Friday, 15 February 2013

22: Sallowism for intermediates

If you want to be a good foreigner in Berlin, you have to be a good Sallowist. Being a good Sallowist requires work.

It's not enough to have a stack full of Gramsci books, a fridge with only protein or boots still wet with the sweat of yesterday’s demonstration. It's not enough to squat housing with wet pipes or have a Mac with funny stickers. It's not enough to talk abstractly about people whom you have never met in different continents. This is beginner's Sallowism and all very well. In fact, you can read more about it here



Sallowism is a liberal plague that afflicts freely in Berlin. It's a nostalgia for something never experienced that harps back to left-foot only shoes and rationed electricity - only Sallowism believes more in aesthetics than ideology. Sallowism has a nostalgia for late 20th Century Communism, only in Western European capitals.  Sallowism remembers posters and slogans, but forgets prisoners and The Road of Bones. Sallowism lives and breathes off disagreement. 

Like any religion, Sallowism has a hierarchy. If you have been in Berlin a while it's time to upgrade to Intermediate Sallowist Status (ISS).  

Join this popular way of life among arty Berliners and if you master it, the keys to the city will be yours. Women and men will be spellbound. Everything you say will be trumpeted like a freedom broadcast in a war zone.  Alcohol will flow freely (and for free) through your veins.

Here are a few pointers.

1. Make sure at least 75 per cent of your furniture is recycled, ripped and has spent a trunk of its adult life outside in damp conditions.
2. Wet chairs, tables or old, chunky television sets are ideal. Take them, add them to your collection.
3. Repeatedly visit abandoned factories, neglected old swimming pools and junkyards. Breweries are also worthy sites. Post ALL the photos across dozens of social networks. Comment on wall texture, atmosphere and space.
4. Own at least one dog who can open beers and bark at the Ordnungsamt.
5. Never learn German.
6. Only pay for public transport if it is totally necessary. 
7. Mumble political slogans to old conservative looking ladies on public transport with passive aggression.
8, Always carry a backpack with miscellaneous objects (including one vegan sandwich)
9. Believe the world can be saved through aid and the white man's burden.
10. Read Tip
11. Pretend you read Der Spiegel, if only to point out how conservative and obsessed with Nazis it is.
12. Drink lots of bubble tea.
13.  Eat soup (separately from bubble tea).
14. Make funny outfits and banners to be paraded at demonstrations and hung from your window or on telegraph poles.
15. Only use a lighter, your teeth or your eyeball to open beers. 
16. Carry hundreds of keys on a chain that dangles from your trousers.
17. Own a Scooby doo van.
18. Disown the Gregorian calendar.
19. Dance feverishly. 
20. Try to do as little as possible.
21. Always discuss how expensive rents are.
22. Accept absolutes.
23. Visit Beelitz
24.  Wear cardigans and of course, hats.
25. Drink Club Mate.

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