Not only has Germany reacted fast in curving the public health hazards of COVID-19, it has also been quick to support vital components of the local and national economy. Public authorities across the country have broken very German traits and habits by forgetting budget balancing golden rules and making sure all actors, big and small, receive emergency funds until the economy kickstarts again.
Berlin is no exception to the rule. In record-time, Berlin setup a straightforward application process, under IBB guidance, to help freelancers and small-companies out-there.
The scale with which this support mechanism was conceived & implemented is simply unheard of, and a far cry from what everyone would expect from German bureaucracy. The general sigh of relief and overall enthusiasm was shared among friends, social media and reported in the media too. But how unGerman was this whole thing exactly?
Asking around self-employed friends, it became evident that this was defying everybody’s expectations.
Not a single document to upload
No proof of lost income required
Only a dozen fields to fill in with basic data
This made me curious and wanting to dig deeper. How was everybody’s experience? To that purpose, i published a poll online to gather a few data points.
Here are some learnings. If you are in a hurry, you can get the quick facts hereunder and/or read on for details.
Judging by the amount of posts in the various Facebook groups and the comments’ section on this very blog, newcomers never cease to be baffled about how poor access to reliable internet is in this country. Whether it’s at home or on mobile, it’s hard for some to move to the first European economic power and experience internet like it’s 2009.
This happened to me too naturally. It’s more expensive, slower than back home and don’t get me started on how it takes to even open a line. This made me curious: how did this happen? I mean surely, reliable and fast internet is key to economic success. How has Germany let this develop?
Come with me on a journey of poor technological choices, lobbying and weak political will.
The real first days of Spring are finally here and the summer is luring in the distance. After the long days of Winter, you find yourself in dire need of outdoor entertainment. What better way to quench that thirst than going on a urban trip on the 1st of May? All the right ingredients are there after all: free concerts, cheap booze, & general sense of laissez-faire with the occasional fight. In a nutshell : the perfect occasion to meet up with some friends and spend some time in a joyous atmosphere around Kottbusser Tor or Görlitzer Park.
However the reality is far from ideal. The 1st of May is best defined by the following:
Unmanageable crowds in narrow streets meaning it takes about 45min to walk 200m
Permanently losing friends that didn’t follow the group properly, thus spending half of the time trying to back-track them, instead of enjoying
The impossibility of contacting them via cellphone since connection is non-existent (refer to 1st bullet point for explanation)
A tons of concerts way too close to one another, with never-ending sound system competitions. This means you either can’t hear the music properly or risk hear loss.
Pick-pockets & fights
My point: Here are some 6 free ways to better use your time around the city.
Hi everyone. I’m sure you have seen it everywhere on the news : a crisis. lots of refugees. It’s probably the biggest challenge for Europe right now.
All those events are way beyond our scale of power, influence or understanding. However, It feels like we could assist a little the effort of supporting those people leaving everything behind to come to Europe & to come to Berlin.
This post is addressed at everyone out-there wanting to move to Berlin after a sweet sweet dreamy stay. I have got a message for you : you have been bewitched, and the Berlin you have seen is enchanted. The curse is called : Post-tourism.
Post tourism you said ?
Contrary to the classical definition, i mean the following : The post-tourist is the person that settles in Berlin (or wants to) after spending some time here while not having residency in the city. The city has made such an impression on him/her that every effort will be made to try to extend this experience as much as possible.