Germany! The economic engine of Europe. Without Germany, there would be no Europe as we understand it today, at least financially speaking. Germany has the highest GDP in Europe by far, over 30% higher than the GDP of the UK (at a distant second place) and one of only five European countries that have a GDP of over $1 trillon. (The vast majority of European countries have a GDP of less than $500 billion each.) 

I’ve done a lot of business with Germans and German companies over the past 25 years, but this is the first time I’ve spent any extended time in Germany, Berlin in particular, to actually get a feel for the country. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, having learned to speak very shitty German when I was a young man and always being interested in the culture. Germans had always seemed to be harder-working and more focused than other Europeans, something I later discovered was empirically accurate. 

On this particular trip I hit London for a few days (a city I already analyzed here a few years ago), then Berlin for a while, both of which on business (including my Alpha Male 2.0 World Tour). Then I’ll spend a few days in Paris for a mini vacation, which I will discuss in the next article.  

Pink Firefly went with me on this trip for once. White American girls usually have little interest in going to Asia and zero interest going anywhere near South America, but Europe, and Paris in particular, is where they all fantasize about going their entire lives. When I told her I was coming here, she was all too excited to join me, very unlike most of the other international trips I take 

But right now, I’m in Berlin. Let’s discuss. 

The City 

The best word I can use to describe Berlin is sleepy. This city is, very strangely, the sleepiest, quietest, least crowded major city I have probably ever visited anywhere in the entire world. Often it doesn’t even feel like a city. Cities like Sydney, Vancouver, and San Diego have far smaller populations than Berlin’s six million (greater metro area), and yet those cities are crowded with wall-to-wall people constantly going to and fro at all hours of the day and night. They feel like cities. 

Berlin, on the other hand, has hardly anyone walking around, at any hour of the day, even in the downtown core areas. Add this to the fact that they really don’t have any skyscrapers here (the tallest office building in the entire city is only 37 floors) and Berlin feels like you’re in a very small town at least much of the time. It’s very strange. The contrast coming here right from crowded-as-usual London was shocking. 

Some might argue that this is because Berlin is very spread out, but that makes no sense either, since cities like Los Angeles and Miami are also really spread out, but massive crowds in these cities are still common and normal. It’s almost as if Berliners just don’t go out very much. I really don’t know. 

All of this lends itself to an extremely relaxing vibe here. One morning I even commented to Pink Firefly that visiting Berlin is almost like going to the beach (though there is no beach, obviously). It’s that relaxing. It’s very nice and I really enjoy the relaxed vibe here. Traffic is also quite manageable because of this, even during Berlin’s rush hour(!). 

Berlin is also greener than even the USA Pacific Northwest where I’m from. I’m accustomed to very green cities because of where I live, but in Berlin, instead of a city with patches of green like most high rainfall areas, is the inverse; green with patches of city all over the place. Flying into Tegel, I saw more trees than buildings, by far, and this didn’t really change much as we drove into the city. They just didn’t build Berlin very dense. Another unique aspect of this interesting town. 

One problem Berlin has that I wasn’t expecting at all is graffiti. I have never seen this much fucking graffiti in any city outside of the Latin world. You can do a 20minute drive through the middle of Berlin and, seriously, see the walls of virtually every building you pass slathered with graffiti. It’s as much as in Mexico City, but unlike in Mexico, the graffiti in Germany isn’t pretty or artistic. It’s mostly shit. Much of it also has a left-wing slant. More than once I saw graffiti that said things like “fuck capitalism.” Ah, Europe. 

Pink Firefly, not being very well traveled, was baffled when she saw all of this. “Why do they leave all of this graffiti up? Why don’t they clean it off?” While I could answer that question in the second and third worlds of Latin America (because they don’t give a shit and don’t have the money), I could not answer it here in Germany. 

Berlin also has the usual European smallness factor that is so obvious to people like me who grew up in America where everything is big. Everything is small here like in most countries in Europe. Small buildings, small cars, small people, small dogs, small beds, small apartments, small bathrooms, small sinks, and so on.  

Pink Firefly, who has never been to Europe before was surprised and thoroughly confused when we had to lug our heavy bags up four flights of stairs to get to our apartment since the building didn’t have an elevator. “Oh yeah,” I told her, “This is normal in Europe.” 

Unfortunately, the subway here in Berlin is pretty bad, probably the worst I’ve used in Europe. At first glance it looks organized and simple, but it’s quite the opposite. Many of the train platforms are labeled unclearly, most current train maps are flat out incorrect, and delays and other problems are commonplace. 

