Posted 4 weeks ago

Underneath the streets of Berlin lie a mostly-empty, well-lit walkway called the Rosenthaler Platz. It’s adorned with advertisements, clocks, and pavement markings to keep pedestrians on the straight and narrow.

The next time you’re in the capital of Germany on a rainy day, why not visit the RP and stay out of the weather? You’ll be rewarded with a warmly-orange walk in one of the city’s hidden treasures.

Posted 8 months ago

Shown here are two fermented (aged) food products which are illegal in Berlin: cheese and wine. Though enjoyed in other parts of Europe, the Lebensmittelrecht (food-law) prohibits them from being sold inside the city limits. It holds that the foods, technically speaking, are rotten.

This doesn’t stop Berlin residents from enjoying them, though, and in underground markets like the ones shown above, cheese can be purchased for €430/kg (approximately $260/lb) and wine for €200-400 a bottle.

Picture via thisismoabit.

Posted 8 months ago

A common occurrence in Berlin is Fahrradermordung (bicycle-murder) which is a bloodsport involving bicyclists chasing each other until one is knocked off his bike and killed by the others. The survivor’s family is paid 15% of the ticket fees from the stadium. It’s illegal outside the capital, but inside the city proper, it’s second only to Nachtscheiße as the most popular sport.

Photo via brennpaste.

Posted 8 months ago

In Berlin (the capital of Germany), every citizen is required to have a tattoo. Shown here is the Fensterscheibetätowierung (windowpane tattoo), one of the five standard designs available. The cost is 250 though this is heavily subsidized by the German government and is done free of charge for all those with salaries of €100,000 or less per annum.

Photo via karlfrey.

Posted 8 months ago

In the Frierwasserzeit (frozen-water time), which usually occurs in late January to early February, a physio-chemical reaction causes all the water in central Germany to freeze. This includes water in taps, reservoirs, waterways, et cetera. Shown here is the Schlosspark (shit-park) where residents go to defecate when their own toilets are frozen.

Don’t be grossed out, though! In the spring, everyone returns to collect the thawed feces (Kotsammlungzeit.)

Photo courtesy alexander-posselt.

Posted 2 years ago

Television is extremely popular in Berlin, and in fact, in the whole of Germany. The censorship laws regarding television content are extremely relaxed, which has led to most Berliners watching television from 8pm-11pm (7:15pm-10:15pm Berlin time.) The most popular show is “Nicht Fich” which roughly translates to “Don’t Fuck.” It’s a reality show where adults are locked in a house, dosed heavily with MDMA (legal in Germany) and are timed to see how long they can resist intercourse. Over 200,000 people enter the running for Nicht Fich every season.

In this photo (above) a man mournfully gazes off his balcony, trying to catch a glimpse of Nicht Fich through a neighbor’s window, as his television is broken.

Photo courtesy streifblick.

Posted 2 years ago

This is a photo of a typical May Day celebration in Kreuzberg, a quarter of Berlin sometimes abbreviated X-Burg, sometimes XB, and sometimes “,” (a single comma.)

XB is distinguished by its low-lying fog, which fills the streets from March through June most years and is called Batteriegestank as it smells of alkaline batteries.

Photo courtesy randomjack.

Posted 2 years ago

As you may know, gestures which are offensive in one country are innocuous or positive in another. The “middle finger” or “bird”, which has a negative meaning in English-speaking countries (USA/Canada/England/Australia, etc.) is viewed positively in German. Above is a photo showing a German good-luck statue displaying the middle finger.

The German word for “flipping the bird” or “flicking off” is Erflüllung, which is very close to the German word Erfüllung, meaning contentment or fulfillment. So next time you’re in Germany, don’t give someone a thumbs-up… flick them off! Maybe they’ll do the same in kind to you. It’s good luck.

You can find more idiomatic expressions, good and bad, in the book "Schiesse! The Real German You Were Never Taught In School." I’ve recommended this book to every Berlin-bound traveler I’ve known.

Photos courtesy of tumblraboutwez.

Posted 2 years ago

If you come to Berlin, make sure you’re ready to ride… cars are outlawed inside the city limits. Scenes like this are common inside Berlin, night or day, as most people travel by bicycle.

And make sure you’ve got your safety gear on. The ban on cars also includes emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks, so if you wreck, you’ll have a long ride to the hospital!

Photo credit Flickr/Mark Turner (CC-by-SA)

Posted 2 years ago

Shark! It’s a shaaaaark! Don’t be scared, though, because not only is Berlin home to over 3.4 million sharks, but they are domesticated and kept in line by the city’s Haifipolizei (Shark-Police.) They are responsible for making sure the capital city’s large population of cartilaginous fish only use their multiple rows of teeth for chewing up dinner.

Photo credit Flickr/Leszek Leszczynski (CC-by-SA)