Transcribed by Bridget Anderson, at email@example.com
Jöran Mandik: It is Sunday, November 26th welcome to Radio Spätkauf. My name is Jöran Mandik.
Maisie Hitchcock: Hello, I’m Maisie Hitchcock.
Joel Dullroy: I’m Joel Dullroy.
Daniel Stern: And I’m Daniel Stern, welcome to the live recording of Radio Spätkauf, Comedy Café Berlin, and welcome to our audience here live!
Joel Dullroy: Coming up on this, our very last live show for the year, Konrad Werner will explain why Germans are terrified of fresh elections. Raphael Fellmer from the food saving supermarket SirPlus will demonstrate how one person’s trash is another person’s weekly grocery shop.
Daniel Stern: Fresh elections no but fresh food eh.
Joel Dullroy: Ben from Bloody Hell Magazine will tell us how exciting local football matches can actually be, and we’ve got iconic Berlin illustrator and musician Jim Avignon to perform live– the very first time we’ve ever had a live musical guest, except for that one time that I played a guitar but that was years ago and I don’t think anyone remembers it.
Daniel Stern: Hopefully not.
Jöran Mandik: You don’t need to bring it up.
Joel Dullroy: Starting out with short news.
Jöran Mandik: We have got a little update on the gold coin robbery, if you remember in March, there was a gold coin robbed from the Bode Museum worth almost four million euros. It still hasn’t been found. Here’s an update, someone broke into the police car park and sprayed an impounded car from the inside with a fire extinguisher in an attempt, probably, to destroy evidence.
Joel Dullroy: Because that was the car that was suspected to be used as the getaway car.
Jöran Mandik: That’s it. Police say they had already taken all the evidence from the car they needed so this was rather useless. Four people, back when they raided in Neukölln, they put four people in prison, two of them have been released since due to lack of evidence and the other two, I think decision is still pending.
Daniel Stern: This is the– wheelbarrow, ladder, and fire extinguisher like lowest budget Ocean’s sequel ever.
Joel Dullroy: This is so good.
Maisie Hitchcock: The smokers have won. I think we know that! I think we know that already! I think we know that in Berlin the smokers have won.
Daniel Stern: I mean in the long run they’re going to win anyway. Poison!
Maisie Hitchcock: Ultimately yes. Certainly in this city. Well, that’s how the Berliner Zeitung reported the announcement that the S-Bahn has given up trying to prevent smoking on platforms, and they’ll instead create designated smoking areas, at at least a quarter of its stations. That’s quite a strange choice, why quarter do you think? And basically, introduced a smoking ban in this city in 2008– although you wouldn’t actually think so– and there’s a €15 fine for smoking at a station, although it’s rarely enforced. So far this year there’s been 3,300 people who’ve been given a slap wrist and a fine; which is about ten a day.
Joel Dullroy: Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone getting a fine; seen plenty of people smoking!
Maisie Hitchcock: Yeah.
Joel Dullroy: And I also think it’s a bit optimistic that they believe that people go into the smoking areas if you’re already flouting the smoking ban then why would you bother walking the extra ten meters to the smoking area? What difference would it make?
Maisie Hitchcock: Yeah.
Daniel Stern: Also, you’re already like the worst people on earth.
Joel Dullroy: Alright well– Berlin has a sad history of sending its captive bears crazy. We had the famous Knut, who died a few years ago pacing madly around his enclosure at the Berlin Zoo. We then killed off two brown bears living in a funny stone pen near the Märkisches Museum, and last year the baby polar bear Fritz died after just a few months. And now one of the recently imported Pandas at the Berlin Zoo is going nuts, the Panda’s name is Mang Mang, and she arrived in Summer from China, and she has now been seen or has often been seen walking backwards around her enclosure. Her carers say it’s some kind of adolescent angst, just sounds like general, you know, insanity.
Jöran Mandik: This is honestly so sad.
Joel Dullroy: It’s awful.
Jöran Mandik: We should maybe stop doing this Bear thing?
Joel Dullroy: Doing what?
Jöran Mandik: Bears in captivity thing.
Joel Dullroy: Or reporting about it, which one?
Jöran Mandik: No, we shall report.
Daniel Stern: Nah, if we don’t talk about the bad news it won’t exist!
Joel Dullroy: Alright another short news update, we’re on to our public transport section now. So, the BVG advertising agency’s been doing a pretty good job, I think, for the last two years. They’ve had this campaign called, “Weil wir dich lieben,” and they’ve had lots of great billboards and tweets and funny ads and funny statements, and I actually really liked this one when I saw it starting to appear on the streets a few weeks ago. It says: “Bloggerin kann jede. Werde Busserin.” So, anyone can be a blogger, why don’t you be a bus driver? And particularly they’re aiming at females because they want to try and attract more young females to sign up for their apprenticeship program.
Daniel Stern: Actually, the translation is: “Anyone can be a lady blogger, why not a lady bus driver?”
Joel Dullroy: That’s right; it’s the female versions of those words. And so by the way if you are short on a job there’s plenty of jobs going at the BVG, you can become a bus driver for example. So, what’s funny about this, is it turns out the image was plagiarized! An Instagram user called Anthealu took an almost identical photo back in June, so the irony here is that the advertisement is mocking bloggers while also stealing from them. And it’s not the first time that the BVG’s ad agency’s done this, they’ve also restaged other social media images. And it turns out that there’s a bit of gray zone as to whether this is plagiarism or not. You can– if you restage a photo exactly then that is actually plagiarism, but if you do it under the guise of commentary or satire then it becomes something else, so if you’re using satire then somehow it gets around copyright laws. So the–
Jöran Mandik: And the ads are satire?
Joel Dullroy: Well, they’re claiming that this ad is a satire. They’re trying to claim that they were somehow making fun or having a laugh, but anyway, the BVG wasn’t happy, and they’ve told their ad agency that they have to pay compensation to the Instagrammer.
Daniel Stern: What if we just put the bears on the subway platforms in order to petrol for the smokers? Alright, sorry you were going to say something smart Jöran.
Jöran Mandik: So– it’s good though; it was worth the time you took coming up with that one. Okay, here’s some more news, Berlin will actually get some autonomous driving busses! Starting next year, the future is here!
Daniel Stern: The future is actually here!
Jöran Mandik: I didn’t think it was actually going to happen. But where are they doing it, Joel?
Joel Dullroy: In Mitte around the Charité hospital complex.
Jöran Mandik: Yeah, and they’ll be driving only 15 kilometers per hour. So you know, you don’t have to jump out of the way as fast as you can.
Maisie Hitchcock: But not on the road, on the actual main road?
Jöran Mandik: Just around the campus maybe.
Joel Dullroy: Though they are actually going to be driving on the public roads that’s what the update is because we had another self-driving bus driving around a campus in Schönenberg, but that was a sort of off-limits area, but now this one is actually going to be part of the BVG system, you can get on it with your ticket.
Maisie Hitchcock: I heard, well the test’s that have been done with self-driving vehicles they’ve proven that the vehicles tend to do alright until something gets in their way and then they have to be manually operated.
Daniel Stern: Isn’t that true of vehicles in general?
Maisie Hitchcock: This could be a bit of a problem.
Jöran Mandik: You’re saying they can’t stop?
Maisie Hitchcock: No, they just can’t go anywhere, they stop and then they don’t know what to do, and someone has to get in and drive them somewhere.
Jöran Mandik: Well, one ethical dilemma is a situation where the car has to decide whether to kill the grandma on the left or the Mum with the child on the right. You know if it’s going to be either one or–
Maisie Hitchcock: How did you get up to this point?
Jöran Mandik: Autonomous driving can we really leave these decisions up to the machine?
Jöran Mandik: Well strangely the AfD is against self-driving busses, I only know this because I was Googling around to research this story and the first link that came up was, “AfD is against self-driving busses.” Well, they’re against everything apparently!
