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?
2. Auf Wiedersehen
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?
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
3. Too many
Which of the following is one of the largest sources of income for the city state of Berlin?
1. Creative industries
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
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?
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?
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.
Illustrations © Sally Wilde