Here’s an example of what happened to us. PF and I had planned to spend an entire day in Potsdam and check out the castles and palaces there. I did the research and it was very clear on the internet and on all of the latest Berlin train maps that train RE1 on Platform 2 in the Alexanderplatz banhopf (train station) would take us right there. I spent $20 US to get us both tickets; we boarded the train. We got nice and comfortable for the 30minute train ride. Then, after two stops, the god damn train reversed direction and went right back to the train station where we left from. It was hilarious. There was no indication on any maps anywhere that this train did that, nor that the station where this happened was a terminus for any train.  

So, shaking my head, we get off the train back where we started, go to the information desk and ask them what the deal is. Apparently, we had the wrong train (which was literally impossible to determine from their own information). We were directed to the correct train at Platform 4. 

We go there and wait. Sure enough, I see the digital sign indicating the Potsdam train to arrive in six minutes. Cool. We wait three minutes. The sign still says six minutes. We wait another three minutes. The sign still says six minutes. We wait another ten minutes. The sign still says the train will arrive in six minutes. Then the train’s name vanishes off the sign. Then a few minutes later, it returns. It still says six minutes. 15 minutes later we’re still waiting. The sign goes from no Potsdam train to a train arriving in six minutes twenty minutes ago.  

PF was amazed at how disorganized this all was, but I had warned her several times how disorganized Europe can be, so she wasn’t totally shocked. Then a woman’s voice comes over the loudspeaker saying something about the Potsdam train and another 25 minutes. 

Ooooookaaayyy, thank you very much. I’m done now. Fuck you, German trains. I cancel our trip to god damn Potsdam, which I was really looking forward to, and instead spend the day in Berlin despite the wasted $20.  

So yeah, Berlin’s subway system really bites ass. What a disappointment. But hey, to be fair, the exact same thing happened to me in New York. As I’ve said before, the infrastructure of the Western world is slowly collapsing regardless of what side of the Atlantic it’s on (as Asia’s infrastructure improves in leaps and bounds). 

The Women 

The women in Berlin are just average, and solidly so, no better and no worse. That means that they definitely aren’t ugly, they definitely aren’t fat (Germans are perhaps the skinniest Europeans I’ve seen so far), and there are plenty of cute girls if you look around enough, but hot women are extraordinarily rare to the point of being almost nonexistent here. I’ve been here several days, have been all over Berlin, and I’ve seen a grand total of two hot women. (And even then, they were quite young, perhaps age 20.) 

I’d put the women in Berlin as better than London (which isn’t saying much) but worse than Italy and France. The good news is, as I said above, overweight women are extremely rare here. I’ve only seen a tiny handful and most of them were non-German. German women are very skinny. 

Speaking of skinny, the men here are the typical skinny guys I typically associate with most European cultures. Their builds here are quite tall but very skinny, with narrow shoulders and the skinniest legs of any white men I’ve ever seen. PF commented that while she found lots of men in London very attractive, she hasn’t seen any men in Berlin who she thought were good-looking. 

The People 

People here are extremely friendly, which I wasn’t expecting. Most Germans I’ve met and worked with weren’t humorless or mean or anything, but I wouldn’t categorize them as friendly. Yet people here have been extremely nice to me and PF. 

At one point one of our bags fell out of the back of an Uber we were taking (while we were parked). Two women immediately ran over from almost across the street, picked up the bag (which was heavy), placed it back into the car for us, and warned us that it had fallen. That’s just an example of these very friendly Germans; I had many experiences like that here. 

The people here have also been very tolerant of my horrible German speaking ability. I took several years of the German language when I was younger (a foolish mistake on my part; I should have taken Spanish). Today I’m in the category where I speak the language just enough to be barely understood but I abuse the language so badly that what I say is really funny and (if I wasn’t outcome independent) extremely embarrassing.  

But when I speak their language like an idiot, the Germans here just smile, repeat what I said correctly, and continue on. I would make fun of me (seriously), but they’re too nice. 

The Spearhead of the Collapse 

I have read a sociological theory more than once that because of their devastating loss in World War II, the two formerly powerful and masculine nations of Germany and Japan both had their Alpha Male badassary ripped out of their cultures. I have no idea if this is the case. I haven’t done the research, and I don’t want to speculate. I’m just saying that I’ve heard this from many people who have studied these things. 

