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Monday, January 12, 2015

Die Hundescheiße

There are many social, occupational and bureaucratic issues facing someone who has recently moved to Berlin from another country.  Registering your residency, applying for a work permit, obtaining a tax identification number and opening a bank account...  There are many things to be considered, issues to be addressed and plenty of questions need to be asked.  But before you get started figuring out your new life in Berlin, the first question you will ponder is:  What is the deal with Die Hundescheiße?

Die Hundescheiße just might be the number one social issue effecting residents of Berlin, especially the Neukölln area.  Die Hundescheiße controls where you walk, where you go, what you wear, how you smell, who you visit , how you think and your disposition throughout the day!  Die Hundescheiße is both feared and respected!  What is Die Hundescheiße, you ask?  If you're not already aware, it's not a government agency or secret underground agency...  Die Hundescheiße literally means: The Dog Shit!

After spending any length of time walking around Neukölln, one can completely understand why Germans are obsessed with house shoes.  Die Hundescheiße comes in every size, shape and color imaginable...  It's location is splattered all over the sidewalks, bike paths and patches of Earth.  However, Die Hundescheiße is also discovered in strategic locations where one might least expect it.  Upon my arrival to Berlin in November, I thought residents passing one another refused to make eye contact with other people.   Later, I learned that they're not refusing to make eye contact, rather they are concentrating carefully on their environment.

If a error in judgement has been made and shoes have become contaminated, the worst thing you can do is panic!  Cobblestone streets and slippery conditions can make the situation worse, and panicking may result in a slip or fall where one is sure to discover additional loads with other body parts.

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