1) Exotic Animals: London seems to be full of them – from statues of lions to the painted elephants they’ve recently plonked around the city. In Berlin, we only get bears.
2) Use of escalators: In London, you stand on right and walk on the left. There is also a system for the trains – you let everyone get off before you get on. In Berlin, it’s whatever, which means that you spend a lot of time faffing around people getting in your way. It makes you consider how on earth the Germans got a reputation for being efficient and systematic!
3) Space: To be fair, Berliners probably don’t have a system for the above because it isn’t nearly as crowded. In Mitte, you can sometimes find yourself on a street with no-one else on it but yourself, which is a far cry from the streets of London where you’re lucky if you can find an inch of pavement to put your toe on.
4) Beautiful people: London has more. At least, if they’re not more beautiful, they are more fashionable. Here the fashion is limited to boho-chic and punk and people actually try to look like tramps.
5) Credit cards: In London you can use them to buy a penny sweet or a McDonald’s as well as to pay your cabbie. No-one bothers with cash, which is reflected in the fact that when you want to withdraw some, the cash machine asks you whether you would like £10, £20 or £50. Here, the cash machine asks you whether you want €300, €500 or €1000. That’s because even when you buy over €1000 of furniture from some shops, they refuse to accept credit cards.
Still in the swing of things from London, I used my EC card to buy a pack of plasters from Rossman yesterday and the woman actually tutted and gave me a dirty look! And it’s not even a credit card, it’s electronic cash!!!
Despite all these differences, whilst I was there I felt a twinge of homesickness for Berlin…here’s a song to express my feelings: