Bin ich ein Berliner?

‘Am I a Berliner?’ is not a question the duck and I ever ask ourselves, because the simple answer is ‘no’. We have neither lived in this iconic city long enough to declare ourselves true people of Berlin (and there might even be a rule that you need to be born and grow up in Berlin to ever be considered a true Berliner), nor are we jelly donuts. We also didn’t know that jelly donuts aren’t even called Berliner here (as they are in other parts of Germany) until several months into our Berlin (non-)adventure. They are called Pfannkuchen, ‘pancakes’. And this is just one of the many things that we didn’t know about before moving here. In fact, the duck and I still get confused on a regular basis when we hear yet another unknown word, or one that has a completely different meaning outside of Berlin.

Duck with confusing donut

Take the jelly donut, for example. Depending on who (and where) you ask, you might even be told that its rightful name is Kreppel, or is it Krapfen? Wait, are Krapfen filled? And didn’t I hear someone call them Faschingsküchle, ‘carnival cakes’, or is that another kind of pastry? If you are looking for answers to those questions, you will probably not find them here. Sorry. The duck and I have another question, though: Continue reading



This is what the duck and I do best. We love sleeping. I would even go as far as calling us sleep pros. Whenever we go below seven hours a night, however, we feel as if our brains run at half speed the next day; we become clumsy(er than usual), have trouble speaking properly (not that that isn’t a problem sometimes irrespective of how much we slept), vacantly stare into the distance – in short, we turn into sleep zombies. It’s funny, actually, that the German word for ‘drowsy’ literally translates to ‘sleep drunk’, which probably is what the duck and I look like after we haven’t cought enough Zs for a week: Drunk zombies.
These days the duck and I are a bit busier than usual which means that we run the risk of zombifying ourselves every single day.
Whenever we talk to others about how we need our eight+ hours of sleep every night we get all kinds of reactions: Some people congratulate us on keeping healthy, others suggest we write ‘retirement home’ on our mailbox.¹ In Japan the predominant reaction we got was amazement. Considering how the duck and I can barely function with seven hours of sleep, we on the other hand find it amazing zombieduckthat many of our Japanese friends and acquaintances have told us that five hours of sleep per night are normal for them. I guess that explains why the duck and I have encountered so many people in Tokyo who have mastered the art of ending their train sleeping session at just the right stop.
We are not sure if it is possible to train our bodies to work on just five hours of sleep if we don’t have university entrance exams or an average of five hours of working overtime every day to push us… but maybe the duck and I are happier just wondering rather than actually figuring that out for ourselves. We’re keeping our fingers and feathers crossed that we shall never have to experience what sleeping less than five hours every night for a loooong period of time really feels like. If you know, please share!
And if you have any zombie-mode-prevention tips, please send those our way, too!

¹ This is a really ridiculous reaction, though, if you consider that, usually, the older you get, the less sleep you need.