of threads.

I have a friend in Berlin and she always talks about how wonderful the city is, I have to go.

And about this...

 

Don't you study any other language in school? In Spain we have English and French lessons in basically every school but a lot of them also have German lessons.

it's such an incredible city, you need to go

 

and we do, it's usually french, spanish or german but they only start in year 7 (age 11) and they're not great. people at age 16 taking their GCSE exams are learning basic things. a lot of people don't take it seriously and don't carry on after GCSE (if they even have to take it) and so the large majority of the British population is monolingual. i'm taking french at a-level and plan to move there in a couple of years, so hopefully that won't include me lol

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I thought this was gonna be about the Berlin gay scene lol

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You live in york? Omg where abouts sis? I’m in Heworth!

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1 minute ago, dangerousbutera said:

it's such an incredible city, you need to go

 

and we do, it's usually french, spanish or german but they only start in year 7 (age 11) and they're not great. people at age 16 taking their GCSE exams are learning basic things. a lot of people don't take it seriously and don't carry on after GCSE (if they even have to take it) and so the large majority of the British population is monolingual. i'm taking french at a-level and plan to move there in a couple of years, so hopefully that won't include me lol

I started learning English in year 3 of elementary school (age 8), but these days it's already taught to pre-schoolers at age 4-5. The third language usually comes in year 6/7 (at age 11-12; usually French or Latin) and the 4th language usually comes in in year 9/10 (at age 16-17, usually French, Latin, Spanish, Greek or Russian)

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I have no interest in going to Europe but I'd like to see the Holocaust memorials there.

Glad you enjoyed your trip

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17 minutes ago, dangerousbutera said:

crossing roads is STRESSFUL... so the green man can be on meaning pedestrians can cross the road yet cars can still make a right turn onto that road??? the amount of times i almost got hit LMAO

Is that a German-only thing tho? I never think about it much because the cars have to look out for you and normally they do because they always have to pay for accidents. It's the bicycles and cars that are at war lmao.

 

17 minutes ago, dangerousbutera said:

it didn't feel very busy? i was expecting it to be really busy all the time, but it didn't really seem it - i live in York which is quite irrelevant yet i don't think Berlin was much busier at all. maybe it's just the parts of the city i was in? the only time i felt it was really busy was at Checkpoint Charlie. idk, for the capital it didn't seem that busy.

I lived there for a year and there are certain areas that were always busy to me. Alexanderplatz is always crowded, they recently installed a small police station there. The subway trains there are always overcrowded too. Same with Mehringdamm station during the day, literal Tokyo subway teas. I worked near Kottbuser Tor in Kreuzberg, very busy area and I walked faster there when it was dark cuz it's not the nicest place but it's lively for sure. But it's true, there are days where the city seems a bit calmer.

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1 minute ago, Arthoe said:

I started learning English in year 3 of elementary school (age 8), but these days it's already taught to pre-schoolers at age 4-5. The third language usually comes in year 6/7 (at age 11-12; usually French or Latin) and the 4th language usually comes in in year 9/10 (at age 16-17, usually French, Latin, Spanish, Greek or Russian)

what country are you from? the UK is an embarrassment. everyone is so ignorant and thinks that because so many people speak English now that it's not necessary to learn another language. it's one of the things i hate the most about this country lol

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interesting to read this out of the view from a tourist :clap3:

 

mess I don't get the street lights thing y'all mean and almost getting run over (although I'm from cologne)

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12 minutes ago, Arthoe said:

I think Germany not seeming as "busy" as other countries stems from the Christian churches influence on politics, it's literally illegal to have your business be open on a Sunday because it is "the lord's day". And even in states that are more liberal about this, it's common for stores to close at 8-9PM. The first time I went to Austria, I was so shocked to see a supermarket be open on a Sunday, it never even came to my mind that this could be a possibility.

Yeah if you want to compare the busyness to other cities then you should see Berlin on any other day than Sunday.

