Gli Tedeschi

“Una White Coffee, un Muesli e una water from the mains for table sette…!”, the Italian waitress shouts. The bartenderess starts scribbling and hands the note over to the cook, who jumps and runs into the kitchen of the brand new café.


Somebody has rented a worn out traditional Kreuzbergian Pub, sweptp the floor – there are absolutely no signs of renovation – furnished it with childrens tables and stools from an elementary school, put in a used giant espresso machine and named it “Italian Café” – and the Kreuzbergians stand in line to get in!

The speed and endurance the two Italian women – middle aged but lean and quick – are waiting the tables remind of hamsters in a running wheel. They seem to be a little drunk from their economic success: So many years they had bareley enough to pay the rent, and now they really make money! They know it’s not true, but it feels like the faster they rush, the earlier they can return home!


It’s saturday morning and merely well educated male Berliners have conquered the tiny chairs of the Café. With a sophisticated smile they unfold newspapers the size of table clothes, only to refold them again later. True representants of a nation considering itself as the busiest in the world they spend their saturday morning sitting on extreme inconveniant chairs and reading newspapers, they take no notice of the others around them working.

They never say a word. Once in a while they would wet their lips with White Coffee, that already has turned cold since they finished page 3. They will not order a second one, they will not kick over the traces. Saves money anyway. Frugality and righteousness as a virtue. Cool as a cucumber they came, cool as a cucumber they will go.


Totally opposite to the two Italian waitresses, who once in a while stop for seconds to catch some breath and move away a strand of hair from their forehead. They shake their heads in disbelieve: Gli tedesci! These Germans!

“Muesli for table seven, scrambled eggs for table twelve, avanti avanti! Move!!”, the cook shouts from the kitchen, and the two waitresses take a deep breath. Three more years, and they’ll have enough money. Three more years and they’ll fuck off Berlin and return to Bologna. And with a jump they return back into the running wheel.




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