Instilling Love for Public Transport in Children

Maybe we want children to grow up to be lifelong learners, but how about lifelong transit users? To achieve that, get them hooked early. This wonderful playground in the über-hipster Boxhagener Platz neighborhood is an S-Bahn train to play in by colour scheme (red and mustard) and signage, but also note the real S-Bahn passing…

Satellite Dishes… Architects’ Nightmare?

The seemingly ubiquitous satellite dishes installed on apartment balconies are such a visual blight around Germany! Fortunately, our building doesn’t have single dish installed, but when riding the S-Bahn around town there are some areas where every balcony seems to be adorned with at least one large-pizza-sized dish. Ugly, ugly, ugly, independent of whether they…

Public Library

We registered for our library cards. This comes after years of me using my library card relatively actively in Vancouver. I very much like the VPL app which is a nice way to simply note books that I see reviewed or somehow notice, to request them and then pick them up on my way to/from…

Blogging Like It’s Ulaanbaatar

I’ve been blogging about Mongolia for some years now. One of the recurring formats recently has become that I take notes about observations from Ulaanbaatar as that city is changing so rapidly. As I’ve been writing about my impressions of Berlin for some months now, it strikes me that I notice similar things and look…

Sociologists in Public

When was the last time you read a quote by someone identified as a sociologist in a Canadian publication (other than a sociology journal)? Well, German media cite sociologists all the time and as such! So, not only is Kracauer Square near our apartment named after a prominent sociologist (as identified on the small sign that…

Reading New Germany

One of the more exotic options I’ve put on my newspaper rotation is Neues Deutschland. It feels pretty peculiar to buy this at a newsstand. After all this was the Pravda of Germany, the official organ of the Socialist Unity Party. In some ways I find it even peculiar that it still exists as a…

Berlinerisch

I am keenly listening to people speak (German) around me. In part, I’m trying to point out dialect and accents to the girls, but I’m also fascinated by the extent to which (I imagine) Berlin dialect has changed. In part because we moved to Berlin from West Germany, my childhood had very little Berlin dialect…

Driving Little Miss Drittklässler

Vancouver Rant Oh how all the car traffic around Vancouver schools annoys me. For the past several years, the traffic around St George’s has easily been the most dangerous part of my bike commute, but it’s not like public schools are any better. The whole notion of running bike routes past schools (surely intended to…

Goatee Pearls and Tats

The diversity of Berlin bus drivers is even greater than I had previously observed. The other day, a bus driver sported a set of beads in his goatee (I’m sure there are technical terms for this kind of look, but they elude me) along with many tatoos. Impressive!

Introducing Vancouverisms to Berlin Transit

Yes, yet another post about the BVG, Berlin public transit. I’ve already noted that bus drivers seem so much more diverse now then they did when I was a kid. I’ve also mentioned the “Weil wir Dich lieben” ad campaign which focuses on how public transit shows its love for passengers. Well, we’re trying to…

There Are So Many… Pharmacies

This is something that Ingm has noticed. In her words, “there are as many pharmacies in Berlin as there are Starbucks in Vancouver”. We’ve spotted areas on the bus commute to her schools where there are four pharmacies within view of each other. They are easy to spot with their common large “A” (for Apotheke…