Your Flight From 2012 Is Now Ready For Boarding

What do you mean? Berlin’s party joke phantom airport may be opening after all?

Airport

Too bad I didn’t keep our plane tickets from 2012 as souvenirs. They showed us departing from Los Angeles (LAX) and arriving at Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), which was just about to open. But the launch, already delayed the previous year, was again called off at the last minute. So we landed instead at the charming but small Tegel airport (TXL) that dates back to the early Cold War…

To pessimists, BER symbolizes Germany’s bad developments. Its highly publicized bureaucratic and engineering fiascoes have dented the country’s former reputation — not always entirely flattering — of being relentlessly meticulous and punctual. The subtext is that Germany, whether it’s building airports or algorithms, is increasingly leaving economic dynamism to others, especially China.

To optimists, this too is part of Germany’s long historical arc to “normality.” Germans today are more relaxed about their national identity and place in the world than they’ve ever been. That explains why they’ve also been nonchalant about BER’s travails. The truth is, many Germans have secretly been savoring the airport headlines as a font of gossip. Many an awkward dinner party has been saved by boozy debates about whether humans would set foot on Mars before disembarking at BER, or whether it would be more cost-effective to rebuild the capital near a working airport.

City Of Berlin To Be Torn Down And Moved To A Functioning Airport Somewhere Else

Well, not quite yet. But that would certainly be cheaper in the end.

Airport

Here’s the latest on Klaus Wowereit International:

Plagued by a series of construction problems, the Berlin Brandenburg Airport is years behind schedule and billions of euros (dollars) over budget. Lawmaker Jens Koeppen said in an interview published Sunday that all options should be considered, including building an entirely new airport.

“If there are problems that can’t be solved, and that’s clearly the case, then one needs to admit defeat and get off the dead horse.”

I Thought He’d Never Leave

Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit (SPD) will finally step down on 11 December, after thirteen years in power. Damn. That’s longer than the Third Reich lasted.

Klaus

And talk about chuzpe. This guy took it to a whole new level (just like he took building airports to a whole new level). He’s leaving now of his “own free will.” Before his cronies get around to tossing him out first, in other words. Even the Berlin SPD crowd has finally figured out that Berlin doesn’t “work” because of Wowereit, it works despite him.

Hey, lieber ein Ende mit Schrecken als ein Schrecken ohne Ende. The Party Klaus is finally over.

Sein drittes Problem: die Stadt. „Arm, aber sexy“, wie der Bürgermeister sie eins beschrieb, das reicht in Wahrheit keinem Berliner mehr. Ihre Stadt, so stellten sie fest, funktioniert nicht wegen Wowereit, sondern trotz Wowereit.