Sad Google Worker: Berlin Dumped You. Now What? A Survival Guide

By Allison Krupp . October 25, 2018

Oh shit! The gentrification gods have spoken, and it’s a solid NIX to the Google campus that was meant to shadow over Kreuzberg, pompous and sure of both itself and Berlin’s shiny and bright technological future.

To me, as an American freelance writer who is, in every sense Part Of The Problem (saying it before you do!), this Google campus was a direct inverse to every last bit of volatile freedom this city might represent. It meant thousands of techie-bros crowding into our kneipes and leeching out every last bit of character. It was meant to be an “incubator for startup companies,” as if our phones need another fucking app.

But enough about me! You’re a Google employee and you’re not sure what to do now that Berlin’s booted you out with a firm Doc Marten and latched its rickety door behind you. Here’s a survival guide.

What you thought you’d get:

House of Red Doors

Top-notch clubbing, dank kneipes, long weekends of never-ending parties that reaffirm what it means to be alive.

Instead, try this!

17-dollar cocktails at a quasi-1920s “speakeasy” in whatever city you fall back into. Nothing like that bartender’s faux-Mid-Atlantic accent, not to mention the pin-up girl decor in the bathroom, to really set the stage for a wild, multi-hundred-dollar evening!

What you thought you’d get:

AlienFeaturedFriends and lovers from all over the world who’ve flocked to Berlin for its particular brand of weird, who lend you new insights and demand more than your initially, perhaps, small-minded opinions.

Instead, try this!

Idk, I heard your friend Brad went to India once and has a few opinions about various meditation apps.

What you thought you’d get:

BERLINBIKE-1A city for pedestrians, first and foremost: for hours of walking and bicycling and digging into every little nook and cranny this place has to offer. Finally, no car necessary! Nothing like exercising on your way to work, or while stumbling home at 4 a.m. atop glittering, rain-coated cobblestones and feeling VERY CLOSE to ecstatic.

Instead, try this!

Yum, every Google office has an on-site gym! Stare at the sad sack reflection of your dying body as you lift weights and inhale stale air, while the world spins along without you outside.

What you though you’d get:

grlitzer-park-berlin-loves-you-1A strangely high salary that would ultimately push up Berlin’s already-rising rents and force more and more artists and writers and musicians and not to mention Germans and Turkish people who’ve been here forever to begin with, to outer-ends of the city, or elsewhere.

Instead, try this!

A salary within a city like London, New York, San Francisco, etc. A salary that’s built by and for the city. A salary that allows six-dollar pieces of toast and ten-dollar beers and multi-thousand-dollar rents.

Thanks for knocking on our door, Google. It was a stellar trick. Now, you go back to doing what you do best—taking over the world—and leave us to our strange, bizarro-world playground which, incidentally, will probably be destroyed without your help, anyway.
Oh well. I guess we’ll stay for one more drink. 


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