I am African (Nigerian), I just moved to Berlin, what am I supposed to look out for to blend in?


  • 6
    I'd look out for my purse, my phone, plus a job and appartment outside of Berlin.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop wtf ? 😂😂😂😂 Why ?
  • 14
    @zombieleet Everyone except Berlin's inhabitants thinks it's a shithole, and Berlin's inhabitants are why. :)
  • 14
    From a non-german perspective;
    The key to German's friendship is time. Your character, your hobbies, your looks, none of it matters. They consider you a friend if they know you long enough and have hung out with you frequently.
    Which also means you come across weird combos in a circle, sometimes even unacceptable ones.
    So if you want to fit in, say yes to invitations from people you like, (colleagues, classmates, neighbors, etc) and you're likely to meet their circle of friends.
    Also, Berliners tend to be full of themselves as a defense mechanism, so consider it natural. Overfriendliness is considered a con man's act.
    Do not start a random conversation with strangers.(unless you assume they're turk or arab. Migrants are often friendly) Basically be very individualistic and avoid conversation and stick to your guns unless someone approaches you first. 🙂

    You could also find friends in bars and clubs. But then chances of meetings a psycho instead is high.
  • 4
    @NoMad glad to see some things are not Hamburg-Exclusive
  • 2
    @piratefox the way I see it, Hamburg may not have the ego issue, but it has a different issue, which is pretentiousness of the younger generations. I don't think it will pan out well in the years to come, when their comfort starts clashing with their sense of moral superiority. (Most of them are hypocrites, if you ask me.)
  • 3
    Oh, also, I forgot to mention a new trend:
    Germans are worldwide famous for complaining, (I personally like that tbh. "Fix what's broken" attitude) yet the younger generations have found a new loophole: they complain about others who complain. It's the most German 2.0 thing you'll ever see. But you'll probably be discouraged when what you consider a real issue gets ignored because some of them think you should not be complaining rather be thankful they let you in. 😐

    Anyways, I hope you find your own reasons to stay there. 🙂

    And don't forget to take vitamin D. Assuming your skin is darker than most, you won't get nearly enough vitamin D there. (either modify diet or take supplements)
  • 2
    @NoMad Mhh some I met were hypocrites, but we’d have to start a whole discussion about twitter etc etc to properly address the hypocrisy issue, to sum up let’s say I think logic, philosophy and debate should be mandatory classes in school! (Including my generation and myself, I sometimes realise my mistakes when studying said classes on my own after work due to the fact I realise I unwillingly used fallacies… then cringe and feel sorry)

    Unfortunately I saw the ego issue in Hamburg as well… one colleague I had especially went on and on and on with shit like: “I won’t come to eat with you cause I only eat German food, everything else is trash”, “we are in an international company but I will keep speaking German cause we are in Germany” and whenever you went at someone’s home, if they were German you could feel you were not wanted.

    From my little experience Berlin felt more chaotic but less subtle in these regards. I don’t want you? Cool, you are not invited.
  • 2
    @piratefox Fascinating! Your experience seems more diverse than mine, so I take your word for it. 🙂

    An American guy I knew in Hamburg actually argued against that point. He believed Germans were friendly and he had no issues fitting in whatsoever. So maybe there's a bit of selectivism?
  • 2
    @NoMad I think that’s very plausible, especially due to the fact it’s actually pretty easy to connect with Americans around the world due to their huge influence in art & media! It makes it way easier to make friends
  • 4
    @NoMad I don't think the young generation is hypocritic. They're just young - i.e. idealistic but clueless. The latter not out of stupidity, but lack of experience in life. Since they don't know how things work, they stick to how they think it ought to work.

    That's not new, that was the same in my generation, and in my parents' generation. I remember my ma saying about her youth, "not being commie at 20 means you have no heart. Still being commie at 40 means you have no brain."

    For what it's worth, they will make their experiences, and they will do their thing. After all, they're the future either way.
  • 3
    @piratefox Actually, that food aversion is pretty rare, and the only ones I've seen strictly sticking to German food are really old people.

    If you stay in Germany for a short time only, there's little point in learning German because by the time you'd get it, you'd already be leaving. Like, if you only stay for two years. However, if you settle permanently, you should learn the language of the country, no matter which country you go to.

    With the "speak German here" thing, there's also a hidden catch because he may just have been trying to hide his insecurity about his bad English. Most Germans except the old generations speak English, but many are not too comfortable.
  • 2
    If your worry is being treated as an outsourced dev rather than a native dev I might be able to help.

    I’m swedish, not german, but I beleive germany and sweden aren’t too far apart.
    At my company the main concern managers had when outsourcing generally (to india, africa or asia) was that they thought devs were used to an environment were managers are kings and punish emoloyees that show lacking skills or not finishing work on time.

    So they main worry was that these devs wouldn’t ask for help, wouldn’t tell anyone if a task was too difficult, wouldn’t ask questions about tickets and wouldn’t let us know if the task was likely to be delayed.

    So my advice is to be very honest about stuff you don’t understand and about how long you think a ticket will take.
  • 2
    @Fast-Nop wellll in my case it was 3 years max, so not worth to learn German anyway

    As for the food, unfortunately he was a ~30yo
  • 1
    I live in Germany; Stuttgart. Good fucking luck. You will need it. That said Berlin is more open than southern Germany.
  • 1
    Go friday to a club, get drunk, sunday you have friends.
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