Joel Dullroy: The U5 is being extended, from Alexanderplatz to Hauptbahnhof underneath Mitte, that’s not news, that’s been going on for quite a while, and it’s due to open in 2020. It’s a really tricky job technically because Berlin is a swamp and water gets into the tunnels, and so one particularly challenging part is the bit under Museum Insel when it’s going underneath the Spree on the West hand side, so this is the news part, and I think this is pretty exciting. They’ve come up with a solution to prevent water getting into the tunnel, and they’re basically going to create an underground glacier, they’re boring 105 small tunnels 18 cm wide which are going to be insulated with pipes and then filled with a freezing cold salt solution, well actually it’s -37°C. And this is going to create an ice layer that will prevent the water from the Spree getting into the tunnel, isn’t that cool?
Daniel Stern: Yes.
Jöran Mandik: How about plastic? A layer of plastic on top of the tunnel.
Daniel Stern: A tarp? That’s your answer? Did you plan that museum robbery?
Joel Dullroy: Moving along with some more local news before we get some guests up. Well, it’s been one year now since Berlin voted in its new city government, the A to G coalition between the SPD, the Greens, and die Linke. I want to do some proper analysis on how their progress is going, but we don’t have time for that today. We’ll do that next year when we come back. One thing though we can talk about is that it’s been one year since they’ve reversed the policy of zero-tolerance against drugs in Gölitzer Park; which of course is pretty well known as Berlin’s most infamous open-air drug supermarket.
Daniel Stern: And now the drugs are gone!
Joel Dullroy: The drugs never went anywhere, that was the point. So, the last Justice Minister, the CDU’s Frank Henkle, tried to stamp out the drug dealing by imposing Germany’s toughest drug prohibition laws in the park, and when he was kicked out, the R to G coalition came in and got rid of that. So what’s changed since? In the last year? Well, one thing they did was, they hired a manager for the park! And his name is, let me try to get this right, Genghis Demichie, and he’s employed to walk around the park, and he talks to the drug dealers, he talks to the residence, and to the police, and makes sure that everyone’s getting along. You know some kind of community building rather than sending in an army of cops.
Jöran Mandik: We should get this guy on the show.
Joel Dullroy: Would have been good idea.
Jöran Mandik: Next year! Next year, when we do the whole politics things.
Joel Dullroy: That’s why we do pre-show meeting for Jöran. Okay so how is this all going? Well, apparently crime statistics are down in the park, there are less accounts of robbery, violence, and drug dealing. Now I heard that, and I thought, that’s great! That mean’s it’s working. But surely if you’re sending less police in there would be less counts of everything, wouldn’t there?
Jöran Mandik: Makes sense. What is this guy actually talking about with everybody?
Joel Dullroy: This is what I got from the Berliner Zeitung, in the summer the manager spoke with all the drug dealing groups in the park. He met with the men from Guinea, Ghana, Mali, and North Africa, and all the other places, and he got them to agree to divide the park up into their own zones. And he got them to understand that less conflict would also mean less police controls. So this is–
Maisie Hitchcock: So is he now running the show?
Joel Dullroy: He’s basically a government paid employee whose managing the drug-dealing zones.
Maisie Hitchcock: Didn’t a big mafia Don just die? He’s been reincarnated!
Joel Dullroy: I think, but it’s working so why not? We can criticize it but if there’s less fighting and everyone’s happier and no one’s getting knifed as much then–
Maisie Hitchcock: I wonder yeah, but there might be some conflict when you find out for example that Ghana have got a bigger patch than Mali, how does he negotiate that?
Joel Dullroy: Well, keep it up? Keep the good work. Okay, I don’t know? Has anybody else here walked through Gölitzer Park in the last, over the last two years, and noticed any difference at all? Because to me it seems like there were drug dealers then there’s drug dealers now, there’s tourists then there’s tourists now, it’s just–
Daniel Stern: There are less cops around.
Joel Dullroy: There are less cops.
Daniel Stern: Which makes me feel safer!
Maisie Hitchcock: I think there are more drug dealers around for sure, like it’s spreading, definitely. You know, there’s loads around Görlitzer Bahnhof now, Schlesisches Tor going to the cafés around there, they’re all hanging out there before their shifts. Saw some last night having a coffee went out to sell drugs afterwards, so it’s pretty much–
Joel Dullroy: It’s pretty much the same.
Daniel Stern: Are you suggesting they shouldn’t be allowed to have coffee?
Maisie Hitchcock: No, there’s just something quite normal about you know they’re just hanging out having their coffee and then doing they’re little shift and–
Joel Dullroy: I will say there’s a very cool initiative on Randall Straße quite close to the park, there’s a little cafe there, I do forget its name, but I shall try to put it in the show notes later. And it’s a cafe where, people who are from the park but would like to stop dealing drugs can go and get a job, and they can work there, and they just have to agree not to be dealing drugs and to go get counseling if they’re taking drugs and then they’re allowed to work there, which is nice that that’s an option for them.
Jöran Mandik: Isn’t the problem that they’re not allowed to work on their visa?
Joel Dullroy: I think they do it dodgily.
Jöran Mandik: By donation?
Joel Dullroy: Yeah, something like that.
Daniel Stern: On the topic of crime in Gölitzer Park.
Joel Dullroy: Oh, this is a good one.
Daniel Stern: This is already in the– I didn’t read the script is it in here?
Joel Dullroy: This is where we go–
Daniel Stern: Oh, okay. This was hot off the presses a couple weeks ago before we canceled. As first reported in Expat Babies Facebook Group, which guys it’s the Free Advice Berlin of Expat Babies, but anyway, a woman posted a photo, it was a gentleman from, he was photographed from the rear his rear where he was to the rear of one of the small ponies,
Joel Dullroy: In the zoo.
Daniel Stern: In the zoo.
Joel Dullroy: At the park.
Daniel Stern: At the park, Gölitzer Park. She was unsure what to do with this information; I don’t know why. He was being inappropriate with the pony. She went on Facebook to ask strangers what she should do about it–
Maisie Hitchcock: In a baby group?
Daniel Stern: In a baby group, because it was– her baby– you know what? I can’t explain her reasoning. Many people stepped forward to say, call the police! As that behavior is illegal. She said, “That sounds hard.” But went ahead and then it was later reported that an arrest was made and that gentleman is no longer, I guess allowed to touch the ponies? I don’t know, I don’t know how that goes, but I’m sure everyone’s fine now.
Joel Dullroy: Time for our first guest and it is our regular friend Konrad Werner from News des Nachrichtens. Listen to that applause Konrad! You’ve got some friends in the room!
Konrad Werner: Oh, my brother. (dogs barking) And there’s dogs.
Joel Dullroy: Konrad, we’ve got you here because well, firstly I want to say you’ve got your own podcast, and I know that you’ve just recorded an episode on this exact topic, but we wanted to get just an update from you about why it is that Germans are so terrified of the idea of fresh elections. Which might happen since we don’t have a coalition now, talks in place. Isn’t fresh good? Fresh fruit, fresh air, what’s wrong with fresh elections?
Konrad Werner: How terrified do you think they are? Do you think they’re really terrified?
Joel Dullroy: It seems like everyone’s terrified of everything about what could happen with this coalition situation.
Konrad Werner: I suppose it’s unprecedented that’s why it’s a bit scary because we’ve not had it since the war. It’s like we normally– it’s very clear that even if the coalition talks last a long time they will be successful and the idea that they’re suddenly not successful everyone’s like “I don’t know what’s going to happen now, what are we going to do.” And so, people get nervous about that, so they’re a bit scared.
Joel Dullroy: So the news is, well it’s a few weeks old already but, the FDP walked out of the talks. They threw a tantrum and decided they didn’t want to talk part anymore.
Konrad Werner: Yeah, that was last Sunday.
Joel Dullroy: And since then how’s it going? What’s the latest?
Konrad Werner: Well now, so there are three options now, you can have a grand coalition again, that’s the SPD and the CDU, or we can have a minority government of the CDU and the Greens and them doing deals with the other parties, or we have the fresh elections.
Joel Dullroy: And what do you think? What would be the best outcome?
Konrad Werner: I think might as well do the grand coalition again, because the problem is grand coalition everybody’s like a bit scared of the fact, you know, we don’t have the current– bored of that, you know everyone’s like bored of politics, let’s have something else now. Let’s have some crazy people going in and doing something else.
