German pillows are a crime against sleep

How does this make any kind of sense?

How big is your head?

I’m not suggesting you know its exact circumference in centimetres, but you do have an idea of how much space it takes up, right?

I don’t think this is the case for German people. How else would you explain their pillows?

The Best Books I Read in 2020

These are the best books I read in 2020

Do you have a book addiction? Well I’m here to make it worse.

I love a good reading list like a hobo loves Aqua Velva.

Staying sane in an info-flooded world

Why is it so difficult to stay informed? To sift the essential from the vast cacophony of background noise? To consume just enough without smartphones and 24-hour news cycles taking over your life?

In part, the devices that improve — and often plague — our lives are deliberately designed to be addictive.

Scolded by Germans

One of my old friends is going native.

I went to the beach with her and her sister long before kindergarten was on the horizon, and we attended the same high school in our tiny hometown.

The misery of apartment hunting in Berlin

“There’s gotta be someplace out there for me…”

It’s easier to get into North Korea than it is to rent a flat in Berlin.

I can say that with great confidence, having done both.

The ‘Forbidden City’ just outside Berlin

This was once the largest Red Army base outside the USSR

The largest Red Army base outside the Soviet Union was a 40 minute drive south of Berlin.

It was just beyond where the new airport — and the old Schönefeld SXF — is today.

Cynical Theories are tearing us apart

This new book by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay is essential reading for anyone struggling to make sense of the self-contradictory ‘woke’ ideology that’s spread divisive cancel culture like a mind virus through our workplaces, public policy and social lives.

The abandoned airport down the street

Tempelhof airport was once the world’s largest building

I’m moving flats next month and saying goodbye to Tempelhofer Feld, my favourite space in the neighbourhood.

But before I pack up my books and lug them across town, I’d like to tell you a bit about the history of what was once the world’s largest building.

The Heavy Load-Bearing Body Down the Street

The base of the Schwerbelastungskörper

I’m moving flats soon, after four years, leaving this neighbourhood behind for another pre-war altbau in a different part of the city.

Imminent departure has prompted me to poke around some of those minor historic sites I’ve passed so often but never gotten around to exploring.

To The Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace

Kapka Kassabova is taking us back to the Balkans.

I’ve been looking forward to something new from this wonderful writer since Border, which was my top travel read of 2018.

That earlier book touched on the author’s childhood in Bulgaria, and To The Lake takes us deeper as she journeys to her grandmother’s place of origin in the mountainous Macedonian lake district.