checkpoint lütten klein, for persons (not) of a certain colour

The AfD [extreme right political party in the German parliament] had announced it would be setting up  camp in Lütten Klein. I went there to go to ultimate frisbee practice anyway. We were gathered in front of a buddy’s house beforehand. I was about to head off when I realised I’d forgotten my backpack, so I turned back for it. Clara or Swantje had picked it up and put it inside her much larger black backpack and was carrying a third. I reached for mine, but she handed me a green hiking pack instead.

“It’s better if you carry this,” she said grimly.Read More »


em-beer-rassing blind taste test

UFO: Unidentifiable Fillable Objects

I think I failed my first blind beer taste test. The homemade set-up was as follows:

10 in total – 6 pilsners (Rostocker; M&O; Beck’s; Jever; Clausthalle alcohol-free; Oettinger Export), 2 dark lagers (Störtebeker; Köstritzer), 2 red/brown ales (Duckstein; Kilkenny) – from refrigerated bottles poured into numbered clear plastic cups.Each team was given a page with the beer labels and had to identify the contents of each cup.Read More »

die afd im bundestag

Bundestag, Sommer 2012

Nachdem die AfD ihren Beitritt zum Bundestag gesichert hat, wurde es mir klar, dass ich ihre Politik – abgesehen von ihrer allgemeinen Fremdenfeinlichkeit und ihrer dämmlichen Euroskepsis – fast gar nicht kannte. Bisher war ich nur der Meinung, dass sie die allerschlimmsten Wahlplakate hat. Aber warum genau wurde sie als populistisch und faschistisch bezeichnet?Read More »

how should i respond to everyday racism?

It’s fucked up how much and how often I talk and think about everyday racism, but when I actually encounter it have no nicely thought-out action ready. Whether it’s directed at me or at others, I act like a deer in the headlights: freeze. Silently will the other person(s) to become distracted by something else. Wonder if I should physically remove myself from the situation. Try and fail to think of words. Definitely fail (not even try) to say something.

So yeah, concrete situation: today I wanted to sit on a bench by the river but all the benches were occupied. One only had one person sitting there, so I politely asked if the space was still free. He said yes, and moved over to make space. He told me not to ask next time and just sit down. I said oh, I didn’t know, maybe he was saving the seat for someone else, I didn’t want to be impolite. He kind of shrugged off the idea of having to be polite, but then kind of conceded that asking was okay, too. And then the punch to the gut – he added, yeah, maybe asking was good, some people don’t ask, mainly Arabs.Read More »

there will always be expats

When all else fails, there’ll always be expats. I admittedly spent my first six months in Rostock pointedly avoiding them unless I specifically needed something from them, opting to seek out connections with Germans instead. It was hard work but kind of paid off. Then I got complacent. Then the seeking out connections with Germans part stopped. And without expats, I had no one. Read More »

regionale werbesprüche

IMG_8849“Der echte Norden” ist der Werbespruch Schleswig-Holsteins. Laut der Nationalhymne Kanadas ist Kanada auch “der echte Norden” (“Der echte Norden, stark und frei”). Wörtlich bedeutet das, dass das (Bundes)Land geografisch tatsächlich im Norden liegt. Und das stimmt: nördlich von Schleswig-Holstein ist die dänische Grenze, nördlich von Kanada ist der Nordpol.

Aber natürlich sollte es keine neutrale Beschreibung sein. Es ist auch von subjektiver Bedeutung geprägt. Und zwar – wir sind stolz auf uns. Wir sind authentisch, unabhängig. Das Leben ist vielleicht hart, z.B. wegen des Wetters, aber wir überleben es und werden dadurch stärker. Wir liegen am Rand, an der Grenze – wir sind etwas anders. Und sind stolz darauf.

Was bedeutet deiner Meinung nach “der echte Norden”? Gibt’s auch einen vergleichbaren Begriff für “den echten Süden/Westen/Osten”? Was ist der Slogan deiner Region und was sind die Vorstellungen, die die sich dahinter verbergen?