Stories from all categories

hand to hand
I went to a new physiotherapist today for my injured hand, and experienced all the Germanness. Me and the therapist, who is 23, have to call each other Mrs So and So, Mrs So. Her more
this one time?
I came home after a long day, festooned with groceries. The bench on the subway platform was occupied by two girls and their shopping. I said, "Excuse me," in German, and they said, "Excuse me," more
refugee dinner
This is the lunch I had today, in a Saturday cafe set up by a refugees welcome committee (one of the many) in Berlin. When I ordered, a smiling Syrian woman plump and beautiful in more
a virgin busker
On the subway a woman suddenly opened her mouth and began to sing. Her voice was tentative and good. She had a little loudspeaker rigged up through her mobile phone and had set herself to more
a Berlin evening, so cold, so sweet
After an exceptionally difficult night and a day of doing difficult work, I said: I need to go out. Let's go someplace we can have a glass of red and a plate of food. I more
it has sun
In the cafe he showed me the pictures he had taken on his walk here, of a dog skateboarding in the park. "You should animate those into a thumb-book!" I said. Amy Winehouse was singing. more
the meagrely satisfying throne
He didn’t want to be President. Not if President means making sticky decisions, and being blamed for things (most of the world calls this ‘adult responsibility’), and being woken at four to read the papers. more
pity flamingo
Every week I cross town on the train and we pass a tower block of identical grey-frame units which have grey balconies. One balcony, at eye level with the train, has a bright pink inflatable more
salami baby jesus
I may or may not have been down to the markets today to visit the man who runs a wonderful salami stall; he offers salamii (that's the plural) of goose, duck, venison, and pig. This more