Daniel Stern: Yeah, that’s a great idea.
Konrad Werner: That’s why people voted for Trump, isn’t it?
Daniel Stern: No, no, no, that’s because they’re white supremacists.
Konrad Werner: Okay. But yeah. But so no but I think the problem is that we do have to have some kind of government, don’t we? And it’s better to have a grand coalition that at least has a majority, and if they agree on their policies then they can sort of– we need a government, we can’t just have an anti-everything. We don’t live in a different dimension.
Jöran Mandik: Is it possible theoretically to have a minority government, not including the CDU? Like red, red, green?
Konrad Werner: Theoretically possible.
Jöran Mandik: There’s not rule against that?
Konrad Werner: No. It’d be weird though because the CDU is the biggest party so they’d have a right to form a government.
Joel Dullroy: But what if they fail completely? Can’t the SPD have a go?
Konrad Werner: Well then yeah but then they’d need a coalition partner, and then the coalition partner would be the CDU. And the CDU is bigger then they would be the biggest party.
Daniel Stern: Is part of the issue with having a new elections is that the last one was so shaky that they just figure it will get even worse?
Konrad Werner: Yeah, that’s the other thing, like if you have new elections, it will just probably be, it’ll cost a lot of money and there’ll be a lot of stress and like new elections and be like new leaders and there’ll be a lot of arguments and public debates and weird things and at the end of it, they would probably have virtually the same as we got this time. So you know.
Joel Dullroy: Alright, here’s something I want to take you to task with as the German representative on stage, even though I know you’re half English. So I was reading about how the FDP walked out of talks, and everyone was angry about this because they were being basically a bit cranky, having a little tantrum and walked out of talks.
Konrad Werner: Well, they didn’t say why! They didn’t say why. They didn’t say what policy they could not agree with they just said no we’re not going to do that, we’re not going to do that, they just walked out, and it just felt like there was this emptiness to it. It was just this “We’re not doing politics anymore. We’re just going to be against Merkle because we don’t like her because she’s boring because we’ve had her for ages.”
Joel Dullroy: Well, they were actually against the Greens really the FDP, that was more of their issues?
Konrad Werner: Well then yeah they kept going more and more right wing during the coalition talks. They kept going more; they went even further right wing than the CSU, which is like the most right wing of the conservative party, which is like the most right wing of the conservative party.
Joel Dullroy: Which led you to write in your recent column that they had ceased to be a political party but had instead become– what was it? What have you called them? You put it so nicely?
Konrad Werner: Just like a–
Joel Dullroy: Cipher. You called them a cipher.
Konrad Werner: Yeah, like a cipher, like an empty shell and you can just fill it with a picture of like who you think– like a blank face, and you can project whatever you want onto that face and that is what you feel like.
Jöran Mandik: So maybe this was this a practical move? Opting out of this with a bit of a bang?
Konrad Werner: Yeah, because the FDP never wanted to be in the party– they thought at the end of the last– after the– they thought that there would be another grand coalition anyway. They thought the SPD would be big enough, and they thought, “Okay we’ll just be in opposition, but we’re back in parliament we’ve got a strong thing.” And the FDP thought, “Right, we’re gonna be, we’re gonna drive the agenda.” They don’t want to drive– you can’t drive the agenda from inside the government, they want to drive it from outside the government from opposition, that was their plan, and it went wrong because the SPD wasn’t big enough, and so they had to join these coalition talks that they weren’t ever serious about.
Joel Dullroy: So I noticed in all the press that they’re being referred to as the “Schwarze Peter” of the talks. Again this another one of these completely racist German, you know, throw away casual comments that just really need to be struck out of our society. What does “Schwarze Peter” mean in this case?
Konrad Werner: It means black peter.
Joel Dullroy: But why? How are they allowed to say that about somebody? What is the– is there a cultural reference that I’m not understanding?
Jöran Mandik: It’s a card game.
Joel Dullroy: Yeah.
Jöran Mandik: You don’t want to be stuck with the card that’s the Black Peter.
Daniel Stern: I thought it was the Christmas thing.
Konrad Werner: That’s Holland.
Joel Dullroy: That’s Holland, yeah, yeah.
Konrad Werner: That is more racist.
Daniel Stern: Okay, thanks.
Konrad Werner: Because someone blacks up.
Konrad Werner: Wait, is this a contest?
Joel Dullroy: I– Can we get rid of calling people Schwarze Peter if we don’t like them? I think that’s probably not a– that’s something we could do without, isn’t it?
Jöran Mandik: I think we should.
Konrad Werner: Yeah, I’m in favor of that too.
Daniel Stern: Alright, are you also willing to keep Tegal open, because?
Joel Dullroy: Have I not told you about this? It’s getting closed.
Konrad Werner: Can I talk more about the coalition? Are you finished with me?
Daniel Stern: Do you got something pithy?
Joel Dullroy: We actually do have to keep going because we have lots of guests.
Konrad Werner: Oh, alright.
Joel Dullroy: But people can always listen to your fantastic show, News des Nachrichtens, where I know that you and your colleague Drew have done an in-depth conversation about these exact topics and it’s worth a listen, so head along to iTunes and find–
Konrad Werner: Yeah, all the really interesting things that I was about to say, they’re on my podcast.
Daniel Stern: Feel free to jump into those quicker next time.
Konrad Werner: Okay. Will do.
Joel Dullroy: Thank you, Konrad!
Konrad Werner: Thanks.
Joel Dullroy: Ladies and gentleman, welcome our next guest to Radio Spätkauf, please, we have Raphael Fellmer. Raphael, we’ve invited you on the show because you have opened a very interesting business called SirPlus, which is, well can you explain? What is SirPlus?
Raphael Fellmer: Hi everyone. I am one of the founders of SirPlus, is the first food outlet store, like an outlet so where we don’t sell cloths but food that would have been otherwise wasted, so we have expired package products but also fresh produce from agriculture, farmers here in Brandenburg and we are cooperating with different companies like big producers, retailers. Everything what they don’t want to sell anymore, because they are maybe too afraid because the best-before-date expired, or they have bought too much and don’t know what to do with it. We save it, everything what the Berliner Tafel so it’s a huge food bank, what they don’t take we take, and we sell it up to 70% cheaper in our food outlet in Charlottenburg.
Joel Dullroy: So it’s a recycled– no not recycled, it’s a best-before-date supermarket?
Raphael Fellmer: Yeah, like we sell products also when they are not expired. We sell actually everything what other companies don’t know what to do with it anymore, normally we have to pay for the disposal, and we save them money, and we even pay for the food, and we pick it up for free and bring it back into the circular economy. So the idea is really to create awareness that we have 50% food waste in Europe, worldwide we have 1.3 billion tons, so it’s actually too much, everything that we waste would be enough to feed all hungry people four times over, And so we want to create awareness that also the people at home, where we have a lot of waste, should be a little more conscious of their behavior, how to shop and also when they cook, what to cook now because sometimes you want to cook something, but we have already something cooked from yesterday. We should eat what we cooked yesterday before cooking something new.
Daniel Stern: But if we don’t want to eat our leftovers you’ll sell them, right?
Raphael Fellmer: No, we cannot take food from private donations. We have to pay for it also for the UmweltSteuern thematik, so has to do with the VAT tax, so we want to raise awareness but also make food-saving mainstream. Because a lot of you maybe have heard about food sharing, so private initiative of already 30,000 people from bakeries, supermarkets, market stands, etc., but now we want to make it mainstream, so that everyone can do it, in our store but we also have a same-day delivery service here in Berlin. So, you get your safe food from us packed, and we deliver it to you in the night.
Daniel Stern: What’s the number one thing that like these companies are sending you? What do you see the most of that doesn’t get eaten?
Raphael Fellmer: It’s difficult, we have ten thousands of products in Germany which are produced, bought, and sold. So, we have right now a lot of bread, we have packaged food, like grundlau mittle, so–
Daniel Stern: What?
Raphael Fellmer: Grundlau mittle is kind of, maybe a pasta, maybe a rice, so things you need when you want to survive, like not only chocolate and not only junk food. And then we have a lot of drinks as well, so all kinds of lifestyle drinks, but we have, also, fresh produce and now we are getting next week as well cooled products, so like, butter, milk, and all those other things.
