A Comprehensive List of Some Differences Between Berlin and Los Angeles
1. Groceries are incredibly cheap!
At home, I was paying around $20 a week for groceries, which is an incredible feat in LA, a notoriously expensive city, especially since I did cook a lot. But even then, in Berlin, I was paying around 10 or so euros a week for things like toast, eggs, pasta and sauce, cheese, yogurt, and normal things like that. The produce, I’ll admit, is not A+ like you’d get in California, but it’s not terrible by any means. I’m definitely not the best chef on the planet, but I survive on pasta and hard boiled eggs for the most part, and in Berlin, this was way more affordable, giving me more money for ~fun things~.
2. Beer is actually cheaper than water.
A half liter of beer can be as cheap at 0.85 euros in the grocery store, while that much water is by far more expensive. The tap water is totally safe to drink, though, so I didn’t find myself buying water very much. I had a little trick when I went out to clubs, where the water is more expensive, since they give you a bottle and not a cup of tap water. Right when I got there, I’d just get a beer, and then when I’d finished it, just refill it with water at the spouts that a lot of clubs have for this reason. I stay hydrated and don’t break the bank!
3. Public Transportation?
Hailing from the land famous for it’s lack of public transportation and abundance of traffic, the notion of busses and trams and trains was absolutely foreign to me. How do they work? Does somebody drive them? Why am I always lost? What’s the difference between the bus (only on the west side of Berlin), tram (East side), UBahn (underground-- sometimes) and SBahn (Schnellbahn-- raised above the streets, sometimes)? Again, why am I always lost?
Baffled as I was, there is something nice to reading a book on the way to work, not having to control a vehicle through traffic. You still have to remember when to get off, though.
4. Restaurant Service
This actually speaks for most of Europe, actually, and I like this way a lot better, but your waiter or waitress won’t bother you. If you want to order, you flag them down and ask. East Berliners are known for being really mean and feisty, and I saw this the most when I went out to eat. It’s nothing like eating in America, where your waiter is at your table every 10 seconds refilling your water and calling you honey. No, here, they’ll shoot you a look as if you’re bothering them when you flag them down. Honestly, I’m not offended or anything, they’re really busy, and that’s just how they treat everybody! I hope. Hopefully I’m not an annoying American, oops.
5. But overall, the people are way more open. They’ll help you if you’re lost. They don’t care if you’re wearing your pajamas on the street. They don’t really judge, which is such a freeing feeling that makes me want note Berlin as one of the best places ever.
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hi! I'm Veronica, and I'm a communications/creative writing major from the University of Southern California. I love comedy, writing, and meeting new people! I'm a self-identified cat person, yet love dogs too.</p>