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Toby Charles, you see, was a Welsh broadcaster who, in addition to his regular announcing duties, once a week hosted a public television show called Soccer Made in Germany.
This Emmy-nominated weekly series, produced by German Educational TV and broadcasted only on American public television, featured hour-long edited highlights of games involving West German association football teams and select international and European cup games from UEFA. Toby Charles was the host from the show’s inception in 1976 until he left in 1983.
Jacinta Nandi has been living in Berlin so long that she actually does that thing where when you get on the U-Bahn you calculate which subway car to get into to ensure that when you disembark you won’t have to walk very far at all in order to get out of the station. WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT IT. Plus, Jacinta Nandi writes a column called Amok-Mama for the English-language Berlin magazine Exberliner. In 2011 her first audio book Deutsch werden: Why German people love playing frisbee with their nana naked was published by Periplaneta. S2S’s Mike Trupiano chatted with Nandi about all things German, including our own home-brewed racism and what Berliner expression turns her on.
Mike Trupiano: Where are you from?
Jacinta Nandi: Essex. I always say to Germans that I come from London coz they’ve never heard of Essex. Some people think I’m ashamed of being from Essex. I don’t think I am. I quite like it. I am a typical Essex girl – sex-mad, loud-mouthed and opinionated.
“Everyone assumes that life in the GDR was bleak, grey and utterly depressing. But I could show you parts of my hometown Manchester that look exactly the same.”
If you have ever been to a tourist attraction in Berlin you most likely have encountered the numerous peddlers of souvenirs from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Anything from miniature Lenin busts to the ubiquitous hammer and sickle flags can be had for a couple of Euros. For most of us, these objects are merely remnants of a lost Empire we have only heard about. When filmmaker Ian Hawkins first purchased a GDR t-shirt he felt compelled to learn more about how life really was on the other side of wall.
Mike Trupiano: You made a doc which I thought was great called My DDR T-Shirt. Why did you make it? What was it about?
that’s a Japanese expression that aptly describes the last few months. Somehow, over a very short timespan, a very eclectic group of people coalesced to partake in the idea of ‘crossing borders.’ In the case of Station to Station, the transatlantic cultural magazine, those borders are the Atlantic Ocean, a time difference of six hours and vastly different cultural perspectives.
So, it was that on July 26th, on a warm summer evening, that we gathered by the River Spree to publicly celebrate the launch of Station to Station. And, thanks to Russell Radzinski who hosted us at his Emerson Gallery Berlin, that celebration was a memorable one. The atmosphere was relaxed, the presenters were energized and the audience was enthusiastic.
Hey. Can I talk to you? Sit down. Fine. Stand.
Look, we’ve had our differences lately – a lot of differences – and I need to tell you…I’ve been seeing other languages. Don’t yell, please. You’re always so harsh. This is hard enough. I don’t know how it happened. How do these things ever happen? I was bored. I was frustrated. I was online and I saw the…Berlitz website. Don’t yell! I set up a meeting.
With…French. Don’t laugh!
Of all things, he is an English standup comedian in Berlin since 2004. For S2S our American correspondent Mike Trupiano discusses with Harris the trials and tribulations of trying to make Berliners laugh.
S2S: So, you’re from Nottingham, England and you perform English standup comedy in Berlin. How are German audiences? Rowdy?
James Harris: Unlike in Britain, I’ve certainly never encountered a very drunk German crowd. There’s the guy in every audience in Britain who think’s he’s funnier than the comedian and wants to impress his date by proving that. This person is not present in Germany generally. I find German audiences generally very respectful and, I have to say, sometimes a little bit too respectful.