Maisie Hitchcock: What’s the response been like?
Raphael Fellmer: The response is great, the people love SirPlus, they’re like, “Wow, finally somebody is doing it, somebody is taking care of this problem, and making this surplus food available for everyone and 20% of our food we’re donating to NGOs so also they are profiting, and we want to get this topic into the middle of the society, so everybody feels as well, cool to save food. It’s not something like, okay this is for the poor, we really want to make the appreciation for the food a little bit higher than it is right now.
Joel Dullroy: I have a question for you; are you taking away from food banks by taking this food from the supermarkets?
Raphael Fellmer: No. Actually we are giving back more food to food banks. We are always saving everything what the other food banks are not taking. So right now we have 20 million tons of food waste in Germany, that’s one truck per minute, and so there’s a lot of food still that needs to be saved, we are just like umgrenzung– somebody speaks German here? No?
Joel Dullroy: So it’s– that was my next question; are German’s really so wasteful, I thought German’s were very, saving recycling.
Raphael Fellmer: We are very, very wasteful, like we half of everything what we import, and produce here in Germany, we are wasting. And between 50, yeah, between 40 and 60% we are wasting in our homes, because we always want to have a full fridge so that every emotional moment we can fit in some snack or something that we love. And we have very cheap food, so German has one of the cheapest prices for food in all of Europe, so from economical point of view, people are not really interested in saving food because it’s so cheap and we don’t have starvation hunger here around anymore, which is very beautiful, but we import as well food from countries where they’re actually having problems to feed everyone, so we are kind of related also with our wasteful way of living here in Germany, with starvation other parts in the world.
Joel Dullroy: And where is SirPlus Supermarket?
Raphael Fellmer: SirPlus is in the Wilmersdorfer Str. so it’s in Charlottenburg, so it’s a passenger street, just really, right from when you walk out of the metro station Wilmersdorfer Str. you’re right in our shop, and we’re open between 9 and 8:30 in the evening from Monday to Saturday, and we are very happy if you are going to join. I also brought some food here.
Joel Dullroy: Yes, I was excited about that!
Daniel Stern: What’s in the bag?
Joel Dullroy: I asked to just because– well I haven’t gone shopping; I asked if you would bring along a bag of 20 euros or so worth of food so we could see how fresh it actually is and what’s really in it. I don’t know how we’re going to do this, should we pass it around or?
Raphael Fellmer: Yeah, I can show and later on you can share it.
Joel Dullroy: Yeah, yeah!
Raphael Fellmer: So, we have for example and orange juice.
Joel Dullroy: Looks good.
Daniel Stern: For listeners at home, it is a bottle with a liquid in it.
Raphael Fellmer: We have cheese an onion, the original Irish crisp.
Maisie Hitchcock: I can’t think of why these are…
Daniel Stern: Air quotes around original or Irish.
Raphael Fellmer: And then we have some other potato chips with zucchini in it. This is very very special for everyone who loves alcohol from Mexico. It’s Tequila and rum.
Daniel Stern: What is this?
Joel Dullroy: Hang on; Tequila does not go bad.
Daniel Stern: Yeah, what?!
Maisie Hitchcock: No, the worm.
Daniel Stern: Oh, the worm went bad.
Raphael Fellmer: Yeah, the worm, yeah. The problem is a little bit that this is, for example, a package it’s a bulk ware, so we have the Tequila, and the rum is for sure not going bad, but the potato chips are expiring in January, so they are not selling it anymore, but you can now buy it in our shop or drink here a little bit.
Daniel Stern: Pass that down.
Raphael Fellmer: Then we have some apples.
Daniel Stern: For listeners at home, he’s holding up two apples.
Joel Dullroy: Maisy can you give them a good shake? Are you happy with the apple standard?
Maisie Hitchcock: Yeah, there’s know weevils in them.
Daniel Stern: Could you smell it loudly into the microphone?
Maisie Hitchcock: Yeah, it smells great.
Daniel Stern: Okay.
Maisie Hitchcock: I was smelling the microphone not the apple. These actually look very good to me; I have to say.
Daniel Stern: The pear is a very under-ripe fruit in Germany. In most grocery stores.
Maisie Hitchcock: Did you say underrated?
Daniel Stern: No, under ripe. I get hard pears all the time–
Jöran Mandik: That’s true.
Daniel Stern: I’m happy to hear that I can get– let’s keep this moving!
Joel Dullroy: So we have some–
Raphael Fellmer: We have some carrots, and they also look a little bit special because up to 50% of what the farmers are producing are really lost at the fields. Size color norms beauty standards so, for example, a carrot like this you’d never find in a supermarket–
Daniel Stern: See that looks like–
Raphael Fellmer: –because they are giving it to their pigs, in the best case, they’re going to a bio-digester, this carrot.
Daniel Stern: For listeners at home the carrot at home has a sort of Georgia O’Keeffe look to it.
Raphael Fellmer: Yeah.You want to look at it from––
Maisie Hitchcock: Something for the Brexiters amongst you.
Joel Dullroy: It is a little bit of an ugly carrot.
Maisie Hitchcock: It’s yeah,
Daniel Stern: Crazy Joel, I think it’s beautiful.
Maisie Hitchcock: –if you keep holding it like that.
Joel Dullroy: Is that just because we’re used to having only perfect fruits?
Raphael Fellmer: Sure, we are very spoiled, because supermarkets are only buying perfect looking fruits and veggies because we’re only buying them. Or most of us look for the most beautiful fruits and veggies, and the other ones they don’t sell than say– the supermarket says then okay I just buy perfect looking fruit.
Daniel Stern: In a normal grocery store the customer is spoiled, but in yours, it’s the fruit.
Raphael Fellmer: We love–
Daniel Stern: You can use that! You can use that!
Raphael Fellmer: I have to write it down. We have chewing gum here, almost expired. Then we have a self-baking bread kit, organic, very good as well.
Daniel Stern: So that includes the oven?
Raphael Fellmer: The oven you need to buy one yourself.
Daniel Stern: Then isn’t really self-baking is it?
Joel Dullroy: I’ve just been eating the pear while we’ve been talking, it’s very delicious by the way. Well this all looks fantastic, I’m satisfied now, I’m– you–
Raphael Fellmer: I have more! I need to present it to you! We have organic shit and normal shit! We even have Taxofit natural energy snacks, and for sure some other, some popcorn and creams and so we have about 120 products right now, in December we’ll have about 300 products. You will always find something what you love. Also, some chia things, so very healthy stuff.
Daniel Stern: Oh, chia.
Joel Dullroy: Also, if you don’t live in the West, you’re also doing home delivery. But I assume within the city West; you’re probably not doing home delivery–
Raphael Fellmer: We deliver all over Berlin and right now we are starting to deliver all over Germany, so, wherever you are living, listening, go to SirPlus– with an ‘i’ not a ‘u’– .de and then you can order your Retterbox, so it’s like a box full of safe food.
Jöran Mandik: So, are you planning on opening another shop, anywhere?
Raphael Fellmer: Yeah, we’re planning to open 35 shops in the next years, and also roll out in Europe and later on we will also create a marketplace to match demand and supplies, so, for example, a farmer has 200 potatoes, 200 tons of potatoes and now the fresh potatoes come from Egypt and he doesn’t know where to sell it, he can now get in contact with this potato chip company and they are making the potatoes that normally would have been wasted. Really to match these big amounts of food that normally goes to waste. And yeah we are on our way, and we have almost 500 customers every day and people are happy, and looking forward to seeing you there.
Joel Dullroy: Well, here you’ve got one more, I promised you 20 bucks for you’re– so here we go.
Raphael Fellmer: Thank you so much.
Joel Dullroy: Thank you very much. You just traded on a Sunday, that’s illegal by the way. For our Radio Spätkauf audience, please feel free on your way out to take something from the wonderful box of our selection of gifts and–
Daniel Stern: I have dibs on the Tequila though. Guys a round of applause for Raphael Fellmer!
