Just Another Alter Ego #5The Great Berlin Citizenship Test

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There are readers who have contacted the Urbanist Magazine and questioned the accuracy of the Great Dane’s writings about Berlin. Some have even called it bad fiction and a disgrace to Berlin, suggesting that he should “move his great Danish ass back home to the welfare womb where he was born.” Obviously, the Great Dane doesn’t appreciate such unfriendly attitudes. He wondered whether his critics even know what it means to be a real Berliner. What better way, it occurred to him, to distinguish the real Berliners from the fake Berliners, than to have a citizenship test?

The Great Berlin Citizenship Test

Are you smart enough to be a real Berliner?
(Some questions have more than one answer. But if you are a real Berliner, you already know this!)
What is essential for a real Berliner when going for a walk?
1. A pair of shoes
2. A cheap beer
3. A car

Who said: “Berlin ist arm, aber sexy”?
1. Someone incredibly wealthy
2. David Bowie
3. Berlin’s former mayor Klaus Wowereit

Who sets the price for a döner kebab in Berlin?
1. The mother of the brothers running the döner kebab stand
2. Supply and demand
3. It depends who is the current president of Turkey

What does a real Berliner say when leaving a Späti?
1. Ciao
2. Auf Wiedersehen
3. Tschüssi

Where in Berlin is it allowed to drink in public?
1. In your car
2. Everywhere: Drinking in public is a national heritage
3. On public transportation

What is the Berlin Wall?
1. An expression for the low Berlin minimum wage
2. A place to pee when you really have to
3. A wall that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989

What is the dress code for a real Berliner?
1. Black
2. Nothing too light
3. There is no dress code

What is the average number of dogs per person in Berlin?
1. Two: one large and one small
2. Unlimited
3. Too many

Which of the following is one of the largest sources of income for the city state of Berlin?
1. Creative industries
2. Tourism
3. Bavaria

Where does a real Berliner drive his bicycle?
1. On the sidewalk
2. On the bicycle path
3. In the middle of the road

How many bridges are there in Berlin?
1. Around 1.700
2. Around 1.100
3. Fewer than the number of lovers I have crossed

What is a “Kampfradler”?
1. A peace activist
2. An aggressive cyclist
3. A special division within the German transport police

Who was the governing mayor of Berlin in 2015?
1. Angela Merkel
2. Horst Seehofer
3. Michael Müller

What is a real Berliner’s attitude towards contemporary art?
1. A better question would be: What is art?
2. It’s bloody brilliant, that’s what it is
3. I want my money back

What can you find at Kantstrasse 101?
1. The monument of Herta Heuwer – the inventor of currywurst
2. The original copy of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason
3. Reality

What is a Great Dane?
1. A large German breed of domestic dog
2. Something almost impossible
3. A figure from your dreams

What is the number one Berlin tourist attraction?
1. A club
2. A bar
3. A Späti

What is a real Berliner’s greatest weapon when facing bureaucracy?
1. Patience
2. Anger
3. Black magic

How do you get an appointment at the Bürgeramt?
1. Pure luck
2. On the black market
3. Show up and waste your time

What is a real Berliner’s relationship to German schlager?
1. It’s flirt guarantee!
2. I love Hansi Hinterseer!
3. Have you seen my mommy?

What is Berlin’s greatest contribution to the world’s food culture?
1. The Döner Kebab sandwich
2. The Currywurst
3. The Berliner

Who is the greatest Berliner of all time?
1. Bushido
2. John F. Kennedy
3. Marlene Dietrich

What is the Third Reich?
1. A period of dictatorship in Germany from 1933 to 1945
2. The place where real Berliners go when they die
3. A precursor to the European Union

What is the official slogan for Sternburg Beer?
1. Merke dir – Sternburg Bier
2. Sternburg Bier – Trinke Eins, pisse Vier
3. Sternburg Bier – Gönne Dir

How does a real Berliner get into the club Berghain?
1. By being really drunk
2. By being very quiet
3. Real Berliners don’t go there

What does “Haste mal ne Kippe” mean?
1. Did you get a haircut?
2. Do you have a cigarette?
3. Please pass me the salt!

Where is the best place for a real Berliner?
1. In the stomach
2. In the cemetery
3. In front

Just Another Alter Ego is a series of articles about a bumpy road trip into an urban utopia: not one still to come, not one that someday may be, but one that already is the hard, thrilling and colourful hyperreality of life in Berlin.


read #6


Illustrations © Sally Wilde

The Great Dane

The Great Dane

The legend tells that the Great Dane was born deep in the wild unspoiled Scandinavian social democratic nature. Here he grew up developing superb attributes and a mighty compassion for people of all trades and kind – which some would call a bit naive. Since so many Great Danes are born, the Great Mother of the Welfare Womb has been forced to give each Great Dane a civic name to distinguish them from each other. The Great Dane on these pages was given the civic name: Steen Andersen. Besides being a Great Dane, Steen also has an ordinary everyday life as a cultural entrepreneur, writer, editor and artist. He even gives boring workshops, talks and lectures about it.

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