August 2011


It be VACATION season in Germany!

Funny enough, despite living in Germany for 8 summers, this summer is the first summer that I’ve really noticed tourist season.

You see, August is the month that Germans go on vacation.

Living in Weimar this was hard to observe for a couple of reasons: First, Weimar is a tourist trap – in particular a German Tourist Trap – and second, a huge percentage of Weimar residents are on vacation full-time, whether via unemployment (a surprisingly large percentage) or via retirement (Weimar could be considered the Florida of Germany if one looks at the grey hair with oddly red colored poofs around town).

Now that I’m in Berlin, I’m in a better position to realize what’s going on – although last year I was too poor and too unfamiliar with everything to really know that the first month was the vacation month.

So what have I noticed? Several things: (1) My gym is quieter during my regular time slots so I don’t need to prioritize the equipment sequence as rigorously as I normally do; (2) except for Saturday mornings, the nearby supermarket is easy to navigate; (3) buses to and from work have more open seats (although school restarted last week and if I catch the wrong bus, I have to fight for a seat with high school students for three stops); and (4) finding a table at the cafes in my neighborhood is easier.

Now there is one place that does seem to have more people than normal, and that’s Friedrichstraße – but if its tourist season, that’s to be expected as it is Berlin’s highest end shopping street with the fanciest shops in the city and Checkpoint Charlie.

I’m happy to report that, as of tomorrow, I am going native – which is to say, I’m going on vacation.

Two weeks away…

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