Daniel Stern: Alright guys, please join me in welcoming Ben, Dave, and Alex from Bloody Hell Magazine! So, guys maybe starting with Ben, do you want to tell us what Bloody Hell Magazine is?
Ben: Yeah, sure. Blood Hell Magazine is basically a website or magazine, whatever you want to call it, that deals with amateur football in Berlin. We started with, so just non-league football and actually cover Zweite Bundesliga, but basically the main focus is on the football that doesn’t really get much of a say or a mention within the main media, you know?
Daniel Stern: So, let’s back up just a second. So, what is non-league mean, or do you want to explain a little bit about how this level of football, a.k.a. soccer, works in Germany, in Berlin.
Ben: Yeah basically– so, for me personally, I would say non-league football is football where you don’t get paid for it, you know, or you get paid very very little. So, the lowest level would be referred to as Kreisliga; I suppose which I think if I’m counting it correctly is the ninth tier, in Germany. Then you’ve got Kreisliga, then above that you have Bezirksliga, and then Landesliga and then Verbandsliga and then you start on with things like Oberliga, Regionalliga, and then the Bundesliga, so it’s at the very bottom, it’s very questionable football.
Joel Dullroy: How bad is it though?
Ben: It’s fantastically bad. This morning I was at a game of football where the coach actually forgot the name of his own team and started shouting for the opposition team. And that, I mean– it was pretty special.
Daniel Stern: Alright, so you’re covering this match today, what is the role of a journalist in covering a sport in which the coach doesn’t even know what his team’s name is?
Ben: The role is primarily, obviously, not just the photographs or the writing about it. These guys are the writers by the way; I do the photography. It’s more like you get strange looks as to why the fuck are you here, what are you doing, this is all a bit strange. Yeah.
Daniel Stern: Who else was at this game today?
Ben: Today it was just me. Just to clarify, I take photographs, and I tend to go as low as you can go because I think it’s just good fun. Whereas these guys are, kind of, a bit more professional and therefore they prefer that the higher leagues, so for example, I mean, do you want to talk about that a little bit?
Daniel Stern: Say your name again for the listeners.
Alex Pieter: So, I’m Alex, and like Ben said, I do the writing for Bloody Hell Magazine. So, Dave and I are both American, you can find good Football here in Berlin, in the lower leagues that’s still going to rival the better football in America, so maybe that’s why we enjoy doing this, here in Berlin. But yeah, like Ben said, non-league football is essentially football that’s amateur or not very well paid. For those familiar with football here, that’s still Regionalliga which if you’ve heard of Babelsberg out in Potsdam who, yeah, the questionable Berlin club, but they say they’re a Berlin club, so we count them. BFC Dynamo Berlin, they play right near the Mauerpark, Berliner AK, in Moabit, just some kind of examples. And yeah we enjoy going there and not only writing about the football but the experience of, kind of, going out, seeing a new district in Berlin, what the club has to offer, it’s history, obviously, in Berlin there’s a lot of unique history which you can oftentimes see through a football club or a soccer club.
Daniel Stern: What’s a– so what happens when you guys go out to one of these Kreisliga, Bezirksliga games, are there fans there? Is it just? Who are they like– how do they feel when they see you guys show up?
Dave Braneck: So that totally kind of depends on the level, like the lower you go, the more likely you are to be one-fifth of the fan base. And so at really low levels, people are there clearly because they’re related to or friends with or dating someone on the team, but I also find frequently that there are some like other kind of random dudes maybe taking notes that are maybe not dating anyone on the team. So apparently even though we might feel slightly like freaks other people are doing it, we’re just too nervous to engage with them to find out why they’re there.
Daniel Stern: But they must– but the teams must be happy to have anyone there, right? Is that– do you notice them, when they see the guy do they know it’s Bloody Hell Magazine? Have you been recognized as journalists?
Ben: In the past couple of months, it’s nice when someone says, “Yeah, yeah, guys I know your website.” etc. But most of the time, I have stickers, and I give out the stickers, and they’re like “Yeah, okay, I’ll like your Facebook page.” And they don’t. They don’t do it it’s very sad.
Daniel Stern: I’m sorry to hear that.
Ben: But every now and again they get views, I mean, we’re not the only ones doing it. There are a few websites out there like a few Facebook pages of– who actually also do this sort of thing; I’d say, maybe like ten in total in all of Berlin. So, every now and then they kind of let me, they’re okay with it. Some– I’ve never had someone say, “Please don’t take my photograph.” You have the odd run-in, with the really, you know, sorry but, German referee, who’s like very strict and like, “Don’t stand there, don’t stand there.” But in general actually, they like the attention you know?
Daniel Stern: Now is there, and I’m not, maybe one of the writers has the answer to this, is there like an ongoing story, or something this season that has caught your attention in the world of underreported– except by you– Berlin, Football and Soccer? Is there something that we should know?
Ben: That’s a good question.
Daniel Stern: Or you were mentioning that you had sort of favorite backstories of some of these teams? I know you’re are journalists, but do you guys of a favorite lower tier team?
Alex Pieter: That’s a tough question. I’ll take a stab at it. The lower league football scene is so big that you can find a story lying in just about every district in every club; obviously, we don’t’ know every club, every district, what’s going on in the club. Dave and I are Union Berlin fans.
Joel Dullroy: Union, the red and white ones.
Alex Pieter: The red and white ones; out int Köpenick, kind of a trek. But BFC Dynamo interesting kind of story about this, they were one of the biggest clubs in the former GDR in the 80s, and now they’re playing non-league football. In the 80s they won something like ten straight league championships, they were the club of the Stasi. So if you’re into GDR history, BFC Dynamo is always kind of a nice club to look at, kind of to give you a historical context. Now they’re playing in the fourth league, and they have a very politically charged fan-base, often times aligning with the far right. So, I think this is an interesting kind of story about this transformation of a club, and how they went from something that was a club of the Stasi in the 80s, the club of the establishment, and now the kind of fans that go and attend their matches… so, yeah! I would just, I don’t know, I just think this is something when you explore lower league football, you’re kind of reading the history books, and you’re saying okay now this club that gets one thousand fans at their games was one of the best teams in Europe in the 80s and now here they are.
Daniel Stern: So, every sort of neighborhood, every Kiez, every Bezirk, in this town has a club, or many clubs, playing at the same time. If someone wants to go out and check-out a game near them, how do they find out about it?
Alex Pieter: Yeah, there’s a website, fussball punkt de.
Daniel Stern: Okay.
Alex Pieter: Yeah, it’s right to the point. Where they have every match, all the time, listed, down to like seven aside nine-year-old woman matches. So, you can find any type of league, any type of game, and you can even find a match of find a club near you based on your postal code, so you can just look it up based on your neighborhood, or based on the league or whatever, and find anything.
Daniel Stern: And this is your chance to be someone’s biggest fan. Like you could be– or only.
Ben: I would also just add to that; we also have Bloody Hell Magazine dot com–
Daniel Stern: You might want to plug that!
Ben: –forward slash stats, where you can also find all the fixtures in Berlin as well. So, I’m a bit of a nerd for data as well, so the old statistics, so I also have all the upcoming fixtures in all of Berlin. I mean he’s right, no, no, Fussball tict de is a very good website, but I’ve got a plug it ourselves as well.
Daniel Stern: So it’s Bloody Hell Magazine dot com, and can we find you guys anywhere else? You’re on Facebook you said?
Ben: Yeah, exactly we will take all of your likes. Please. So, Facebook, of course, Bloody Hell Magazine, everybody’s on Facebook.
Maisie Hitchcock: Can I just ask why you’ve called yourself Bloody Hell?
Ben: That’s a really good question! Thank you!
Daniel Stern: That is a really good question.
Ben: So, I’m not sure how many of you are actually football fans, I hope at least some of you, or you’re also maybe about my age, I’m 35 and in 1999 Manchester United were playing bei Munich in the champions league final and as far as I remember with two minutes to go bei Munich were winning and in the final few minutes the Manchester United scored two goals, they won. And then the camera after the match goes to Alex Ferguson, the manager at the time, and he just looks at the camera and goes, “Football, Bloody Hell!” And for me that was the perfect, it just summed up everything about football, because sometimes you say bloody hell because you’re pissed off, or you’re frustrated, or because you’re happy, or you’re excited, and it’s also a very English frustration, bloody hell, I think is quite English. So, that’s why I went with it basically, it kind of summed up football for me. If that makes sense?
