So you're new here. You're walking around with your pint-sized Lonely Planet and you're feeling Berlinspired. You want to move here and Berlintegrate.
Well, first you gotta hold up, put your thing down, flip it and kindly reverse it. Because before you move, you should know what you're getting yourself into. You should know what kind of people you're getting yourself into. And no matter how much you think you're going to fully integrate yourself into the fabric of Berlin society, one fact remains: you will always be an expat. You're going to end up getting to know the expat world a lot better than the German one.
So after you're done visiting the Reichstag, eating currywurst and wandering around Lidl looking for Angela Merkel, here's a little list of the kinds of expats you may end up meeting:
The One Obsessed with Full Immersion
Good luck ever hanging out with this expat! Full immersion friends have a hard time answering your calls because they're just so, you know...immersed. Some of them won't even speak English because their language instructor told them not to. Advice: just wait. Full-immersion is a phase that happens during the beginning of almost every jaunt across the pond. Eventually, they'll get frustrated and overwhelmed and want to gab about the latest Modern Family episode with someone who understands irony and sarcasm.
The One Who's Always Out
You get approximately 15 Facebook invites from this expat every day. They can't hang out tonight because they're listening to an Afro Klesmer band, attending the launch of a new gay magazine, having a midnight pillow-fight at Brandenburger Tor and then playing Wii Sports with 15 of your other friends. You should go, but it's -5 and there's a new episode of Parks and Recreation you want to download and you're generally too lazy to do anything in the winter.
The One Who's a DJ
Basically the same as above, except the invites are for concerts at Berghain and there's no question they're snorting mountains of coke. Also: this Portlandia clip.
The One Who's Gay
This expat is gay and no one seems to care, no mater how much they try to shock people with their crazy sex stories. Berlin has been gay since before it was cool, so hush now child. We're all very happy for you, even though we're bad at expressing it. Now please come out to your parents.
Oh...my god. Can this expat please document my life? Clearly I need to read-up on things like white balance and exposure because my photos look like they were taken by an early 90's webcam. These people are living a more charmed, aesthetically-beautiful life than you and I.
The Compulsive Liar
The Self-Loathing American
DRONES! Nestle is force-feeding toxins to babies! Israel is a racist tumor that must be cut off! Coca-Cola is forcibly sterilizing African women! Wal Mart will enslave us all! Okay, so they're probably right about that last part, but everything else this expat says makes a mockery of the liberal causes they try so hard to champion. They haven't lived in the States for 10 years but still believe they can speak authoritatively about how backwards and narrow-minded everyone who lives there is. They'll never go back because they've reached the unshakable conclusion that living in Europe is morally-superior. I actually don't mind these people at all, because some of them are really knowledgeable. But it's like, really? You're NEVER going to go back? You don't miss Hulu and Whole Foods even a LITTLE bit?