18 August 2013

Berliner Aerophobia

I love Berlin. However, sometimes, its residents can be weird sometimes. And I recently discovered one such quirk and weirdness, and that is the fact that Berliners tend to be afraid of air, drafts, and other manifestations of the wind. Especially when one is in a hot and sweaty vehicle such as the U-Bahn or the S-Bahn in the summer.

See, this incident actually happened to me twice. It's summer, so sometimes, it is hot. The public transportation vehicles are not air-conditioned at all. So what does one do? One opens the windows. However, when one does that, sooner or later, someone else will go ahead and close it. Why? Not because it is cold. Not because the heat is bearable. But because there is a draft, and this person hates the draft.

I just find it almost rude, for people to get up from where they are sitting and actually reach over and close the window that is closest to the person who actually opened it. Sometimes, they do that even if they already clearly saw that person open the window. Nobody asks for permission whether one can actually close the window that someone else just recently opened.

Oh well, when it happened to me a couple of times before, I was actually offended and thought of ways to take revenge. But in the end, I didn't. I didn't feel like stooping down to their level anyway.


  1. Hmmm...didn't know Berliners are wary of the slightest draft that might damage hairstyle or perhaps carry poison gas? hahaha!

    Man that's rude. If that happened in a New York subway train, there would be verbal fireworks faster than I can say Katy Perry :)

    1. Dennis,

      Haha, I like the Katy Perry reference. But yes, that is rude, and somehow, there are parts of Berlin that I don't like, and that is this rudeness that is mostly exhibited by the older generation. I don't know why, but it's typically the old Berliners who have lived in the city for so long who just hate the influx of young new people from outside Berlin, whether they are fellow Germans or foreigners, it doesn't matter, they hate them.