Why do people keep staring at me in Berlin?

338 posts in this topic

TTers ,

 

Please explain what I have "moved" myself into:

 

I have been living in Berlin for 3 weeks now. I have heard that Berlin is an "international" city, so why is it that every time I leave the house there is someone staring at me? This has happened every single day, any time I am out, to the point that I'm getting a bit freaked out about it. I had experienced this when I lived in Munich in 2005, but not half as much as I do here in Berlin.

 

Physically:

I dress pretty conservative and I do not wear any "bling" really, but I do wear stud earrings. I don't go for the "housecoat" or "grunge" look, but I do wear nicer clothes and always dress smart. I'm pretty polished, as I do wear makeup.

 

This is 2009 and I am wondering if it is because I am black (which I haven't really seen very many of since I've arrived, they've gotta be around here somewhere) or if it is because I am their physical perception of an American. (which doesn't make sense to me because, but perhaps to some one else)

 

I am guaranteed to hear 2 things on any occasion that I leave the house, "schwarze" and "Amerikänerin".

 

I am stared at by many people (not just one) all the time, this s$%t is freaking me out!

 

PLEASE ADVISE.

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Many at the same time? every time?

 

I went to Kaiser's 20 mins. ago and the cashier stared at me for almost a minute, a long stare.

1 minute doesn't seem like a long time, but if you look at your watch's second hand for 1 minute, to have someone stare at you that long is strange. I had to say "hallo", because it was so uncomfortable.

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Meerik-

 

I wish the case were closed, but to be stared at for 3 weeks and every time you leave the house (daily) would freak anyone out. Oder?

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Stare back. Always works. Make a game out of it and when they look away yell "I WON!"

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If you don't wear a big paw on your back (or other assorted "German attire"), they will stare, regardless of the color of your skin. Make a bunch of small talk... they will think you are crazy and therefore avert their gaze. ;)

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What's so freaky about making small talk? You're American, right?... it's what we do. Or are you trying to integrate? If so, wear The Paw proudly and stare back. :lol:

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This has nothing to do with small talk, as in America someone that eventually stared at you to death would say something to you.

 

I also question whether it be safe or not to start small talk with so many on people on the street, after all they are the one's staring at me.

 

It just smacks me as strange to hear clearly "american" or "black" in german- every single time I am out. This is no exaggeration, that is why I am actively replying. That is strange to me or maybe it is me that is strange...

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If you look mildly different than the vast majority and dare to stand out you will be stared at. Been there many times.

I know, it's hard, but try to ignore it or do as I did many times, asking the ones who stare "may I help you?"...

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It's not a race thing, but a German thing. Stare back, cock your head to the side, and start laughing to yourself after giving them a once-over. They will avert their eyes, embarrassed. Guaranteed.

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If you don't wear a big paw on your back (or other assorted "German attire")...

Is this about the weird Jack Wolfskin fetish that 99% of Germans have? Cause I been tryin' to figure that one out.

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People always stare at me as well. I thought it might be the red hair or the pale skin, but then again, that just makes me look Irish, perhaps even German. No, I'm pretty sure that Germans are just inquisitive people and they generally like to stare. Oh, and men in general like to stare at women. Just an observation! ;)

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