I’m loving Berlin for 2 main reasons: it’s student-budget friendly and Berliners walk fast! That equation equals myself as a Londoner easily adapting into a new city I’ve barely spent 24hrs in. Of course there are lots of other reasons to love Berlin. And as the hours go by, something new is added to my mental list.
Since I’m in Berlin for a “long weekend”, I decided to use my trip as “research” for an essay on the Media and Globalisation I’ll be writing this term. It didn’t take very long to observe traits of globalisation in the city that was until 25 years ago divided between communist East and democratic West. For a start – everyone speaks English. However the most symbolic observation of globalisation I made was during my walk around Friedrichshain without a map or GPS. After hours walking, I began to feel a sense of hopelessness that I may have to ask someone for directions because, dear I say it, I was lost!
But then, through the mist of the dark evening, I saw a glowing yellow “M” and I felt a sense of relief! Finding a McDonald’s meant I was found; I could use the free wifi to access the internet/GPS, I could buy food (not that I like McD’s but for survival sake) and I could use the toilet… All without demolishing my pride – my sense of independence, by asking someone for directions (help)!
I obviously won’t use my personal experience of how the globalisation of McDonald’s saved me from being lost, in my essay. But I think it’s interesting how commercial brands become symbols of “trust” especially when we’re in a foreign country. If you had to choose between someone in India offering you water from the tap or a bottle/can of Coca-Cola – you would most probably choose Coca-Cola even if you have personal reasons for not liking the brand.
Anyway, globalisation aside, I observed the wonderful quickness Berlin has to offer with an evening at “Urban Spree Gallery” before heading to for a house party and sampling delicious Kurdish soup. And ending the night (or rather beginning the morning) dancing to house music in a quant club the size of my living room…
I ♥ Berlin… So far!
What are some of your observations on globalisation?… Leave your ideas in the comment box x