What are immigrant friendly areas in Hamburg?

29 posts in this topic

I currently live in Blankenese-Hamburg, and although it's a pretty area I encountered much more racist incidents in 6 months than I had during 5 years of my life in London.

 

For example...

 - A lady (a complete stranger) was walking her dog, and we commented how cute the dog is in our native language - upon this, she remarked "Not for eating!" with a really shitty expression and walked away.   

 - A neighbor asked if we are cooking dog food for our dog. When I said no, she said our cooking smells terrible (like dog food), and that we should get an air extractor. We are Asian but we don't cook something that could smell particularly. She also came to our house once, demanding we ventilate the stair case regularly because it stinks - upon which I told her I don't think it's us, and thankfully she stopped.

 - The Same neighbor asked what our child's name is, and we had chosen a name that works both in our native tongue and German. She seemed slightly upset by this ("But that's a German name!").

 - Our landlord is being really unreasonable - when we reported a problem, he promptly threatened to withdraw the permission to keep our dog. I doubt he's so unreasonable to other inhabitants (mind you, it's not some shoddy slumlord type guy. He's rich/well-educated etc).

 

Anyways (maybe I needed to vent a bit), I'm considering moving to an area that's more immigrant friendly. We thought about Harburg but Harburg seemed a bit deprived compared to Blankenese. Are there relatively affluent areas that are immigrant friendly?

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Uhlenhorst and Winterhude come to mind...

 

nice, green, cafes and shops.

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I am afraid, if you do not adjust to German customs you will feel uncomfortable in the whole country. Most of what you describe is inappropriate in Germany regardless of your nationality.

 

30 minutes ago, dampstew said:

 - A lady (a complete stranger) was walking her dog, and we commented how cute the dog is in our native language - upon this, she remarked "Not for eating!" with a really shitty expression and walked away.   

Do not talk to strangers in Germany, do not comment on their animals, their looks or the books they are reading. This is rude.

 

31 minutes ago, dampstew said:

 - A neighbor asked if we are cooking dog food for our dog. When I said no, she said our cooking smells terrible (like dog food), and that we should get an air extractor. We are Asian but we don't cook something that could smell particularly. She also came to our house once, demanding we ventilate the stair case regularly because it stinks - upon which I told her I don't think it's us, and thankfully she stopped.

You should use air ventilation when you cook. When you fry something on your pan, I recommend to cover it, so oil and smoke will not spread all over the kitchen. Germans love Asian food (plenty of places even in small towns), but Germans do not like to smell the food of their neighbors. This is no-no, regardless if this is Dim Sum or Schweinebraten.

 

35 minutes ago, dampstew said:

 - Our landlord is being really unreasonable - when we reported a problem, he promptly threatened to withdraw the permission to keep our dog. I doubt he's so unreasonable to other inhabitants (mind you, it's not some shoddy slumlord type guy. He's rich/well-educated etc).

Why do you think so? There are many laws in Germany regarding dogs in apartments, this includes for example noise (the dog is not allowed to bark all day).

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Do not talk to strangers in Germany, do not comment on their animals, their looks or the books they are reading. This is rude.

She replied with an obviously racially charged, aggressive remark. I don't think that's ever acceptable. Would I be justified in remarking "Don't be a Nazi!" or something to anyone? I also have a dog, and lots of Germans talk to me and compliment on my dog. I would never reply with what is almost a racial slur.

 

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You should use air ventilation when you cook. When you fry something on your pan, I recommend to cover it, so oil and smoke will not spread all over the kitchen. Germans love Asian food (plenty of places even in small towns), but Germans do not like to smell the food of their neighbors. This is no-no, regardless if this is Dim Sum or Schweinebraten.

Again, it's one thing not wanting to smell the cooking. It's quite another suggesting that it smells like dog food. I'm also not convinced it's us - she claims the stair case smells, but there are two doors between our kitchen and the stair case which are always closed (our apartment doesn't have an extractor, just like hers doesn't). I have no issue people complaining genuinely about the smell. If they seem to make quick assumptions just because I look Asian, and then suggest that our food smells like dog food is offensive (and presumably she wouldn't think it was food, if we weren't Asian).

 

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Why do you think so? There are many laws in Germany regarding dogs in apartments, this includes for example noise (the dog is not allowed to bark all day).

He didn't refer to any dog related reasons - I had some issues completely unrelated to the dog (carpet disintegrating). His reply was "If you keep complaining about the carpet, I'll revoke the permission to keep the dog". That's grossly unreasonable and threatening if you ask me.

 

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18 minutes ago, yourkeau said:
56 minutes ago, dampstew said:

 - A lady (a complete stranger) was walking her dog, and we commented how cute the dog is in our native language - upon this, she remarked "Not for eating!" with a really shitty expression and walked away.   

Do not talk to strangers in Germany, do not comment on their animals, their looks or the books they are reading. This is rude.

