I had the opportunity to review the newly released book by Jessica Guzik titled, Let’s Take Berlin: Funny True Stories from an American Girl in Berlin. She wrote this book during her first few months as a new expat in the city after visiting only once for a week. That is brave! Knowing only four people, she started down a new journey of life in Berlin.
In her book, she describes her often funny interactions with German people to which I can certainly relate. Even simple things like taking a short bus trip to Leipzig results in hilarious and sometimes scary stories that highlight the difficulties of new transplant in a country where you don’t speak the language. In one story a bus driver takes her under his wing after realizing she does not quite understand what he is saying. In the end, he drops her off nowhere near her stop where eventually she finds her friends but is left perplexed as to what kind of help the driver was giving.
Her take on her trip to the grocery store mirrored my anxiety when I was in those situations. I rarely went to the store alone, even after living in Berlin for years. I was always afraid I would miss something in German and get yelled at. She details seeing real eggs for the first time, as well as the endless amount of bread in the bread aisle. She also discovers that German women don’t use applicators with their tampons, something I frankly have taken with me since it wastes less plastic, but it is shocking the first time trying to get that thing in your hoohah. Hilarious.
I loved the book and thought it was a funny addition to the expat books I have read about Berlin. There is an ode to the doner, dating experiences in Germany, and of course learning how German men flirt, which could be an entire book on its own. What I did love was her description of it feels to be in a city where you don’t speak the language, and visit another where you are fluent, like her trip to the UK. I wanted to tell her, eventually, you will understand it and realize they talk about the same stupid shit us English speakers do. I loved the book. Go check out her book here, and visit her website for more information on the author!