So… I’m moving to Berlin. I regard this coming year as the introduction to a more long-term emigration. Despite being my Erasmus year in a 4 year course of German and Music at Liverpool, I have few doubts that I’ll be back on a permanent basis after I graduate.
This year I’ll be working at an Übersetzerin in the city centre and living in Kreuzberg (contract pending.) Lena and I (my Austrian flatmate and dear friend) visited Berlin last week to secure a roof for August – but that’s a story for another day.
After a few more shifts hopefully I’ll have enough to put down my deposit without borrowing from mum. That said I don’t own a single piece of office wear…
Welcome to the real world Connie! 💸

I have two long term goals this year: to improve my German and become a Glanz.

Hopefully and nervously yours,


#tbt when my babies saved my life in February

The first night we went out drinking and eating. To be quite frank we spent most of the weekend eating. It gave me life.

The second day we went sight seeing. Don’t they look cute.

Popped to work

And it even snowed! ❄️❄️❄️

Squad goals ✌️

Picked up pres at East Side Gallery and went to Matrix, because what is a weekend in Berlin without a bit of Matrix cringe?

We’re all born naked and the rest is Berlin

To make a long story short, my social life has been practically non existent over the past few weeks. Nothing changes haha. This is mainly due to my avid essay writting at the weekends and lack of vodka cokes to keep me awake past 10pm.

As a step towards taking my social life into my own hands, I actually went out last night.

Around 5 minutes away from our house is a darling drag bar called Rausch gold, which feels like the kind of place that hasn’t changed in 50 years. Like the same people have been sat in the same seats since they came out in 1968, but that’s a beautiful thing. The glittering disco ball hangs amongst Christmas decorations that have been there since the 90s and there’s no need for a smoke machine on account of the hundreds of camels that are smoked there each night.

Every Friday they have a lipsync review. This week was anything but disappointing.

As a fan of Ru Paul I think it’s really important to support and know your local queens before you call yourself a fan of drag, so it was a great feeling to know that I was supporting local art and getting such bang for my buck! The lipsyncs were priceless, the singing was moving and the looks were fitting to the venue: classic and fabulous.

Last night was everything I needed this week. A completely sober night and significantly more enjoyable than many other blurry nights I’ve had. Thank you Rauschgold and thank you to the queens.

Bowie’s Berlin

Just got back from a 3 1/2 hour tour on David Bowie in Berlin. In fact, David has taken over my free time recently. As part of my YA I have to write a 5,000 essay (in German) on a subject that links my city to, preferably, my other subject.

My weekends mainly consist of long research sessions in the library and writing, broken up by serial killer documentaries so getting out today was a nice break. Would highly recommend this tour to music fans in the city:

Bowie 1

We started about 20 minutes from our flat by one of the last standing sections of the wall. We then walked up to Hansa studios and Potsdamer Platz, visited the Reichstag and Brandenburg Tor before ending at his flat, just 2 stops from our house again.

I’m thinking that I’m going to publish my essay on here once it’s done and marked, so the German speakers amongst you can enjoy a piece of Bowie.

I got some great primary sources and learnt a lot about the city as well as the man himself. I’ll be sure to fill the rents in on my new pop culture knowledge when they come to visit for my birthday.

The man is a hero of mine. An icon and I feel even closer to him living alongside where he once lived. Berlin was a healing city for Bowie and even though I can’t exactly call my time here thus far healing, I’m incredibly attached to the streets of this beautiful city – an attachment I think he shared.

What they don’t tell you about year abroad. 

The truth is that this year is not easy.

I came into all of this thinking I would have a tonne of disposable income, that I could travel, enjoy the city, perfect my language.

Truth is that Berlin had brought out some sides of me that I didn’t know I had.

Over the past few months I’ve developed a pretty terrible drinking habit and I think it’s important to talk about this because maybe other people who feel the same can feel like they have someone to talk to. Fact is that I went through some horrible medical scares that involved many stressful visits to various doctors. All of this was undoubtedly bought on my stress and dissappeared after 6 months here. That didn’t stop me drinking myself stupid on the odd occasion that it all got too much for me.

It never solved anything and in fact just made me ill. Surprise that. Isn’t it.

So I’m going to give up alcohol for lent as part of my next push into positivity. Lent also conveniently ends on my birthday so I won’t miss out on bubbles. 🥂

Some weekends it’s hard to get out of bed. I work 40 hours a week without holiday leave. I walk and cycle to and from work in the snow and rain. I work from dawn till dusk – literally – for 16,60€ a day.

I love my office. It’s full of warm friendly people. As interns however, we are abused. I have saved the company hundreds in translation bills, admittedly by my own hand. I also do the job of other fully paid people in the company but because I am a student, I receive 500€ a month for my time.

I come home and freelance translate to make pocket money, but none of that comes through for 3 months.