Maisie Hitchcock: It does indeed.
Daniel Stern: Let’s hear it one more time for Ben, David, and Alex from Bloody Hell Magazine!
Ben: Thank you very much.
Joel Dullroy: Please welcome our next guest to Radio Spätkauf, Mr. Jim Avignon!
Jim Avignon: Hello.
Joel Dullroy: Hello Jim! Jim, I invited you to come on the show because I’m a big fan of your artwork. You’re an illustrator; you’ve been creating art in Berlin, graffiti, painting walls, inside, outside, legally, illegally, for a long time now and I noticed your work when I got here, into Berlin. I saw this kind of cartoonish figures that you paint around the town. I then also later found out that you’re a musician and listened to some of your music and you sing songs about the city a lot of the times about Berlin. So, I thought we had to have you on the show, so I’m glad you’re here.
Jim Avignon: Thank you.
Joel Dullroy: Now, Jim, you sing a lot of songs about Berlin. You’ve got a song, I think, on your latest album where you talk about your reflections on being here. How long have you been here?
Jim Avignon: Actually very long. I moved here in 1988. Actually, at that time, I was living around the corner, at Donaustraßa and Innstraßa, it was totally different then, I went there because my then girlfriend, she was doing here Abitur here, and she got a free apartment from the Senate because she failed her Abitur in South Germany and at that time Abitur in Berlin was easier to get, so I stayed with her.
Joel Dullroy: You used to get a free apartment if you were a student?
Jim Avignon: Yeah. Yeah.
Joel Dullroy: Just free?!
Jim Avignon: Free.
Joel Dullroy: Wow, alright.
Daniel Stern: In 1988 what was–
Jim Avignon: Actually, in the 80s you would even get money if you moved to Berlin and you would not have to make military service, it was lots of advantages still it was almost empty at that time. Nobody wanted to go.
Joel Dullroy: So, you came here to live in a free apartment.
Jim Avignon: Yeah.
Joel Dullroy: Don’t blame you.
Jim Avignon: Only for two– after she had her Abitur we had to go, and then the problems started.
Daniel Stern: With her, or with the finding the apartment?
Jim Avignon: Both.
Joel Dullroy: So, you’ve been here a long time, you’ve seen a lot of things come and go?
Jim Avignon: Come and go, yeah.
Joel Dullroy: Your songs you talk about this sometimes, the changes you’ve seen. Remind me you’ve got a song on your album where you sing about how you noticed; things will never be the same again. You’ve got that as one of your lyrics.
Jim Avignon: The song is about the phenomena of gentrification, and also the fact that suddenly people buy houses not to live in it but as an investment, which was unknown to Berlin for quite a long time. Like I remember when the wall came down everybody thought it would change, but to everybody’s surprise, it just didn’t happen, like for almost 20 years. Only like I think around 2007/8 suddenly there was a rush like people from– I think maybe related to the bank crisis, suddenly people had a feeling they should invest in houses and Berlin was one of those places where there’s many houses that nobody owns, so suddenly there was a shift in the reception. Like people started to buy houses, and it was empty for almost a year, and you just stay there for a couple of weeks, or they buy houses to renovate them and make them more expenses. Which was quite new to everybody who stayed here for a long time and kind of like a surprise and you always had a feeling like you stay in a special place and it will always stay like this, and there was this moment to realize even Berlin is about to change a bit.
Joel Dullroy: So, my question for you is, I also notice things changing, and my personal challenge is to be not conservative in my mindset when I see this happening, and I wonder from an artist point of view, how can you be, how do you bring these two points of view together, appreciating what’s been in the past without being conservative and wanting nothing to ever change? Can we have both?
Daniel Stern: What’s your favorite part of gentrification?
Jim Avignon: Let’s say like that. I moved away for seven years in 2005 I lived in New York, also because of a girl. And like being in New York I learned about a lot of how a city can be like in terms of gentrification, in terms of money, in terms of having to work all of the time to make your living, and like then coming back in 2012, because I had some visa issues, so I had to come back. I saw Berlin from a different angle, when I left in 2005 I had the feeling like the good 90s were finished, and everything is repeating, and more money is involved. When I came back I understood that like most of the people who come here they don’t come here because they think it’s a place to make a lot of money very quickly, they come here because of the excitement and because of the lot of interesting stuff happening in the nights, and I think that is the thing that is nostalgic and still present at the same time and that’s what I like, I became friends with Berlin again these days, I think this Berlin reminds me way more to Berlin of the 90s than it was in the mid-2000s when it tried to be more established and boring. I think like even if there’s all investors coming, it’s still like a big city, and
there’s still like no way money means a lot in Berlin. If you go out, it’s just not important if you have a big car or anything, like everywhere else in the world it’s important and not here, and that’s the thing I like.
Daniel Stern: That’s really beautiful. Way to not be cynical.
Jim Avignon: Let’s say like that. I moved away for seven years in 2005 I lived in New York, Maybe it’s just my strange perception about it, but I think, whoever I know they don’t care so much about money, and it’s different in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich.
Joel Dullroy: So if you’re feeling a bit cynical, just go away for a few years, and you’ll rediscover your love of Berlin.
Jim Avignon: What’s the cynical in that?
Daniel Stern: No, he’s saying–
Joel Dullroy: If someone is cynical if any listener out there is feeling cynical follow Jim’s advice and spend some time away and come back and try again.
Daniel Stern: Go to New York. Berlin it’s not New York!
Jim Avignon: It’s always good to see the other side, and maybe you enjoy more what you have here.
Joel Dullroy: You also have a new book out at the moment? Of art?
Jim Avignon: I have a book about like everything that went wrong in my life; it’s called business as unusual. I made it because I often get invited to art schools and museums to give talks. Because, I think, the professors they get worried that all the students, only think about their bios and like what mistakes they probably make and then ruin it all for them and I’m the example they want to show, how to make everything wrong and still be somewhere and still make a living from what you do. So this book, I can show it to you. I’ve been recommended to bring a lot, to sell them here, but actually, I’m a very pessimistic merchandiser, so I only brought two. Looks like this. It’s like 70 stories of weird stuff I did, including stealing my own body bear, and like illegally repainting the East Side Gallery, and like other art projects and stuff. And yeah. Two copies.
Daniel Stern: So it’s sort of like a how-to guide?
Jim Avignon: Actually, this is an English version; my publisher said that it would be important to have an English version and this is the first moment that I can really be proud to have that. Because before, everybody was like, why do you need an English version?
Daniel Stern: And you were like, “In case I go on a podcast.”
Jim Avignon: Yes.
Daniel Stern: Because Donaustraße is now American district.
Joel Dullroy: I’m glad you– I’m going to buy one. It’s a great Christmas gift I think; I’m gonna find someone to give it to.
Jim Avignon: You should keep it to yourself.
Joel Dullroy: I could do that as well.
Daniel Stern: Joel, I’ll get you one.
Joel Dullroy: Aw, thanks, Dan. We wanted to invite you to be our very first ever, musical guest on the show, and perform one of your songs, so I think we’re going to do a little bit of setup and then we’re going to get Jim to perform!
Jim Avignon: Can I do–
Joel Dullroy: You can!
Jim Avignon: –a little bit of advertisement beforehand. I’m organizing a group show on Saturday in a place called Neurotitan it’s called Who’s afraid of friendly capitalism, and the subline is capitalism is never friendly it’s like a mix up of artists that have kind of like social things and also do illustrations cartoons, unfortunately, I’m running out of fliers, so I can only show you one flier.
Daniel Stern: For listeners at home where do, they find it?
Jim Avignon: Neurotitan is in Mitte at Rosenthaler Str. This is how it looks, the flier.
Daniel Stern: It’s a beautiful flier.
