05 December 2017

Dodging Counterculture

I live in the former West Berlin. But I work in the former East Berlin. So every day, I take either the S-Bahn or the U-Bahn to cross the city. And every time I do it, I never fail to see how different the people are.

See, I live in the district of Wilmersdorf. It's known to be a quiet part of town, and the stereotype is that this is where the posh folks live. Sure enough, we have quiet and leafy streets, the restaurants are more fancy than cheap, and you see rather affluent Berliners calling this home. Those young hipsters living on the other side of town think that this is the boring part of town.

Where I work on the other hand is Friedrichshain. This is known to be the "cool" part of town. A lot of hipsters flock here. There's also a pulsating night life. Your radical and counterculture crowd is also here. And sometimes, I just find myself puking internally whenever I have to dodge them on my way to and from the metro station coming from work.

Sometimes I wonder, why are everyone around me so ugly? They wear all black, immensely skinny jeans, their hair looks like a lawnmower went through it, and their taste in music sucks. They could also use a shower. Then again, they probably think the same of me. In any case, I definitely feel out of place in that neighborhood sometimes.

Nevertheless, I still like this city. There's something for everyone. I like my neighborhood, and this is where I escape from the chaos of the city when I need to do so. I definitely am not a hipster, and I am glad that they aren't on my neighborhood. I don't need to deal with broken glass on the pavement, nor graffiti on my building walls. It's just that sometimes I need to put on a tough act during my commute.


  1. I'm picturing you, sitting beside a German hipster/punk! :-D Germans are kind of known for that, i.e. extreme fashion choices, much like in some districts in London.

    You lived in Japan... do you remember extreme fashion statements? Japan is also known for goths/cute characters clothing/punk, etc.

    1. Zhu,

      Ah Japan. Yes, there are people in Japan who do cosplay where they dress up extremely. However my impression is that these dressing up events are basically costume parties. It is an out-of-the-blue event, not one's daily fashion statement.