On top of that I have to process my own taxes in a second language which is the furthest thing from easy.

I’m currently looking for a new job that pays something a little more sensible. Laughable thing is that I could work 12 hours less a week on minimum wage and earn about twice what I currently receive.

It’s just hard being stuck in a city full of wonderful things and being too sad and too tired to get out of bed to see any of them. Feeling like you’re wasting your time but wanting nothing more than to just stop everything and go to sleep. This is something that’s been grinding at me for a very long time and I’m so relieved to be crying it all out.


I haven’t seen my uni friends in a very long time and can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am to have the girls come up next month. I’m just ready for a bit of home again.

Lena is graduating this weekend and I couldn’t be prouder. She published a paper and everything. Such a smart cookie.

Mum says that Cammi bought a mouse into the house and let it go under the floor boards in the bathroom.

I’m now going to finish Harry Potter #1 in German for the second time, have a cup of tea and go to bed.

Thats enough for one day.

New year, new me! 

Quick run down of how our New Year went. Hope you’re ready for this speedy catch up!

  1. Started drinking at 4pm
  2. Went for an incredibly overpriced dinner with a pint of BrewDog beer because I was missing home 
  3. Went home to continue drinking 
  4. Made our way to Brandenburg Tor for concert and fireworks 
  5. Just made it in (last ten people to get in the 2nd entrance) 
  6. Jumped a few fences and almost got crushed getting through the various layers of security
  7. Found a spot really quite close to the stage considering 
  8. Watched some fabulous performances and had a boogie (including some bangers like Cotton Eye Joe, Rhythm is a Dancer, Seal, some Schlager band who sang a song about a hooker called Rosie, and many more)
  9. Fireworks *boom bang boom*
  10. Staggered home (it looked like the apocalypse – children shooting fireworks at each other and teenagers aiming them at windows) 
  11. Went to Distille, a fave of ours by our house
  12. Kebab
  13. Bed

It was lovely. 🎆🎇✨🎉🎊🍾🥂

It’s beginning to look a lot like Weihnachten 

Well I guess it’s not any more. 2018 is well underway and I can honestly say that after December I’ve had enough for it for another year.

I worked up until the last working minute of the pre-holiday season, before jumping on a plane to come home for a few days. It wasn’t enough time and it was by no means a relaxing holiday. As wonderful as it is to see family, I hardly slept and just wish there was more time to relax with them as apposed to driving around the southern side of the Uk to wish them all good tidings.

Was good to see people though, and by people I mean my cat 😉

What a little krampus

Mum also came to visit Berlin just in time for Heathrow to freeze over. Despite me telling her to dress warmly, she brought a poncho and no hat, got a horrible cold, got stuck in Berlin because BA cancelled her flight and had to stay indoors writing cover for the extra two days she was grounded.

Loved having mum over, and not just because of the food.

Now Christmas is over and the Christmas markets are finally going down I feel like I can start looking after myself a little more. I’ve been overworked, underslept and exhausted this year. I’m gunna try to start living like a normal human again.

God I need a holiday!

Things that Germany is doing wrong…

But Connie… Germany can’t be perfect! You must miss home? Yes, of course I do and no… Germany is not perfect. And so in the name of unbiased journalism, please find listed below a few things that Germany is definitely doing wrong…

  • Crossing the road

This applies not only to driving, but also walking and cycling. There are so many faults here. Number one: Nobody knows how the pedestrian crossing button works. The big hand is just a light, not a button, so nothing happens when you press it. There is sometimes a round button underneath the box, but often this doesn’t move and besides I’m pretty sure it’s for the blind.

How do I know that nobody understands how they work? I’ve asked and I see Berliners everyday sort of throwing their hands at these boxes in the hope that something will happen… it never does. You just stand and wait for the green light.

… You then begin to cross the road, BUT THE CARS DON’T STOP. Cars and people are given the green light at the same time, and you just have to rely on the courtesy of the man behind the wheel as you cross main roads.

  • Fish n Chips

I’m just going to say it now. Many of these things are points that GB just does really well. Fish and chips however is not one of them. Fact: Germany is unable to produce satisfactory fish and chips.

You’d think that somewhere called ‘Klässig’s FISH&CHIPS’ would produce a decent cod and pommes. Unfortunately what I received was a BREADED box of fish balls and greasy, damp skinny fries. Plus when they ask if you want tartar, what they mean in minty yoghurt, not tartar (just FYI).

This is what fish and chips should look like… 

  • U-Bahn

The underground here functions on a trust system. That means that there are no barriers and rarely patrols. As useful as this can be at 3am when you’re wasted with no money and just want to get home, it means that people just don’t pay for the tube.

