Amok Mama: Why I hate Berlin

Sometimes Jacinta thinks she hates Berlin. She's just not used to people smiling at her anymore.

Sometimes I think I hate Berlin. I think it’s tore my heart in two. You know something? I’m just not used to people smiling at me anymore. Like, the other day on the train, on the S-Bahn. This guy was smiling at me. He was white, but I could kind of tell he wasn’t German, he was too smiling and open, there was nothing downtrodden or Woyzecky about him, he was just grinning. But he also didn’t look like he cared about the environment. German men always either look like Woyzeck or like they care about the environment. I thought he was Australian or American or something. He looked like he’d grown up in a wide open space.

So I grinned back at him. He grinned back at me. We grinned at each other. I was thinking to myself: brilliant. Fantastic. Wonderful. Excellent. Somebody is coming on to me. Well, they will in a minute, probably. They are smiling. Oh, this is great. This is gonna be a fantastic day. I felt like Samantha Brick or someone. It was really nice. 

Then he started picking his nose.

“Okay, Jacinta” I said to myself. “You only want to have a mini-flirt with him. A tiny grin session in the S-Bahn. He’s just picking his nose a little bit. That’s okay. Don’t be so judgemental. Keep on smiling!”

Then he went and started eating the fucking bogies. Even I can’t enjoy flirting with someone who’s actually prepared to eat part of his own body on public transport.

The truth is, the only people who ever want to flirt with me in Berlin are old Turkish guys. It’s so depressing, coz when I first arrived in this city, I used to get the Turkish teenagers. (No, I never, ever, ever got hit on by a German EVER.) Back when I first arrived here, I’d try and walk down Wiener Straße extra fast, like I was totally verabredet, and they’d still come up to me and ask me for my phone number or could they take my photo and stuff like that. And then, all of a sudden, they just stopped. It was around 2006, 2007; around that time.

You know what I thought? I am such an arrogant, conceited bitch, honestly. I thought: “Oh, it’s your body language, Jacinta. Subconsciously, you’ve become really German and now your body language is all self-confident and yet withdrawn at the same time. It’s a good sign really!” But it fucking wasn’t. It was just coz I’d got old, old, old, old, old. I know this because now I’ve started getting the old guys. Old, old, old Turkish granddads. Not just old, but a bit weird, too. The kind of guys who, when you say you’ve got a kid and a boyfriend and have to go home now, check whether you had a Caesarean or not. Weirdos. It’s bloody depressing.

And I always think it’s Germany and the Germans. But it’s not. It’s Berlin and the Berliners. Their hearts are made of actual ice, the cold bastards. Whenever I leave this city, I always think all the waiters and shop assistants are coming onto me or that they recognize me from a YouTube video. In fact, they’re just smiling. I know, I have a narcissistic personality disorder. Actually, when I think about it, this is probably the only city in the world I should ever live in. My ego would explode anywhere else.