Euro-crisis? Whatever. Berlin, the Greece of Germany, has always muddled through one crisis after another. Here are my carefully considered socio-cultural-political predictions for the year.
An offshoot of the Occupy movement hijacks five S-Bahn trains in strategic locations around the city to protest the atrocious management of the commuter rail network. They kick out the drivers and stay put on the tracks, installing makeshift beds, kitchens, toilets and Wi-Fi in the trains, paralysing the system for months.
2. Wedding cake
First expat-run vegan cupcake shop opens in Wedding. There goes the neighbourhood.
3. Neu-Kölln Notting Hill
Word gets out that Lady Gaga has purchased a loft on Maybachufer – boosting international teen-tourism in the area to unforeseeable levels – and prompting a mass exodus of avant-garde hipster types to Wedding, Moabit and Charlottenburg.
Unemployed Spaniards flood Berlin, the capital of booming Germany. Berghain becomes an almost entirely Spanish club. A few find success on the tapas market, others launch a Spanish-language magazine for Berlin, but the more ambitious Spaniards head south as soon as they find out that all the jobs are in Munich.
Tip and Zitty magazines, having become so similar to one another, merge into a single generic publication.
Club Mate launches its bottled Bubble Tea: Club Bubble or ‘Clubble’. Bubble-Vodka becomes the club drink of the year.
The Piratenpartei, realizing that they agree with the Greens on just about everything, but have a cooler logo, merge with the ecologists, creating a third force to reckon with – Die grüne Piratenpartei.
8. Mustafa, king of Mehringdamm
The average wait at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab grows from 20 to 40 minutes thanks to their viral Youtube parody of a baby food ad.
9. Sexy, but straight
Mayor Klaus Wowereit announces that he is dating a woman – which is immediately viewed as a tactical move in preparation for his campaign to run for German chancellor in the 2013 elections.
10. Hunga hunga
Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel dowdy, goodie-goodie image is shattered once and for all when Spiegel reveals her involvement in a boys-drugs-Jacuzzi money-laundering scheme that makes Berlusconi look like a toddler in the sandbox. British newspaper the Sun coins the term ‘Hunga Hunga’: Hun + Bunga Bunga.