Tag Archives: old people

How to ride a Streetcar in Germany

Rules to look like a local in Germany on a streetcar:

1) If you are between the ages of 12 and 18, you must have a cell phone that is playing music. You will speak loudly and laugh at everyone you see.

2) If you are homeless, extremely aggressive, or drunk, you will sit next to the most innocent looking person on the tram and start to harass them.

3) If it is earlier then 10:00 am, you assume a glazed zombie look in your eyes and a severe frown.

4) If you are over the age of 60, please follow rule #3. Also, mumbling about “degenerate youths” and “foreigners” is acceptable.

6) If you are a university student, you must be reading something serious and look annoyed.

7) There is no smiling unless you are drunk, or under the age of 18.

8 ) If you are a tourist, you look around suspiciously whilst trying to ride the streetcar illegally. Inevitably, you will be caught and resort to your native tongue pleading that you are a tourist. This does not work.

9) If you are a ticket checker, you have a sadistic pleasure in demanding fines from tourists because this of course promotes the tourist industry in your wonderful city.

10) If you are a tram driver, you look to stop and start at unexpected times to make people fall over. Also, you never wait for a person running to catch the streetcar. Instead you wait until are an arms length away, and you close the door. You will then smile and wave while the helpless victim misses their 100 euro train ride and flight.

11) If you are under the age of 6, you must scream for as long as you can.

12) If you are sick, you will sneeze and cough on everyone within a 10 foot radius.

These are some rules for riding a streetcar in Germany.

Know of any others?



Filed under how to, insanity


I’m currently staying in a very small town in what was the old G.D.R. Things have progressed here, but not all too much either. For one, there isn’t a person in this town, except me, who is between the ages of sixteen and forty. This leads to some very boring evenings, and strange interactions.

My host family is very nice, and has literally accepted me as one of their own. The only problem is that I don’t feel like part of their family, but a guest. So, where I would normally say ‘no’ to something, I instead do the polite thing and go along with it. By agreeing to these conditions I’ve attended birthday parties where I don’t know anyone, wedding anniversaries with the same problem, and a festival with, what I was told, was the real Martin Luther. It was actually a bunch of locals dressed up in Medieval clothes.

You know those old people you see in films that just stare out the window for no reason?

Well, there’s about fifty of them here. Whenever I have to leave the house to get the groceries they all phone one another and gossip about the “new fella” in town. I’m pretty sure they call the cops too. Good thing for me there’s no police station in my town, or much of anything else for that matter. If my brief research is correct than I’m the first American to spend more than five minutes in this town since the second world war.

The good news is, is that I found an apartment in Halle. This is the largest city in the provence I’m in (Sachsen-Anhalt). I move in a week or two. I don’t mean to complain, but I’ve spent a month here and this town is draining my soul a bit. The school, the teachers, my host family, and the students are all very nice, but there is no possability of a social life here unless you have a car, which I don’t.

Needless to say, I’m happy to make the move, but that also means I’ll be making an hour and a half commute each way every time I need to come here. Oh well…

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Filed under complaining