Expats In Berlin
7

Talking to the Dead: Channeling William James in Berlin

The second in a pair of essays today on being an expat in Berlin.

"Here is the real core of the religious problem:

                 Help!                                                   H e l p !"

—William James, Varieties of Religious Experience

"You're in Berlin because you feel like a failure."

I had met this man all of ten minutes ago and he had already summed me up neatly. I made subtle readjustments to my clothing, as if it had been a wayward bra strap or an upwardly mobile hemline that had given me away. More likely it was my blank stare in response to his question, "So, what brings you to [...]

23

Welcome To Berlin, Now Go Home

The first in a pair of essays today on being an expat in Berlin.

When I first moved to Berlin this summer, there was a big piece of graffiti in the courtyard next to my front door. "Tourists fuck off," it said, in cheerful blue spray paint. It didn't really bother me at first—I wasn't a tourist, I was moving here; I speak German and have a German passport. And who loves tourists anyways? In New York, where I'd lived for the past six years, hating on tourists was part of what defined you as a New Yorker. Being rude to slow-walking Scandinavians wasn't just a way of [...]