Jim Avignon: It’s at Rosenthaler Str. 39, and it’s the funny thing is these were the– they started this place I think like 1995, and they were the first to like “We have to be sure that we have safe contract, and they’re not going to kick us out.” And now they are, I think, the only alternative looking place in all Mitte and like tons of tourists go there every day to make photos, which is kind of the irony in it because, in the beginning, they wanted it to be the opposite of that, but now they have the tourists, Neurotitan is also a very good bookshop in there, they have a club in the basement and we’re having that party with four bands the Chilean singer Panxi the owners Poppe, who’s singer in the band Oum Shatt. Me doing a little show and the band Erneuerbare Energien, ten artists.
Joel Dullroy: Fantastic.
Jim Avignon: That’s it.
Joel Dullroy: Well, let’s give the audience a little taste of what they can expect!
Jim Avignon: So, maybe I should sing that song about the un-real estate.
Joel Dullroy: Whatever you want!
Jim Avignon: The gentrification phenomena. And can we have it a little bit louder? So, I already missed the point where I should start to sing. Usually, I have to explain, I have painted backdrops like this in big, and like on paper and I have lots of bonus things happening, so this is the stripped down version.
[singing] Wake up people from the Wall-street, wake up all you millionaires. There’s a show that you don’t want to miss, grab your cash and bring it here. All you want to be investors, all you fake entrepreneurs every suite looks like a gold mine, every house looks like a treat, and I know, and I know, these things will never be the same, once the money makes the game, once the business goes the same, what’s the feeling with cocaine, these things will never be the same. Houses happy made for living, but that was many days ago, now they’re a playground for investors when they let their instincts go, there’s no safety for the business, and there’s no rescue from the greed. And since they had new York for breakfast, I know for lunch they want Berlin. For lunch they want Berlin. And I know once the money makes the game, once the prices went insane, once they’re dealing with cocaine, I know the things will never be the same.
So this would be the moment where I usually play with my synthesizers which I didn’t bring, but instead, I can show you I would have like these masks dance in my backdrops, and it looks like kind of like a 2D computer game getting 3 dimensional and moving.
[singing] These things will never be the same. These things will never be the same. Once the prices go insane! Once the houses make the game. Once they’re dealing with cocaine. I know the things will never be the same. The same. The same. The same. And so on, and so on.
Thank you very much. Actually, I have a song called a friendly dog in an unfriendly world which would have been a perfect match to this situation.
Joel Dullroy: That was fantastic Jim! Thank you so much, Jim Avignon!
Jim Avignon: Thanks for having me!
Joel Dullroy: You can find out more online, you also go by the name Neoangin and you can– that’s how people find you these days right, Jim?
Jim Avignon: Yes.
Joel Dullroy: Neoangin dot com or Jim Avignon you can search for as well. Fantastic. Well, that’s almost the end of Radio Spätkauf, but we’ve just got a few little things to discuss before we go. One of which is that we have a very special announcement. We are…
Daniel Stern: …getting married. That’s right.
Jöran Mandik: What are we?
Joel Dullroy: We’re working on a new spinoff podcast series, and it’s going to play over the Christmas new years break because we’re all taking a little bit of time off. But we’re putting in together a very special replacement series, which is called:
Jöran Mandik: How to fuck up an airport.
Joel Dullroy: Can you guess what it’s about? We thought that once and for all, we should put together the story of what’s really gone wrong out at BER the new airport. Because everybody knows there’s something going on out there, but nobody really knows the details, so we’re going to take you through in a four-part series, step by step, failure by failure, through exactly what went wrong out at BER. So, now you’ll be the most informed people in the city, and you can tell everyone at the bar everything that’s–
Daniel Stern: I mean you’re already the most informed people in the city because you listen to this podcast.
Joel Dullroy: Exactly. And Jöran and I have had a bit of fun doing the– getting the audio together for it.
Jöran Mandik: We did some proper field work. On the ground journalism. We went to record and speak to the conductors of the ghost train, that goes to BER every night, leaving Shönenfeld S-Bahn station at 2:44 in the morning, it was eerie.
Joel Dullroy: By the way this train, it’s only reason for existence is to drive through the tunnels under BER to fight against mold forming on the walls. And so these two train drivers this is their job, at 2:44, we were waiting around the platform, we had to chase them down have a chat to them.
Jöran Mandik: We had to talk our way out of trouble with the BVG officers.
Joel Dullroy: They were pretty cool, really, actually.
Daniel Stern: Wow. Gonzo journalism.
Joel Dullroy: They basically said, why’d you bother coming out here? You know you could have recorded any train and it would have sounded the same.
Jöran Mandik: That’s true.
Joel Dullroy: Good point. But we had to get the train, the noise, and you will hear it on the series. It’s going to be on your podcast feed in the next couple of weeks, keep listening. And we’re going to back with regular Radio Spätkauf next year, in 2018 in January February, but for now, that’s all we have for the year, and it’s been great! Thanks for joining us. Thank you, my co-hosts.
Daniel Stern: Thank you, Joel.
Maisie Hitchcock: Thanks, Joel.
Jöran Mandik: Goodnight.
Joel Dullroy: Goodbye, have a nice Christmas, New year break!
Maisie Hitchcock: Bye.
Transcribed by Bridget Anderson, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Germans throw out one truck’s worth of good food each minute. SirPlus is a supermarket that sells groceries that are past their best-before date but are still edible. Founder Raphael Fellmer joins us with a basket of typical products from his shelves. You can visit the shop at Wilmersdorfer Staße 59, or you can order a home delivery box at: http://www.sirplus.de
Konrad Werner explains why Germans are terrified of fresh elections. The country still doesn’t have a governing coalition and might need to go back to the polls. Joel suggests a policy to add to coalition negotiations: abolishing the racist term “Schwarzer Peter” (Black Peter) to refer to a trouble-maker. Newspapers often use the shameful term to refer to the FDP, which walked out of coalition negotiations. Listen to Konrad’s podcast here: http://bit.ly/2zsamzo
You might have heard of Berlin’s top league football team Hertha BSC. But the city is also home to numerous neighbourhood clubs across seven different football leagues. Bloody Hell Magazine is an English-language blog that celebrates local football teams. Writers Ben, Dave and Alex join us to share their passion. Read more at: http://bloodyhellmagazine.com
Iconic Berlin illustrator and musician Jim Avignon joins us to perform live and talk about his new art book, Business As Unusual. He tells us how he managed to rediscover his love for Berlin despite how much it has changed during his 30 years here. Find his book here: http://bit.ly/2hW0jLC
This is our last live recording for 2017. Stay tuned for our upcoming spin-off podcast focusing exclusively on the debacle at Berlin Brandenburg Airport BER.
Recorded at Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday November 26. Your hosts: Jöran Mandik, Maisie Hitchcock, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.
The number of public bikes in Berlin increased to 6200 this week when Chinese company Mobike placed 700 of their orange and silver bicycles on the streets. They’re not to be confused with O-Bike, the Singaporean company that introduced 500 yellow-framed bikes just a few weeks earlier. In other cities, Mobike gives users credits for reporting broken bikes, and takes away credits for poor parking and “abandoning the bike when intercepted by police.”
The Berlin transport department says another three bike sharing companies have expressed interest in operating here. Radio Spaetkauf co-host Jöran Mandik discovered a watery graveyard of Lidl Bikes in the Landwehrkanal near Admiralsbrücke where some hater has been throwing them.
Police in Berlin recovered over 100 stolen items formerly belonging to John Lennon. A man has been arrested for allegedly selling the objects, worth an estimated €3 million, via an online auction website. They items were stolen from Yoko Ono by her former chauffeur, and passed on to a fence in Berlin. The auction website’s former managers says it didn’t know the items were stolen.
This Sunday is our very last live show of the year. Jim Avignon, an iconic Berlin illustrator and musician, is our special musical guest. The whole team will be on stage at the Comedy Cafe Berlin in Neukölln. Doors open at 3.30pm, show starts at 4pm, entry is free.
This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by Radio Eins.
