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06 June 2009 @ 10:01 am
Alternate Realities  
On Thursay I was on the tram, crossing Alexanderplatz. It's a rather lively square in the midst of Berlin, so the tram was going rather slowly to begin with. Still, it had to ring a young girl, maybe 16 years old, off the tracks. That happens a lot there, so not really all that noteworthy so far.

However, as the tram was speeding up again (if you want to call it that), I heard some old lady mumble something that sounded a bit like "negro". Very much not the kind of language I'm used to, so I paused for a moment and then decided I must have misheard. But then: "The whole jungle is coming here." Obviously, that old lady turned hag really was spewing that dirt.

To summarize my initial reaction with "yuck" would be just the tiniest bit of an understatement.

Then however, the feeling quickly turned into pity. You see,
according to statistics some 14% of Berlin's population are foreigners. Of course, not all of them are "non-white". But then, there are plenty of Germans who aren't either, so let's just go with that number. Since the girl in question was about as dark as, say, Jennifer Beals we'll have to allow a lot of leeway anyway. So, really, that person must perceive herself to live in a rather hostile environment pretty much all the time. I don't suppose people like Obama are going sooth her worries either.

Boy, am I ever glad my world is so much different from hers...