Everyone seems to agree that Berlin is unlike anywhere else in Germany - more open, more cosmopolitan, more relaxed, less averse to foreigners. It's also 'trendy, fun and cool'. Apparently.
I certainly haven't noticed 'trendy'... or perhaps I'm too old!
Anyway, here are a few very random observations I have made about Berlin.
Couples are gently affectionate with each other. They hold hands all the time, whatever their age. It's truly heart-warming to see octogenarians walking along holding hands.
Dogs are, almost without exception, incredibly well trained. Although they are supposed to be kept on a lead at all times, they aren't and they are delightful. They trot along at perfect 'heel' with their owners and mostly ignore the distraction that is my bouncing, permanently on-lead dog.
Dog shit, however, is another matter entirely. Dogs are permitted to crap everywhere and it is never, ever picked up. If you're lucky then it isn't deposited in the middle of the pavement...
While tastelessly looking for a photo of this, I saw lots of ways of drawing attention to abandoned dog poo; spraying pink, covering with sprinkles and hand-written notices. I may start doing something like this. I wonder if there is a rule about defacing dog shit?
Car parks are nigh on impossible to find. Parking is 'available' along the side of most roads and, in some cases, down a central reservation in the middle of the road. However, when I say 'available', I mean you will be extraordinarily lucky to find a space.
On the rare occasion you do discover a car park you will see plenty of examples of, what we have termed, "German Parking". If there is space for three cars, it seems to be normal to only park two in there. By parking at outrageous angles, drivers ensure that a third of all parking bays are unavailable. Very annoying.