Bitter Bastard: Ich Hasse Berlin
Berlin's so great, blah, blah. Techno rave blah. Stay up all weekend, Wall, döner kebab, Ecstasy, yadda yadda. Bunker, beer, underground, artsy, bahn this, tram that. Bitter Bastard thinks the only thing more boring than Berlin is hearing people talk about how great it is. Here are 10 reasons it sucks.
1. Toilets and Toilet Paper
An unwritten part of the Communist Manifesto was that you have to be very in touch with your own shit. That is obviously why old toilets in East Berlin have a shelf in them–when you take a dump it doesn't fall into a pool of water, but just sits there on the porcelain and stinks to high heaven until you flush it down. Perfect for scat fiends; horrorcore for the rest of us. Meanwhile, the toilet paper appears to be made from recycled cardboard. It is brown and bumpy and is the equivalent of sandpapering your bum.
Berlin seems like the perfect place in summer: full of lakes, everyone is friendly. Then winter comes, and the whole city is dark by 2 p.m., no one leaves the house, and people in the street can barely manage to grunt at you. Ever heard that phrase "colder than a witch's teat?" Yeah, well, that's what happens when you're on the same latitude as Moscow.
3. Expensive Subways
Everything in Berlin is cheap except the public transit, which costs nearly $3 to go one way and something like $7.50 for an all-day pass. BYOB–as in "bring your own bike."
4. Long-ass Street Names
The German language is all about cramming as many nouns together as you can to make a word. When it comes to street names, this gets insane. Try to read a map where every street has 20 letters in its name. Can anyone tell me how to get to Niederkirchnerstrasse and Stresemannstrasse near Riechpietsch Ufer? No? Okay, danke.
Yes, they still exist and they throw rocks at Asian people's heads and beat down gay folks. But they're not so easy to recognize anymore–many have abandoned the rather rad skinhead uniform for ugly-ass tracksuits made in Romania.
6. Minimal Techno Twats
It's hard to believe, but there are so many minimal techno nights and DJs in Berlin that you could live there for months and not see them all. People get really trapped in (and serious about) this scene, to the point where, if you mention breakbeat, they give you the stink face. And don't even think about telling that Villalobos joke...
7. Central Berlin during the Loveparade
The Loveparade is an excuse for every white-trash hoo-hah from the suburbs to pull out all the fluorescent and silver-lamé spandex, glittery half-shirts, and neon parachute pants they've been hiding in their closet since the mid-'90s, and wear them all at once. Walking through Tiergarten after the parade is over is akin to traversing an alien landscape full of toxic piss and passed-out frat boys in furry chaps.
8. Medieval People
Twenty odd years ago, it was fashionable to look like you were from medieval times. Eventually, people realized that being dirty, greasy, and continually clad in black and lace was a lot of wasted effort, and most of the goths and gutter punks disappeared. Actually, that's not true–they just got old and moved to Berlin, where it is not uncommon to see someone wearing combat boots and a black wool shroud in 100-degree weather.
9. No Air Conditioning
About that 100-degree summertime weather... There's no air conditioning.
10. No Cold Drinks
If you ask for ice, you will get one cube, because ice cubes cost money to make. The only legitimately cold drink in Berlin is beer, meaning you will find yourself drunk and dehydrated a lot.
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