I Love You, You Big Dummy

Come to Berlin Country! Come to where the City Tax is!

City Tax

The city of Berlin loves youz tourists, honest it does. Sort of. In fact, the local yokel politicians here love youz guys so much that they feel the pressing need to show you just how much that is. And it’s a full 15 percent more than any of you out there were expecting. And that’s 15 percent more for getting absolutely nothing in return!

That’s right. Starting next month you will be permitted to pay an additional 15 percent City Tax on top of your hotel room bill here, at no extra cost to them and absolutely not free of charge for you! Now that’s what I call big City Tax hospitality!

I love you, you big dummy. You big dumb tourist. Book your flight to Berlin now!

“Es ist absolut nicht rechtssicher und wird ein bürokratisches Verwaltungsmonster sein.”

German Of The Day: Zweckentfremdungsverbot

Now that’s a German word for you. And no, not just because it has Verbot on the end of it, although that certainly helps.

SPD

Zweckentfremdung means misappropriation, and in this case the Verbot has to do with using apartments for something they were not meant to be used for; for renting. Well, actually, this particular misappropriation Verbot means renting them at a high rate to those awful and dreadful tourists who come to Berlin for a limited time instead of renting them out for much, much less to people who will be paying that much, much less for a much, much longer time. Which is, uh, better.

You guessed it, we’re back here in Berlin again and trying to rent your property for the most the free market will give you is an absolute sin in these parts and must be stopped immediately. And that’s what the Berlin SPD is now trying to do with this here new-fangled, old school Socialist-type Zweckentfremdungsverbot. And you and I both know that it will be yet another roaring success. Until it backfires and gets quietly repealed a few years down the road again, that is.

Experten setzen große Hoffnungen auf das Verbot. Denn dann sind Vermietungen an Touristen und Firmen künftig nicht mehr möglich.

PS: That picture up there kills me, too. Being willing to pay 500 euros (roughly $675) to someone who finds an apartment for you is considered a complete Skandal here so that’s why “the state” needs to jump in and take those 500 euros from somebody else to pay, so-to-speak, only it will be more like 5000 euros then, which is then OK.

Yuppie Scum Need Not Apply

What would you do if hords of uninvited strangers suddenly started pouring into your city for temporary visits in order to pump boatloads of money into your local economy? What would you do if affluent and upwardly mobile young expats moved into your neighborhood(s) and started opening businesses, buying homes and increasing the property values there?

Gentrification here? Nein, danke!

Why you’d freak the hell out and demand that they get the freak out of Dodge by sundown, wouldn’t you? Oh, you wouldn’t? Then you’re not German. Worse still: You don’t live in Berlin and you’re not a Berliner, either.

Viva the Hipster Antifa Neukölln or something.

“The anti-foreigner thing started as a bit of a joke but now it is much more serious. This is critical, it is sneaking into mainstream thinking – it’s almost being perceived as normal to dislike tourists.”

The German Petty Bourgeoisie At Its/Their Best

One thing that all Germans have in common is their absolute disgust for all things kleinbürgerlich (petty bourgeois). You know; being small-minded, scrupulously orderly, old fashioned, reactionary, banal, provencial, dilettante and, well, “square?”

Another thing that all Germans have in common is that they are small-minded, scrupulously orderly, old fashioned, reactionary, banal, provencial, dilettante and, well, “square.” You know, kleinbürgerlich?

Take this latest tourist-bashing craze going on by the Enlightened Left in Berlin (the way coolest, least kleinbürglich city in Germany), please:

“Noisy tourists go home!” reads one hostile sign in the eastern district of Friedrichshain. “Berlin doesn’t love you,” say stickers plastering traffic lights in nearby Kreuzberg.

A gallery in an area known for its trendy bars featured for months a scrawled sign in the window: “Sorry, no entry for hipsters from the U.S.”

Being petty bourgeois here isn’t pretty, folks. It never has been. But it sure is petty. And somebody’s got to do it. I just wish they’re weren’t so many volounteers here all the time.

German Tourists Avoiding Greece This Year For Some Reason

German tourists may gladly zip off to some of the most dangerous places on earth you can imagine, but not even they are crazy enough to be heading down to Greece any time soon.

“The Germans aren’t coming here this year but there’s no reason for them to be afraid,” one Greek guy said. “Honest,” he should have added.

“We don’t have a problem with the German people, only their government,” another guy added, who forgot to say “Really.”

“That’s just the way Germans are: if there’s trouble in some country, then Germans just don’t go there on their holidays.”

Phase-Out Gentrification Now!

Other cities would love to have a problem like this. Berlin takes in 20 million tourist overnight stays a year, and the number keeps rising. Investors and property owners keep rolling into the Stadt like, well, investors and property owners.

But for many Berliners, this is a crisis or something. This means that their city is in the process of becoming something called bürgerlich (a German cuss word meaning middle-class or bourgeois). Berlin is becoming gentrified (meaning upgraded, by the way), which is absolutely unacceptable because, well, many Berliners don’t want to upgraded, thank you.

You see, bourgeois gentrification ist deshalb (is on these grounds) unacceptable because it is a sign of economic dynamism in a city that has long been thought not to have any. Gentrification means that money is coming into town, that Berlin is becoming more attractive for that tasteless middle-class ambience so dreaded here, that the self-contained and highly subsidized island of Berlin is suddenly becoming a place of social mobility where middle-class lifestyle visions (which none of you out there share) are now apparently easier to realize here than elsewhere in the country.

German Gentrification is bad for Berlin, in other words. It has to be phased-out, just like German nuclear energy was. And don’t get them wrong or anything, it’s not because these Berliners are being intolerant here or anything. It’s just that they are being intolerant here – and acting more bourgeois than the bourgeoisie they despise.

Wer hätte sich träumen lassen, dass ausgerechnet das arme Berlin einmal ein Gentrifizierungsproblem haben würde? Es könnte schlimmere Nachrichten geben.