"I hate hipsters," said my friend Sarah the other day, as we sat in Volkspark Hasenheide.
"Oh," I said, vaguely surprised. "Do you?"
"Yeah," she said. "Remember how cool Berlin was before all the hipsters came?"
"Yeah," I said, half-heartedly. "I'm a bit surprised you hate them, though, I must admit."
"Well. I kind of thought you were one. Or wanted to be."
"Jacinta! I am not a hipster!"
"No! And I would never want to be one, either."
"Hmmm. Well, I thought you were a bit of a one, to be honest."
"Well. You have really nice clothes. And snazzy handbags. Hipsters are really snazzy, aren't they? They always have these snazzy little handbags. And, erm. You know lots of DJ names. You're always going to, like, bars where the DJ will be really good and stuff. Aren't you?"
"That doesn't make me a hipster!"
"No. That just means I know about music. God, that's outrageous that you thought I was a hipster."
"Hey Sarah," I said. "Who do we know who is a hipster? Like, who do we actually know who is actually is a hipster. Like, Jens, for example, is Jens a hipster?"
"Jens is not a hipster."
"He wears very skinny jeans."
"Hipsters aren't even wearing skinny jeans anymore, I don't think."
"What are they wearing now? Corduroy dungarees? Kilts? Saris?"
"Look, Jens isn't a hipster. He's just very short. Those are the only jeans that fit him. He probably buys them from the kids' section in Karstadt. Anyway, he can't be a hipster. He doesn't drink Club Mate."
"Okay. Is Tony a hipster?"
"He's not a hipster. He comes from Alaska."
"Oh. Can't a hipster come from Alaska?"
"No, dur. Hipsters all come from New York or Spain or London."
"But what about that Daniel bloke? He is a hipster. He is definitely a hipster. I know he's a hipster. And he comes from Belfast."
"Do you think he's a hipster? Isn't he a punk?"
"I think sometimes," I said, decisively, "a hipster can look like a punk but be a hipster. But punks – true punks – never look like hipsters. Have you noticed how Easties just use the term hipster and yuppie interchangeably? That's because they didn't have the 1980s in the GDR. So they never had any yuppies. They just had the 1970s twice, and then die Wende. I mean, they probably had a little bit of the 1980s – they probably had a few shoulder pads and that – but they didn't have any of the real 1980s stuff, like Margaret Thatcher destroying the unions and Samantha Fox and self-employed window-cleaners buying their council houses and sending their daughters to private school. So Easties don't make any distinction between a yuppie and a hipster. Which is interesting. Marion always calls Ä a yuppie-Kneipe. I hate this yuppie-Kneipe, she says. But I mean, we could just all go and drink in Eckkneipen, you know. But if enough of us did it, they'd just turn into yuppie-Kneipen in the end as well and then everyone would complain even more about gentrification so maybe it's better if we just stick to Ä and yuppie-Kneipen like that."
"Oh," sighed Sarah. "It's all so confusing. It was better before the hipsters came. I hate them all. They've ruined Berlin. This used to be such a great city. Can you remember? When we first came? It was brilliant. It was Berlin. So, Jacinta, I'm getting hungry. Where do you want to go for vegan brunch? Neukölln? Or Friedrichshain? What do you say?"
"Neukölln will do me," I said. "I don't want to get on the U-Bahn, I haven't bought a Monatskarte this month yet."
"Okay," said Sarah, and we walked off into the sunshine.