 

I would think the particularly rude thing here is not approaching someone's dog in a friendly manner but receiving the racially charged "not for eating". It is actually the lady who is commenting based on looks in this example, isn't it? What is there to adjust in this? Especially, if this is unable in her culture, she shouldn't do it. Other than that, millions of Germans - like any nation- are able to express discomfort about anything without stepping into the racial zone this way and in my experience, many do talk to strangers or approach them anyway. 

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Maybe up by Harvesthude near the Musik Schule... they seem more used to high class East Asians there since more than a few are out and about the Musik Schule plus some of the flats are newer so less chance of bumping into grumpy old people who have been there for decades and can't stand anything new...

 

And in my building so few people seem to actually cook whenever one does it is really noticeable in the hallway and probably you are better off with a place with a vent.

 

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@zeino @dampstew: of course, such comments are extremely rude, no doubt. I just wrote what to do if you do not want to get upset in Germany. The number of assholes in this country is evenly distributed, so changing neighborhoods or cities is not going to change anything.

 

31 minutes ago, dampstew said:

His reply was "If you keep complaining about the carpet, I'll revoke the permission to keep the dog". That's grossly unreasonable and threatening if you ask me.

Maybe that is unreasonable in England, but in Germany... it's just typical Germans. Correct reply is: Machen Sie das! Ich habe Rechtsschutzversicherung. He can't revoke permission, so you threaten to sue him. That's it.

 

Germans love threatening, you will get used to it.

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Maybe that is unreasonable in England, but in Germany... it's just typical Germans.

@yourkeau I did notice people are generally trigger happy to threaten here, but it still seemed insane to me (threatening to evict someone is a crime in England AFAIK, and this really comes close to that IMO).

 

I do hope I can improve the situation by moving though, since I hear Blankenese is a pretty traditional area and there are very few immigrants (generally locals who live in area of high immigrant population tend to be more positive to immigrants, at least in London).

 

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1 hour ago, dampstew said:
10 minutes ago, dampstew said:

@yourkeau I did notice people are generally trigger happy to threaten here, but it still seemed insane to me (threatening to evict someone is a crime in England AFAIK, and this really comes close to that IMO).

 

No 1: You are not in England.

No 2: He doesn't threaten to evict you. 

 

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She replied with an obviously racially charged, aggressive remark.

 

What remark? That one:

 

"Not for eating!"

 

It is rude but if you like it or – dogs are eaten in Korea, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, you name it. You were talking about her dog in a strange language – why don't you talk german? Didn't you want her to understand what you were saying? Or did you expect her to know your language?

 

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I don't think that's ever acceptable. Would I be justified in remarking "Don't be a Nazi!" or something to anyone? 

 

Is it justified to call it racist, based on a lot of assumptions?

 

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I also have a dog, and lots of Germans talk to me and compliment on my dog. I would never reply with what is almost a racial slur.

 

This is what you wrote:

 

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and we commented how cute the dog is in our native language

 

Did you expect that lady to understand your own native language?

 

And first it was "obviously racially charged, aggressive" and now it's only "almost a racist slur"? 

 

I think you're playing the 'racist' card a bit to eager. No question, there is too much racism in Germany but calling everything racist doesn't help. 

 

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Again, it's one thing not wanting to smell the cooking.

 

But of course it's not your asian food that smells, never ever, and it is definitely racist not wanting to smell asian food –  would it be racist too not wanting to smell Kraut or Kutteln? 

 

I love asian food but let's face it: It's smelly. As is german Kraut or Kutteln (rumen). Would it be "obviously racist" if you'd complain about a german neighbor cooking rumen? 

 

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It's quite another suggesting that it smells like dog food. I'm also not convinced it's us - she claims the stair case smells, but there are two doors between our kitchen and the stair case which are always closed (our apartment doesn't have an extractor, just like hers doesn't).

 

Ask the landlord to install one or do it yourself. 

 

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I have no issue people complaining genuinely about the smell.

 

If they seem to make quick assumptions just because I look Asian,

 

"Seem to make assumptions" – you seem to make a lot of assumptions, too. 

 

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and then suggest that our food smells like dog food is offensive (and presumably she wouldn't think it was food, if we weren't Asian).

 

"Presumably". Another assumption.

 

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He didn't refer to any dog related reasons - I had some issues completely unrelated to the dog (carpet disintegrating).

 

Is that unrelated to the dog? Our dog loves munching carpets ...

 

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His reply was "If you keep complaining about the carpet, I'll revoke the permission to keep the dog". That's grossly unreasonable and threatening if you ask me.

 

I wouldn't necessarily expect that it's the landlords job to buy you a new carpet, have you ever heard of wear and tear? 

 

39 minutes ago, yourkeau said:

He can't revoke permission, 

 

Can't he?

 

"Sind von einem Tier bereits konkrete Störungen ausgegangen, so kann der Vermieter seine Zustimmung zur Tierhaltung widerrufen.

