Why do people keep staring at me in Berlin?

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Hey Europa - thanks for sharing your experience.

 

It is not something personally against YOU that Berliners stare at you. It's just people are much more outward with their curiousity and they are in NO way trying to offend you. I dress in REALLY bright colours and when I was in London I didn't even get a second glance but here in Berlin people are just not afraid to show that they are interested in you. People mean no offense at all so please do not take it.

 

I'll happily hang out with you anytime you want - that'll give them even MORE to stare about ;)

 

xxxxx

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TTers ,

 

why is it that every time I leave the house there is someone staring at me? I wear stud earrings, wear clothes, pretty polished, WEAR MAKEUP. I am black

I think it's the cosmetics, but I could be barking up the wrong tree...are you very athletic looking and work for Cirque Du Soleil INC?

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I've experienced the stares of two Diff. types . One is a kind of stare to interrogate ( long and drawn). Another is when I'm w/ diff color of opp.sex . A stare to challenge. The two have been by whites and Blacks. WTF? The close seating in UBAHN make it (I2I) naturally occuring but when Prolonged It just Intimidates.

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I don't know why most here are treating you with kid gloves. People are staring at you because you are black. Weather you all want to admit it or not, that is the case. Try walking down the street when you're with a partner who not black and watch at how much people stare then. It is because there are not that many blacks here and I think people want you to feel uncomfortable. Your gut feeling are normally right. If I were you I'd try Munich or Stuttgart as there are far more blacks there than here, and then maybe you won't get stared at so much.

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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.

Maybe you don't fit the stereotypical image of the black American person. They are probably saying "look at that black woman, do you think she's American". If you wore the bling, they'd know for sure so wouldn't have to say anything.

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It is because there are not that many blacks here and I think people want you to feel uncomfortable. Your gut feeling are normally right. If I were you I'd try Munich or Stuttgart as there are far more blacks there than here, and then maybe you won't get stared at so much.

Pure disgustingness. The German from Berlin recommends you move to Stuttgart or Munich because you're black. JEEZUS.

 

Bottom line is, as you've heard, Germans stare. After two years I still get stared at and talked about in my town. And I'm as interesting to look at as a cellophane wrapper. If you hear it mostly in your neighborhood they're just trying to place the face. I'd hope you don't hear anything out and about in Berlin.

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Weather you all want to admit it or not,

I hope you're not actually an English teacher.

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LeonG-

 

Very interesting point. My follow up question to that is why is it so important to figure out where some one comes from? I know that "virus" is rampant here as well.

 

Bohemka-

I get it mostly in Prenzlauer berg. I actually heard someone yell out "schwarze" when I walked in the door in one of the "top ten bars " in p-berg Saturday night. Afterwards having a couple sit next to me and discuss how I could possibly afford such expensive clothes (natürlich auf Deutsch). Oh, What type of work could I possibly do to have these things?

It is a reality and most of it I have not let bother me as I was born in The States, but the constant staring...i guess, I would like to know why people are looking.

 

Englishteacher-

 

Munich, been there done that!

 

Are there really not many 'blacks' or 'Africans' here? This is interesting.

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Afterwards having a couple sit next to me and discuss how I could possibly afford such expensive clothes (natürlich auf Deutsch). Oh, What type of work could I possibly do to have these things?

You should have told them 'by pimping white women and selling crack'.

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it's not that difficult to bear. I've done it in Africa where I stuck out but I used it to my advantage and didn't snivel. There isn't anything one can do about their skin colour so you have to make the most of it and not live in a dodgy area. Towns in Germany near american bases are always good if you want to "fit in".

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The U2 is the stare train. East Berliners always stare more not used to Wessies yet. Berliners hate foreigners. Older women particularily like to stare at younger women sometimes make you feel like they fancy you just jealous of the Junge Frau. By the way that's an insult if they call you Junge Frau. The best tip I agree is to laugh aloud directly at them and walk away but most important don't forget to look them up and down before you laugh. Berliners don't generally like foreigners I wouldn't say in particular it's a skin colour thing.

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Techsmex-

 

I don't get it...

Thanks for making word salad out of my post though.

Juat trying to find a reason besides the obvious...being black in Germany. I had a black amigo who got confronted by a staring drunken german and his staring dog, trying to convince his dog to simmer down. He kept telling his dog that my buddy was a 'nice' schwartze, 'gut black'. I felt like punching him in the face, but I just asked him what his problem was. My friend ignored him (wiser than me).

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it's not that difficult to bear.

I agree, I went bearing the other day and caught a huge one out in the woods.

 

 

The U2 is the stare train. East Berliners always stare more not used to Wessies yet. Berliners hate foreigners. Older women particularily like to stare at younger women sometimes make you feel like they fancy you just jealous of the Junge Frau.

Wow, 4 generalisations in one sentence, nice going smurf. BTW, did you know that all Germans eat sausages?

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I have not bothered reading at the replies but just wanted to say that Germans do tend to stare more than usual. Do not worry too much about it.

 

Berlin is an awesome city with some very cool and down to earth people. You will love it here especially when the weather is this fantastic.

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I feel discriminated against, I want to be stared at more. No fair!

 

Incidentally you do realise that continental Europeans stare at absolutely everybody all of the time yeah?

It's the law.

 

Perhaps you have really bad dress sense or good. Just smile, it doesn't need to be a drama unless you wish to make it one.

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I am also a black American who has just moved here to Berlin (3 weeks ago). I probably also get some looks on a daily basis, but I'm too busy with my day to be bothered. I've got a child that I'm usually taking care of when I'm out and about...so I can't worry about people and their ignorant thoughts or mumbled comments.

 

I do agree that you should stare back...it ALWAYS works...if you're feeling bold, take out your mobile phone, take a picture and then laugh at the picture while you're still in front of them, this I'm sure will get the embarrassed German reaction and put an end to the uncomfortable stares ...

 

If you would like to contact me sometime, I'm happy to meet up as it's always nice to exchange stories with someone who knows where you're coming from...

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trollydolly-

 

Perhaps you should read the thread first, then reply.

 

The very cause of me posting this question, is the drama itself. I'm merely asking why I was so "fortunate" to be chosen for the play.

 

I've gone out with my German friends and they have noticed it too, because it's excessive. It's like I'm a f%$%g celebrity.

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