Us Europeans

Archives for European Union Member States

Growing up in the DDR

Children who grew up in Germany before 1989 had very different childhood bases on whether they were born in West Germany or in East Germany. The general perception of West-Germans is that children in East Germany must have suffered a lot under the poverty. DDR kids had fewer toys and fewer opportunities to go on holiday, but whether they were really unhappier because of that remains hard to say. Eik (29) enjoyed his childhood years and would not have wanted them to be different from what they were. Here`s his story:

Posted by Bruno

Nine neighbours

No country within the EU shares as many borders with other countries as Germany does. The list of neighbouring countries has no fewer than nine members: Denmark in the North, Poland and Czech Republic in the East, Austria and Switzerland in the South and France, Luxembourg, Belgium and The Netherlands on the Western side. In each of these nine countries, inhabitants have distinct ideas about the Germans. But what do the Germans themselves think about their `Nachbarn`?

Posted by Bruno

After yesterday`s introduction of Berlin`s recent history, it`s now time to look at how much East and West Berlin are still different today. `Not at all`, some say. `Still quite different`, says the majority. East Berlin seems to be suitable for everything related to students, modern art and parties. West Berlin is business-related and cares for the `established arts` rather than the anarchist type. What else is typical for either of the two halves?

Posted by Bruno

Getting to Berlin after spending two weeks in Poland is quite an event. More so than most Polish cities, Berlin is huge, international and diverse. All of that becomes instantly clear to me when my train arrives at Berlin`s new Central Station: a huge railway in the centre of the city that serves as an immense crossroad. On the exact border of former East and West, I am left wondering how much both sides are still different. Before diving into that, here`s a first impression of what people remember from the years surrounding , the changes caused by the reunification of Germany.

Posted by Bruno

Getting to Berlin after spending two weeks in Poland is quite an event. More so than most Polish cities, Berlin is huge, international and diverse. All of that becomes instantly clear to me when my train arrives at Berlin`s new Central Station: a huge railway in the centre of the city that serves as an immense crossroad. On the exact border of former East and West, I am left wondering how much both sides are still different. Before diving into that, here`s a first impression of what people remember from the years surrounding , the changes caused by the reunification of Germany.

Posted by Bruno

Constructive psychology

Following interviews with a railway employee in Hungary, a photographer from Slovenia, a social worker in Austria, a pub manager in Czech Republic and a forest girl in Slovakia, today is the right day for another one-person interview. This time, I am talking with Mateusz, a 25-year-old psychology student who lives in Gdansk and hopes to graduate within the next year.

Posted by Bruno

Negative emotions

Leaving home for one year without ever getting frustrated would be impossible, and today turns out to be my annual frustration day. I will keep the reasons of these negative emotions to myself but they do serve as a perfect excuse to ask some Polish people how they deal with frustrations, and what is making them feel frustrated in the first place.

Posted by Bruno

Polish headlines

The Polish media circus is almost as interesting and fascinating as Italian politics. It has a lot of drama, people accusing each other of this and that, papers being influenced by either political parties and/or the Church. Today`s edition of Dziennik, one of the biggest newspapers, spent one page writing about the Us Europeans project: a good reason to see what they think about the project and to investigate what other subjects are in the Polish news these days.

Posted by Bruno

Dreams and ambitions

Back in the Czech Republic, I was disappointed to find out that the word `ambition` seemed to be looked down on. Thinking about the future in other terms than making money and raising a family almost seemed `not done`. Hoping that Poles will have more elaborate answers to the ambition question, I am asking them today what they would like to achieve in the near future.

Posted by Bruno

Papirologia w Polsce

Twenty years after the fall of communism, Polish state employees still love the sound of stamps and the activity of putting them on anything that looks like paper. While ordinary people are trying to find the way in the capitalistic world, they still often face the old-style paper monster called `bureaucracy`.

Posted by Bruno