I can only assume that this is why the underground in Berlin looks straight out of the 60s. Maybe if they introduced barriers, they could update it a bit? Regardless it seems to work for everyone, and the tube is actually great, until non-uniform patrollers block the doors and demand to see your ticket. If I could just tap my oyster, we wouldn’t have this problem.

So there I am panicked and sifting through my bag full of crap for a ticket, which I actually did buy this time, and this man is glaring at me in the corner of a carriage and it’s all a bit much. We get off the train, I finally find my ticket and just burst into tears because this was all so stressful.

So quite frankly the tube can take a hike… this is why I walk to work.

Unless it’s cold and we’re getting to the club ✌️

  • Spatial awareness

Cross a road in UK, people move to navigate each other in a stressed, but efficient and polite manner. In Germany, the man opposite you will inevitably hold his ground and block you in the middle of a busy road with oncoming traffic (as previously discussed) and a mother with a stroller will stop at the edge of the pavement, leaving you exposed to the maniac cyclists that plague the edges of pavement.

People will stand dead still regularly as they get off an escalator. People with bikes will occupy the entire doorway of the tube on the phone to someone, stopping anyone else from using that door… Just a few examples that I experience on a daily basis.

  • Rice n’ spice

Rice is expensive and white (unless you go to a Bio shop). Basically they don’t have Indian shops and that’s a real issue for me.  In the supermarket, I can purchase ‘indian hot (5/5 chilies)’ curry powder and my food will come out at a korma level at best. To bring anything even close to par I have to add in half a tonne of chilli flakes to each and every meal I create.

My stash from home

  • Smoking

Cigarettes are sold like candy here. You can buy them from vending machines. They litter the ‘impulse buy’ boxes at tills. There are full colour, billboard adverts outside schools where I live for ‘American Spirit’ tobacco. Not to mention the glass doors that split all restaurants in two, one room for smokers and one for everyone else. It’s like a national sport.

  • Homemade baking

I thought I could bake, but then I came to Germany. There is no such thing a self-raising flour here. That means you have to add your own raising agent to white four, and when your English brain see’s ‘1T’ of baking powder and throws in a tablespoon (means teaspoon), it makes for some interesting birthday cakes.

Ingredients are just different here. Maybe that makes me wrong for saying that Germany do it wrong, because I agree, it is just different. None the less I’m in a winey mood and shall keep it on the list.

  • Tea

Black tea isn’t English breakfast tea. It’s a lie. I don’t know what Yorkshire Tea do to their black tea that makes it so magical, but whatever it is, Germany could learn a thing or two from them.

  •  Breakfast

Salami, bread and cheese does not constitute a breakfast. It’s immoral quite frankly. Where are the beans? The white toast? The eggs, sausages and ketchup?

  • Fireworks

After my latest experiences of Berlin at New Year (post on its way) I can safely say that firework safety is not something that is drilled into children here like it is in the UK. Walking home from Brandenburg Tor, we were shot at by children with explosives, accompanied by their parents who were following suit. Absolute chaos. Never again!

Before all the madness

Things that Germany does right… 

So having been here a while now,  I’ve compiled a list of things that the German nation have got totally going on. Naturally there’s an equally long list of things that the Brits do right that will follow but it’s always nice to start with the positive.

  1.  Booze – be it beer, wine or schnapps, Germany has got its alcohol down. I’m still convinced they add a little summin’ summin’ to it all though. Since moving here I’m out till dawn and never feel tried. Much unlike my normal self who would nearly always rather get chips and be in bed by 3.
  2. Fresh fruit and vegetables – the bio revolution is coming. There are so many rules and regulations surrounding fresh produce here, that their supermarkets (especially EDEKAs) look like a green grocers paradise. 
  3. Passive aggression – if there’s something that british people do well it’s passive aggression, but if there’s something Germans do better it’s just passive aggression. From sarcastically waving pedestrians across the street to acosting tube maintenence workers about the lateness of their train to work, this nation has it down to a T. 
  4. Clubs – an obvious addition to list, especially considering I like in a clubbing capital of Europe. The people in clubs and nicer and less gropey, the drinks are cheaper, the music is better. You just can’t beat a riverside Berlin bar on a warm summer day. ~Halloween~
  5. Scarfs – how to blend into German society as a woman. Wear a scarf. The great loops of puffy chiffon that hang under the chins of 90% of the female population here are a must, all year round. 
  6. Sandwiches – its all in the mayo and senf. The hot, fresh bread and layers of cheese and salad make for irresistible ubahn snacks
  7. Kebabs – it’s like the English curry, but it’s the German kebab. The large Turkish population is Berlin has made for some absolutely mind blowing kebab stands *See Mustafa’s Gemuese Kebab kiosk*~I live 5 minutes away from the best Kebab stand in Berlin~
  8. Student discounts – almost everything fun is cheap for students. And you don’t need to fork out for a bloody NUS subscription to benefit either! 
  9. Ice cream – a perk of being on the continent seems to be a constant supply of Gelato. Just like a’ mama used to make. 
  10. Public transport – this is a touchy subject. Berlin’s tubes and busses do not quite match the public transport in London but they do have trams (not that I know how to use them.) 
  11. Denglish – when you’re living in Berlin it doesn’t take long before you discover the wide variety of wonderful denglisch phrases that plague advertising boards and budget menus.  Not that I’m attacking the linguistic ability of the German nation! It’s just that combining the two languages makes for some clunky and wholy entertaining Werbungen. 
  12. Hipsters – I’ve been informed by several people that I’ve met in Berlin that being a hipster is not something to aspire towards.  However,  it seems that especially in places like Kreuzbrg (my borough) the population is 75% coffee drinking, beanie wearing, fish-net holey jeaned teenagers. ~Bloody Hipsters~