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Just now, Selenurr said:

mess I don't get the street lights thing y'all mean and almost getting run over

I don't understand it either but at the same time I was sometimes scared as **** to cross big roads when I was in London:dies: I even nearly had a accident so I gues it's really about which system you are used to

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4 minutes ago, dangerousbutera said:

what country are you from? the UK is an embarrassment. everyone is so ignorant and thinks that because so many people speak English now that it's not necessary to learn another language. it's one of the things i hate the most about this country lol

It's not really ignorance, just a simple fact. English is the default language of the world so it's understandable that there would be tons of English speakers in Berlin. But if you're from the UK, where English is spoken, how is learning Spanish or French going to benefit you in Berlin or Rome?

 

It's the same thing with the US (although Spanish is very prevalent in a lot of areas) and Australia... I mean even Brazilians learn English more than Spanish despite being surrounded by numerous Spanish speaking countries. You have less motivation to learn a language when you realize that most people are learning the language you already speak.

 

I'm from the US and speak 3 languages but that's purely from personal interest.

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I love Berlin. One of the most pleasant cities I've ever been to. It's not exceptionally beautiful or anything, but it just feels so big and welcoming. It wasn't ever busy no, but I think that has to do with the city's layout. The streets are so wide.

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21 minutes ago, Arthoe said:

Yeah, crossing roads can be super stressful, it's like that here where I live as well. I think one of the biggest problems in Germany is that we don't really re-invest in infrastructure a lot and there's a lot of traffic light systems (without a different signs for cars who do left & right turns) that are just straight up from 1960. When I studied in Mainz, I was used to RUNNING at crossroads because most people in cars are entitled dipsh*ts and have no problem running you over. :dies:

 

I think Germany not seeming as "busy" as other countries stems from the Christian churches influence on politics, it's literally illegal to have your business be open on a Sunday because it is "the lord's day". And even in states that are more liberal about this, it's common for stores to close at 8-9PM. The first time I went to Austria, I was so shocked to see a supermarket be open on a Sunday, it never even came to my mind that this could be a possibility.

 

10 minutes ago, The Next Day said:

Is that a German-only thing tho? I never think about it much because the cars have to look out for you and normally they do because they always have to pay for accidents. It's the bicycles and cars that are at war lmao.

 

I lived there for a year and there are certain areas that were always busy to me. Alexanderplatz is always crowded, they recently installed a small police station there. The subway trains there are always overcrowded too. Same with Mehringdamm station during the day, literal Tokyo subway teas. I worked near Kottbuser Tor in Kreuzberg, very busy area and I walked faster there when it was dark cuz it's not the nicest place but it's lively for sure. But it's true, there are days where the city seems a bit calmer.

idk, i was there Friday, Saturday & Sunday but it never felt that busy. Alexanderplatz was a bit busier but it didn't feel it much

 

17 minutes ago, May said:

You live in york? Omg where abouts sis? I’m in Heworth!

omg another ATRLer in york? lol, i'm just outside the city but i'm in it pretty much everyday

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I'm from England too! and you have made some points about berlin! great city!

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35 minutes ago, Florges said:

Queens of acknowledging their racist past, Japan could(and will) never

The US could never either

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Berlin is an amazing city, definitely my favorite in the world, I'm going to visit again next month and I can't wait. :duca:

 

The second language part is so true. I live in Colombia and I think not even 10% of the people here speaks a second language and when I went to Berlin for the first time literally every single person I talked to spoke english. 

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I aim to break the British stereotype of monolingualism, aiming for 7 languages by age 30 :-*

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9 minutes ago, dangerousbutera said:

omg another ATRLer in york? lol, i'm just outside the city but i'm in it pretty much everyday

it’s such a small place I never thought I’d find another atrler who lives here :rip: I’m in the city like 4 days a week we’ve probably walked past each other :thing: 

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