Dodgy Berlin real estate deals have been discovered in the Paradise Papers. According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a company called Phoenix Spree based on the Isle of Jersey has been buying Berlin property, forcing out tenants, putting up the rent, then sending the profits to offshore accounts where they pay little tax. Wondering why rents are going up and where that extra money is going? Now you know. Another trick highlighted in the Paradise Papers are so-called share deals. Investors avoid Berlin’s 6% property sales tax by buying shares in companies that own property, instead of the property directly. This trick robs the city of €100 million euros annually, according to the Berlin finance department. The Sony Center was sold for €1.1 billion in October under such a share deal. None of these tricks are illegal. They’re simply immoral.
The Berlin Police Academy in Spandau is in the headlines. An anonymous letter published in the Tagesspiegel alleged Arabic gang members were being accepted as recruits. A police union spokesman claimed gangs were grooming some of their members to get into the police academy, by holding them back from committing crimes to keep their records clean. Berlin’s chief of police, Klaus Kandt, says there’s no such infiltration going on. The anonymous claims were fueled by racism toward people from immigrant communities, he said.
Hasenheide, Kottbusser Damm, Karl Marx Straße will get bike lanes in spring 2018. They will be up to 2 meters wide, painted bright green, and separated from cars by posts in some places. Berlin getting another bike sharing company. O-Bike will soon place 500 of its yellow bicycles across the city. The city now has 5500 public bikes, and will have at least 9000 by the end of 2018. O-Bike will charge €1 for 30 minutes, €20 a month, or €80 a year – which could be an alternative to buying a bike.
Check out the temporary sculpture Monument in front of the Brandenburger Tor. It features three upturned busses, replicating a scene from Aleppo in Syria, where civilians hid behind busses to protect themselves from gunfire during the ongoing civil war. The sculpture will be parked in Berlin until November 26.
This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Maisie Hitchcock, and brought to you by Radio Eins.
We are postponing our November 5 live recording.
New date: November 26
Doors open 15.30, recording starts 16.00
Comedy Cafe Berlin, Rosseger Str. 17, 12059
Almost 200 cyclists blocked traffic on Oranienstraße in a protest after a cyclist was doored and seriously injured. O-Straße is the third most dangerous street for cyclists in Berlin. What would happen if we painted our own bike lane? Over 34,000 bicycles worth almost €20 million are stolen annually in Berlin, only 3.5 percent are recovered.
Air Berlin’s turbulent descent into insolvency has reached its end. At 10.45pm on October 27 the final Air Berlin flight AB6210 from Munich will touch down at Tegel Airport, and the airline will cease to exist. Lufthansa won the bidding war to take over the majority of the bankrupt airline. It will purchase 81 aircraft and take on around 3000 employees and integrate them into its Eurowings brand. Lufthansa will soon carry over 90% of domestic German air traffic. Don’t be surprised if ticket prices start going up. Time to take a train? The low-cost rail company Locomore has recently re-launched, offering tickets to Frankfurt and Stuttgart for €9.90.
Berlin authorities have cracked down on homeless people camping in Tiergarten, where the murder of a 60 year old woman sparked politicians to claim the park had become lawless. Evictions have taken place in other locations. A homeless camp of around 70 people was cleared out from behind the Berghain nightclub. The Neukölln district council chartered buses to take homeless people back to Romania and Bulgaria. The number of homeless people staying in shelters has risen from almost 8000 in 2013 to over 30,000 in 2016, and an estimated 2000 are sleeping rough on the streets. Rising rents are forcing more Berliners out of their homes.
Come along to our next live recording at 6pm, Sunday November 5 at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.
This episode of Radio Spaetkauf is brought to you by Radio Eins, Berlin’s public broadcaster.
Storm Xavier lashed Berlin with winds of 120 kilometres an hour on October 5. Public transport and flights were cancelled for most of the day, and regional train lines were cut for several days. Five people died from falling trees and car accidents, and 18 flamingos at the Berlin Zoo didn’t make it through the storm. How do storms get their names? You can pay €260.61 to name a storm. The money goes to climate research at the Institut für Meteorologie at Berlin’s Freie Universität. Sign up for one at http://www.met.fu-berlin.de/wetterpate.
Only weeks after Berliners voted to keep Tegel Airport open, Lufthansa has announced it will soon begin operating Boeing 747s at Tegel. Three 747 services will run daily between Tegel and Frankfurt due to high passenger demand following the Air Berlin insolvency. The airline will have to pay a €515 euro penalty per flight to land the noisy jets, none of which goes to the long-suffering residents of Pankow.
Following the German national elections, the Friedrichstadt Palast director Berndt Schmidt said supporters of the Alternative für Deutschland party should hand back their tickets. He later said AFD voters were welcome, but might feel uncomfortable in his multi-cultural, multi-sexual, multi-religious theatre. The AFD reacted by calling for Friedrichstadt Palast to lose 12% of its public funding. On Saturday October 7 the theatre was evacuated due to a bomb threat. Among the 1700 audience members were ten AFD supporters who were given tickets by their party.
Comedian and journalist Drew Portnoy tells us about his return to Berlin after several years away. The city has grown by the equivalent of two Bonns in that time and is feeling crowded. At least the Kottbusser Tor escalators are fixed.
Berlin-based refugee rescue charity Jugend Rettet is in trouble. The organization’s boat has been impounded by Italian authorities. Jugend Rettet says they are being bullied out of the Mediterranean.
Are you a freelancer in Germany? Our guest Henrietta Mehlis from the SMart freelancers cooperative has some tips. Don’t confuse your tax identification number from your tax number – they’re different. And don’t trust cheap health insurance. She is running a free info session as part of European Freelancers Week at 5pm, 11.09.17, at Betahaus. More info at www.smart-de.org.
Berlin is sending 28 representatives to the Bundestag after last week’s elections. Here’s the breakdown by party: CDU 6; Die Linke 6; SPD 5; Die Grünen 4; AFD 4; FDP 3. The Greens barely held on to Hans-Christian Ströbele’s seat after infighting. The CDU’s failed mayoral candidate Frank Henkel also failed to win a parliamentary seat.
Berlin also voted 56.1% “yes” in the referendum on whether to keep Tegel Airport open. The R2G coalition now has to decide how to react – ignore the non-binding result, or try to please Tegel fans and face huge legal challenges from businesses, residents and environmental activists. Die Linke released a study finding 30% of all flights to Berlin could easily be replaced by train journeys.
The offstage drama at the Volksbühne continues. Squatters occupied the theatre demanding that new director Chris Dercon be replaced by a collective directorship. They were evicted after rejecting a compromise to hold their art-action in the Grüne Salon.
Dan names and shames a Berlin startup, Your Superfoods, which is begging for volunteers to pack boxes instead of paying for staff.
This episode was presented by Maisie Hitchcock, Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern, and recorded at the Comedy Cafe Berlin.
Tegel Airport fans won a referendum on whether the hexagonal Flughafen should stay open post-BER. The “yes” vote was 56.1%. But it doesn’t mean Tegel won’t close, as the federal and Brandenburg governments would have to agree. Renovation and residential soundproofing costs could reach a billion euros. Tegel supporters now want an U-Bahn extension as well.
The referendum happened on the same day as the German federal election, in which Angela Merkel’s CDU won almost a third of votes. Berlin voted differently: here the CDU won almost 23%, and Die Linke came second with about 19%. There were protests in front of the AFD election party at a venue at Alexanderplatz. The far-right party won 12% of votes in Berlin.
On September 24, 28,000 runners raced in the Berlin Marathon. Kenya’s Eluid Kipchoge won the race for the second time, but missed out on a world record by 35 seconds, The women’s race was won Gladys Cherono, also from Kenya. Another runner was Berlin’s former state secretary for security, Bernd Krömer from the CDU, who failed to appear at a parliamentary inquiry only two days earlier, claiming illness.
The popular street food market known as Thai Park was raided last weekend. A squad of police and Ordnungsamt officers shut down the food stalls in Preussenpark in Wilmersdorf. Thai Park is still happening, but more raids are possible. The local CDU councillor said the food market must be either cleared away or legalized.
The German Comic Con is on this weekend at Messe Berlin. If you don’t like cosplay, come along to the live recording of Radio Spaetkauf at Comedy Cafe Berlin on Sunday October 1, 17.30.
This episode was presented by Joel Dullroy and Daniel Stern.