  13. MFLs – as I said before I would never dare come for the German nation’s  modern foreign language ability. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing. No matter how hard I try,  the waiter always seems to want to talk back to me in my mother tongue. Doesn’t stop me though. You learn to persist. 
  14. Non academic education – despite being enrolled in an internship that pays pennies, the non academic training system in Germany is just better than at home. Interns are respected. You are there to learn and they keep you’re education at heart, they’re not just abusing you as a former of cheap labor. 
  15. Bread – again this is both a negative and a positive because there’s nothing like peanut butter and jam on Hovis 50/50. In general though, the bread here trumps Britain. 
  16. Football – controversial I know, especially seeing as I haven’t been to a British football game in years. For a comprehensive argument in my favor read this article. ~HaHoHe Hertha BSC~
  17. Eurotrash pop – bring out the glow sticks, teenage ballads and angry rock pop. A lot of popular German music, to me, sounds like my old ipod shuffle. It’s just a steady playlist of Now CDs and Pop Princess 1-3. It’s fab. 
  18. Late night corner shops – In Germany these are called Spätis. Open until the early hours, and normally blasting Turkish rap into the streets, these bad boys will sell you a beer to (legally) drink out in the open as you walk between bars, back from work and to clubs. 
  19. Architecture – Berlin is a beautiful mixture of hungover Soviet boxes and old, high ceilinged flats. Modern meets old and everything is pure art. The skyline has nothing on Britain, but the buildings are magnificent. 
  20. Pfand – In Germany you can take used beer and plastic bottles back to the shops and receive vouchers in return for recycling them. Not only is this an eco-friendly,  money saving tip, it’s also a popular, legal way for homeless people to make money. Additionally, there’s a nation-wide program that encourages pedestrians to leave empty bottles outside bins, so homeless people can collect them safely and without needing to rummage through bins. Charity and beer. It’s a totally brilliant idea.

    There are of course many more wonderful things about Germany. This list could go on and on. But in the interest of brevity I’ll leave it there. Thank you Germany for all these beautiful things and much, much more. 

    100 Jahre UfA – Babylon Kino

    It’s a rainy Sunday in Kreuzberg and I’ve spent the day recovering from a messy weekend in bed. It is also the last day of the 100 year Ufa film festival at the Babylon cinema.


    For those who don’t know, Ufa was a production company, founded in the late 1910s, that financed, directed and released some amazing movies in Germany until the end of WW2. Classics that British audiences may know include Nosferatu, The Blue Angel (starring Marlene Dietrich) and Muenchhausen.

    Bildergebnis für ufa filme

    Lena was out with friends so I took it upon myself to visit the cinema alone. I am the kind of person who is perfectly happy in their own company and will happily visit museums, cinemas and exhibitions alone. Lucky for me I didn’t invite anyone anyway, because I kicked off by going to the wrong ‘Babylon Kino’.

    Bildergebnis für metropolis gif

    One speedy tube ride later, I snatched my ticket from the concierge and bolted for the door, making my seat with second to spare. The live organist began the score, and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis filled the screen. I’m only sad because I’ll have to wait some time before these classics appear on the silver screen again. Worth every penny, and every drop of sweat I shed running around Berlin in the rain.


    Hertha gegen Leverkussen

    20. Sept 2017

    It was electric. After a few beers and a wurst, Lena and I headed into the stadium with our new blue scarfs blending us seamlessly into the local supporters. Our seats were just over the Ostkurve, the heart of Hertha BSC. The fan group manager was banging a drum, screaming military style chants up into the crowd that moved as one and echoed.

    By the end we were singing along too.

    After Leverkussen were done rolling around in their crocodile tears, we emerged victorious. We stayed to clap the teams and headed home.


    Lena says that the banners at half time were protests against the football federation, who are planning to increase pay for bigger teams, pushing smaller teams like Hertha out of the league. I don’t think that could ever happen to Hertha. The fans were terrifying, fantastic and full of love all at once.


    The beautiful game indeed. We’ll be back.