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I moved to Berlin

Sunday 10 April 2016 by

Matteo Merola

  • Berlin
  • Germany

I moved to Berlin cover image

Hey there! Recently I got a new job in Berlin where I have moved some days ago.

First of all, I'd like to tell to the ones who have tried to contact me via WhatsApp or any other social linked to my Italian number (prefix +39) that I have changed my mobile number. It's not my fault, I'm a kind boy and I usually reply to everybody 😁. At the moment I have a German number (this German number exactly +49 174 8967494). Please add it to your contacts. For your convenience you can tap here to download my contacts information directly on your device.

For those of you interested into moving to Berlin I have some clues to give:

  1. In Berlin they speak German: so if you don't speak German prepare yourself with an active Internet connection and a good app for translation, you'll need that.
  2. German mobile data connection is expensive: I pay 9.99 € for 200 minutes per month of free calls to any German number (even if I don't know anybody atm), free calls and sms to any Vodafone German customer (useless for the moment) and for 750 MB/month of mobile data connection. When compared to my Italian mobile plan it looks ridiculously inconvenient (10€/month for 2GB, 1000 min and 1000 sms).
  3. Berlin is huge: the city is very big and at first times you may need doubled time to go anywhere (also because if you don't speak German you need double the time to decipher information).
  4. Berlin is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural: if you think that the most popular food you can find around is Turkish Kebap you can have an idea about the mixing of cultures you will find here.
  5. Berlin public transportation is expensive: I mean 3.30 € for a 2-hours ticket for metro-tram-buses (and you cannot go and come from the same station), 99.90 € for a monthly pass and 60 € (or 5 days in jail if you don't pay) of fine if they catch you ticketless.
  6. Berlin public transportation is efficient: which makes the above 5th point look superfluous. You can reach every corner of the city with it. 5 days and you will be the master of the U-Bahn!
  7. The Germans work a lot: in average everybody needs at least 1 hour to go to work so from 6pm to 8pm life is very frenetic in the city!
  8. Usually, the Germans don't work on Sunday: they work hard during the week but they rest on God's day. I mean you won't be able to find any shopping mall opened on Sunday. But don't worry, Turkish shops are opened every day, God/Allah bless them.
  9. Germans are very quiet and silent: if you are on the train going to work in the early morning, like 8 o'clock for instance (yes, I consider 8am early morning cause I'm a fucking night owl), you can enjoy the silence of everybody thinking to their own problems. A scary silence that will remind you why you went there. An awkward silence that will avoid you to make calls, random chats or even typing on your mobile with the keyboard click sound enabled.
  10. The Germans don't knock to your door to tell you to low the volume, they call the police to tell that to you: policemen come once to tell it to you kindly, twice to tell it to you with a fine, the third time they come with the handcuffs.
  11. Usually, the Germans are efficient: you will be shocked especially if you come from Countries like Italy, Spain, Greece...
  12. Sometimes German bureaucracy is stupid: they love bureaucracy and sometimes the abuse of it. You will need a lot of patience and a decent German language otherwise you are doomed to suffer from the eternal curse of a document not handed over.
  13. German beer is very good: which in combination with the fact that it is also very cheap it makes it difficult for you to not get drunk during the weekends (and not only).
  14. Finding a room in Berlin is probably the most problematic aspect: I've contacted more than 100 listings on popular websites like wg-gesucht.de but I have been contacted back just from a few of them. To live in a shared flat you must be a sociable guy but not too much, you must be blonde and female, clean and gay, non-homophobic but addicted to movies (but not all the genres of course), you must be able to speak at least German (which makes it difficult for any non-German person). Fuck-off all of you! If you are so lucky to be replied by someone you have to be in Berlin to see the room because they don't do anything without meeting you. And if you are so willing to move in the city to stay some days to one of the many hostels of the city, and you are looking for a room from Berlin, you can meet the owner, he/she will tell you that the room is unfurnished (I don't know why but most of the landlords uses to rent you the room without anything).
  15. If you want to work here they can hire you: especially if you are really good in something and really want to work.

I don't know if I will change my mind about some of the points I have listed, probably I will add something to the list! Anyways if you are in the city let me know, we could chat a bit and maybe drink some beers.

Usually I approach the Germans with the following question:

Excuse me, do you speak English?

And most of them reply me with a dry:



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