 

Er kann die weitere Tierhaltung auch davon abhängig machen, dass künftige Belästigungen auszuschließen sind. „Die Befugnis des Mieters, ein Tier zu halten, findet ihre Grenzen dort, wo die Obhutspflicht gegenüber dem Vermieter hinsichtlich der Mietsache, Schutz- und Rücksichtnahmepflichten gegen Mitmieter oder den Vermieter, Gesichtspunkte des Tierschutzes und schließlich die Wahrung des Hausfriedens dies erfordern.“ (Amtsgericht Schöneberg, Aktenzeichen: 8 C 11/91)."

 

https://www.advogarant.de/rechtsanwalt/gebiete/rechtsanwalt-fuer-mietrecht--pachtrecht/rechte-pflichten/tierhaltung

 

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So far she didn't have any problem with our dog, but in fairness, he did bark at her a few times since, which angered her.  

 

'Presumably' another racist incident? Your dog is presumably barking at her because she is german, no? 

 

You see: it's very easy to name unpleasant incidents as "racist" ...

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9 minutes ago, dampstew said:

Sigh. It seems like a fair assumption that you have a lot of time on your hand, and a rather sad personality. I hope you'll have a chance to improve @someonesdaughter

 

What a poor answer. You'll face the same problems, wherever you'll move. And that has nothing to do with you being a migrant – the number of assholes amongst migrants is evenly distributed, so changing neighborhoods or cities is not going to change anything.

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Answering the question in the header: the Schanzenviertel. It will take some time for Germany's turn for the G 20 summit again and then for sure they won't do it in Hamburg again.

 

About the dog story: mhm, the lady did not understand what you were saying about her dog and indeed, dog meat is eaten in several Asian countries (although I must say, I never came across it, although I live in Asia ...) - she might have gotten really scared.

 

Having said that, Blankenese is famous ir infamous for being snobby, it's people who want to be among themselves.

 

The story with smelly food: that is racist. Some German food smells bad too, especially all sorts of cabbages. But there are fights in many houses too. Neighbours do complain if their German neighbours cook cabbage. According to some people you should probably not cook at all. I find most Asian food tastes delicious, except for some fish stuff. I would ignore such stuff.

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Sometimes, as newcomers, we do get defensive and read locals the wrong way. You need to shrug off some of these comments. 

Culture, jokes are different. There are all sorts of people and attitudes in every country.

Cooking smells can waft very easily- so think about an extractor fan.

As noted- your landlord did not threaten to evict you, but to revoke permission for your dog. Maybe there have been complaints about barking, maybe he feels the carpet wear and tear may be related to the dog. We do not know.

You say you have contacted the Mieterverein, so talk to them and use their advice and support.

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5 minutes ago, dampstew said:

Yeah thanks I'm doing fine in most cities I lived so far. At least I'm not dedicating big part of my time to make strangers feel worse @someonesdaughter

 

It's my time and none of your business. If I'd cheer to your strange opinions and applaud your 'in England it's so and so' views you'd not complain about me dedicating time ... 

 

6 minutes ago, Thai said:

 

The story with smelly food: that is racist. Some German food smells bad too, especially all sorts of cabbages.

 

That's exactly what I wrote – would it be racist to complain?

 

 

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You want to move because you've encountered some people making stupid comments about you? 

 

I think you need to nurture the ability of not giving a shit about some ignorant old lady making racist jokes, your neighbor objecting to the name you've chosen for your child or your landlord being an idiot. 

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Thank you for your answer @Thai, Schanzenviertel is a bit central to my taste but maybe I should have a renewed look...

 

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About the dog story: mhm, the lady did not understand what you were saying about her dog and indeed, dog meat is eaten in several Asian countries (although I must say, I never came across it, although I live in Asia ...) - she might have gotten really scared.

 

Ha, at least that gave me a smile!

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37 minutes ago, RedMidge said:

Sometimes, as newcomers, we do get defensive and read locals the wrong way. You need to shrug off some of these comments. 

Culture, jokes are different. There are all sorts of people and attitudes in every country.

Cooking smells can waft very easily- so think about an extractor fan.

 

Thanks, I do concede it's easy to read locals wrong. 

 

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As noted- your landlord did not threaten to evict you, but to revoke permission for your dog. Maybe there have been complaints about barking, maybe he feels the carpet wear and tear may be related to the dog. We do not know.
You say you have contacted the Mieterverein, so talk to them and use their advice and support.

 

He was surprisingly explicit in that he meant it as a retaliation. In a reply to Mietverein's letter no less. It literarily said "[By the way] if more issues will come up, I reserve the option to revoke the permission to keep the dog" at the very end of the reply. Otherwise literarily no mention of the dog. At least the Mietverein told him he's being ridiculous.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, Smaug said:

You want to move because you've encountered some people making stupid comments about you? 

 

I think you need to nurture the ability of not giving a shit about some ignorant old lady making racist jokes, your neighbor objecting to the name you've chosen for your child or your landlord being an idiot. 

 

That's valid criticism, but I'm not invested in Blankenese. If I'm free to choose an area I might as well take friendliness to immigrants into considerations. I'd assume average friendliness to immigrants does differ depending on the area - that's how it is in London.

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