naturalisation? nein danke

Happy eight year anniversary, Germany. We could officially get hitched, y’know. One of your conditions would be that I dump Canada and Hong Kong, which I’d never do. I used to think this was a bit of a pity; every time I stood in line at immigration at a European airport I salivated at the thought of a red passport.Read More »

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i failed my road test (praktische prüfung)

I had an acutely crappy day today. Acutely crappy days are pretty rare for me; more often I feel a vague sense of anxiety, restlessness, dissatisfaction, unfulfilment, or even ennui, but only once in a while does something specific happen that adds a focused type of anger, disappointment, frustration, confusion or helplessness to the general unhappiness. Today was one of those days: today I failed my road test.Read More »

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

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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 »