Well, in place of the usual movie craptacular review (I'm working on something big), I figured I'd take a moment to share some of the strangeness that is Berlin, Germany.  Yeah...places that are different are always weird.  I've been here for a year and some things just keep striking me as weird.  From the Christmas season to weird-ass advertisements, Berlin is "wonderful."  Where the hell should I start? 

First off:  I noticed something strange while waiting for a train.  Berlin REALLY hates pigeons.  Take a look at the clock.  Notice anything unusual?  Take a closer look.

Razor blades.  Oh? You say its just the clock?  Berlin puts razor blades over EVERYTHING.  From train girders to signs to billboards to EVERYTHING Berlin really, really is out to get those pesky pooping birds.  I suppose it works...There aren't that many pigeon piles anywhere near the train station. But still...RAZOR BLADES?

My personal favorite discovery is without a doubt the discovery of the most disgusting vending machine ever made:  The Hot Dog Vending machine. 

Basically a glorified microwave in the shape of a vending machine, the "Fresh & Hot" Meica machine is something out of a bad dream.  Offering a selection of hot and cold wieners (and nothing but) the machine even includes an animated display screen...illustrating the cooking of your hot dog.  I only wish I knew more German to understand what the hell my hot dog was saying as I roasted it alive.  Another odd facet to this device?  It's the only one around it.  Not surrounded by other "normal" vending machines, this one's been ostracized into isolation.  And you wouldn't believe how nasty the hot dogs are.  I had to try one, just because.  I don't even want to know what Europeans put in their hotdogs when raccoon tails, pig snouts, and chicken feet are just too damn expensive.  Generic Hot Dog Machine, I love you.

Another highlight would have to be the advertisements I've seen here in Berlin.  Billboards are illegal, but its still ok to post on the sides of buildings.  Sure, I don't know what the hell half of them are advertising, but you can't argue that they sure are weird.

Water-volleyball or something has some really odd posters all over this town.

Another thing you spot wandering about Berlin are the Smart cars...those little tiny two-seater fuel-efficient numbers that you can rent for 5 euros a day.  Five euros translates to about 7 dollars.  7 DOLLARS FOR A CAR!  The penalty?  You drive a moving billboard. My favorite is the Debitel ad to the right, designed like those crappy "have your picture taken here" things you always see at low-end amusement parks.  In other words:  Drive this car to look like a woman in a bikini to the rest of the world.  Genius.  Pure genius.

Of course some of the graffiti and art all over Berlin is at least worth a passing glance as well:

All children love the headless Big Bird and his Giant Bees...

Rock on, Vegans. Rock on.

It's all about cute clerks with vampire teeth. What the hell?

For a new tangent:  Here's Hitler's bunker.

Yep.  Its a playground now.  The German government doesn't want ANYONE to go back, to worship or protest, to the site of Hitler's bunker.  What's really weird is how there is an attitude of both denial and great advertisement of what happened here in World War II.  Public reference to Nazis or just the swastika are strictly illegal.  However, all German children are required to visit the death camps on an 8th grade field trip.  Spooky, right? There's a fine line between ignoring the past and injecting BURNING FLAMING GUILT into the current generation of German kids.  Back to Hitler's resting place.  They paved over the site of Hitler's bunker, creating an apartment complex and a playground.  The Berlin tour guides still go there to explain the whole bit of history to tourists.  I keep expecting Hitler the zombie to either rise out of the ground, or hell...can you imagine a kid playing in the sand pit and digging up something?  Hitler's Sandbox.  Would make a killer band name.

Oh and during X-mas time, you can see Santa and his mini-Santa death squad breaking into a young boy's home.  Is it just me or is this just pure nightmare fuel?  Since there aren't chimneys anywhere, St. Nick has to jimmy open your locks come Christmas Eve.  On a side note, Germany has the highest population of Atheist in the world.  This statistic is a bit misleading due to tax reasons.  When the government asks what your religion is, saying "I'm an Atheist" is the only answer that won't get you charged a decent amount of money.  For the love of God....the country charges you an additional tax depending on what religion you belong to!  Its kind of a neat idea...I'm sure it would go over just splendidly in America.  I mean how many people are really religious enough to hand over their money to the government for it?  :)

 

 

 

 Well, that's about all I'm going to share for now, but if you look to your right, you'll notice a real life set from a classic Donkey Kong video game. I saw it in downtown Berlin and it made me want to rent a Gorilla suit and start throwing barrels down on any Italians passing by.  Of course there are a LOT of things that make me want to put on a Gorilla suit these days.  I'm geeky and wanted to share. 

Before I go, I want to share one of the most constant things I've been doing in Berlin (besides watching bad movies), which has been looking for work.  From a short pseudo-stint digitally editing pornography and trying to teach children English, its been an interesting struggle.  I've broken through the out of work depression and gone clear through to the other side:  Pure, Blissful, Unemployed Joy.  Read below to see my latest adventure in looking for work. What follows is a flyer I've been posting all over Berlin for the past few months.   Enjoy my flyer:

Lost in Berlin

One Stupid 24-year old American Male is trapped without work in Berlin!  Experimental film-maker, video editor, English Teacher, cartoonist, comedian, and phone telemarketer/entertainer will do anything for money!

Only YOU can stop me from singing on the S-bahn!

The power of (your Deity of Choice) compels you to employ me! 

Nostradamus himself prophesized my salvation at the hands of strangers in this fair German city!  Be a part of the Legend!

Feed an American Today!

Email me at TheEmeraldGlasses@hotmail.com

 

  Suffice to say the responses have been....interesting.  The only two things I need to explain are 1) All the homeless people sing on the Trains here for money and 2) it's up to you to figure out what the hell "phone entertainer" means.  Trust me, its better this way.

Well, that's all I'm willing to share about Germany right now.  There's so much weirdness that I didn't go into, not to mention what I saw in Greece.  I'll have to go back into those sometime.  If you came here for movies, thanks for reading this far.  I'll get back into my normal thing come next time.  I've got some frickin' amazing films to share in the next week or so.  Now go away.  I'm done.

-Jared

 

Take me Home!

 

copyright 2004 Jared unless stolen or whatever.