Diary of an Expat, Part 91
Just sittin' in a laundromat, babbling
This has been an extremely schizophrenic summer, weather-wise. It's been doing this thing of late, where the weather comes in fifteen minute increments. Fifteen minutes of rain, followed by fifteen minutes of blue skies and sun; then rain again.

Following our cold, interminably long winter I was sort of worried that summer would be the other extreme — blisteringly, unforgiveably hot, in the sticky, irritating way that Berlin has about it. But no, it's been cool — I would even call it pleasant, excepting that there now looms the portent of a chilly fall and an early winter again. Oh well.

This is sort of what I have been reduced to, talking about the weather.

Basically all the stereotypes that you have around Germans are incorrect. For example, there is this "papers please >:[" kind of thing going on.

The first time I ever had to pick up a package in Germany, I went down to the post office and they refused to give me my package. There was literally nothing I could do to convince them that I was the same person specified on the label Slightly confusing! Since then, I've gotten in the habit of taking my passport around to authorize essentially every aspect of my life. Buying a SIM card for my phone, taking delivery of a pizza, making a withdrawal at the bank, etc.

And it plays into your expectation of Germans and Germany, anyway.

I have not been asked for ID for... months, maybe. The last two times I've showed up at the Deutsche Post joint, I just hand them my slip and when I get my passport out they wave me away and look at me strangely. So does the person who delivers my mail. So, whatever. Perhaps these days I just look so damned German that they trust me implicitly ;)

But I doubt it.

Also German efficiency. Germans are relatively efficient when it comes to shipping things places or transferring money. On the other hand, I have lived in Berlin for two years and all I've seen are construction sites getting worse. The hauptbahnhof, the main train station here, has become less and less navigable. The road in front of my street used to be passable in both directions... then in one... now only intermittently in one.

There was a moment when I thought that construction had stopped on my apartment, and most of the construction noises have indeed stopped, but no, it continues — it has merely taken a different form. So, so much for that.

Schnitzel, though? I guess they do do some schnitzel.
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