I do think that there is a deep and powerful guilt in modern German culture regarding what the Nazis did, which helps explain why the intelligent, organized, and industrious Germans are so hell-bent on politically destroying their own nation. But most of Suicidal Europe is doing this, not just Germany, so it’s not fair to pick on them. The only difference is, as I explained to the guys who went to my seminar here, when Europe collapses (and it will before the USA), people in poor countries like Moldova aren’t going to really feel it, but people in comparatively prosperous countries like Germany are going to feel it hard. 

Speaking of all of this, visiting Checkpoint Charlie where the Berlin Wall once stood was a real highlight for me. The picture above is me standing right in front of the checkpoint. The fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany were two of the greatest historical events during my lifetime. It’s such a shame that Germany is going down the same road to destruction as my country, only faster. 

Overall, I really like Berlin (minus its trains), thoroughly enjoyed visiting here, and will return here soon, perhaps next year when I visit Russia and Eastern Europe. 

Next up, Paris… 

50 Comments on “A Dragon In Germany

  1. That’s great that you’ve come to Europe. As a European, I find some of your frustrations funny and very relatable. For example, I too, don’t have an elevator in my house, but never even thought of that. The story about the digital sign displaying 6 minutes for 25 minutes is very true – this is always a case with buses in Ireland where I live. Mobile transport apps are more accurate, so we mostly just use them to check time of arrival.

    I was in Moscow last year in June and the place is amazing. I can speak fluent Russian, so communicating was easy and made for truly insightful conversations with locals and camouflaged myself from being treated as a tourist. Not sure how your visit will go, considering their English is not just bad, but almost non-existent.

    What places in Eastern Europe you want to visit?

  2. I’d agree with the quiet factor of Berlin compared to London. I went there recently and was amazed with the space even in the busy areas! However I found the trains ran well and on time so perhaps you picked a bad day. Also agree how friendly the people are compared to the miserable gits here in London!

    Speaking of which, how did you find London compared to your last visit?

  3. If you had to give a rough guess, when would you say that Europe will totally economically collapse?

    my guess is 5-10 years from now (ca. 2024-2029)

  4. Gotta love how there’s a McD’s right next to checkpoint charlie now.

    This cry of “fuck capitalism” is catching on big in the western world.  I’ve been noticing more and more articles about how bad it is and how we need to embrace more “equality” which just means socialism.  Educated people in my own circles also are leaning towards more socialist ideas lately as well.  Just print more money right?  Or just squeeze it out of the rich!  The wealthy didn’t get that way by being dumb-they’ll get around any bullshit tax or however they try to fund all these new programs.

    People don’t seem to understand that we have Corporatism here in the US, not capitalism, first of all.  It’s a bastardized version and Washington is totally complicit in it’s creation, no matter what all these 2020 candidates tell you.  Their wacky ideas will end up hurting those they claim to care about so much in the long run.  You’ll have a few good years and then off the cliff.

  5. I actually live in Berlin and some of the things you said are true. That train issue that you had would have never happened a few years ago, but it’s getting worse and worse because the public and private services don’t give too much of damn these days anymore. Sometimes I have to wait for like 1 hour for a bus to arrive. I don’t know how things are in the US but I believe Germany is becoming a european USA version (just like GB, France, etc) where you can only count on yourself. With that being said Berlin is still a place I would never leave, unless I were rich. It’s like the cheapest of all big cities in this world. I am also glad there are not too many scyscrapers here (I just hate them, they are ugly), there are lots of historical buildings and lots of greene places and parks. The subway system is still good though, especially on the weekends. You can always catch a train until about 5 am in the morning, which is very helpful if you are going home drunk from a party. The social system is still very good. I recently read that Germany has spent like 110 billion Euros in 2012 on social coverings. While this comes along with many people abusing the system (non war refugees or people who officially don’t work yet make money on the side), it’s still the only thing that keeps Berlin in peace.

  6. I notice you don’t mention the food. Having spent five days in Berlin myself, I can see the reason for that. In fact, I learned the hard way about central European food from my previous travels in Czechya and Poland and mostly stuck to falafel and kebab. I advise anyone else to do the same.

  7. Germany has the highest GDP in Europe by far, over 30% higher than the GDP of the UK (at a distant second place) and one of only five European countries that have a GDP of over $1 billion. (The vast majority of European countries have a GDP of less than $500 million each.) 

    Do you mind specifying which type of GDP this refers to? The ranking, and Germany being 30% ahead of the UK, are correct, but the numbers I’m getting for nominal GDP in 2018 are $4 trillion (4029 billion) for Germany, 2.808 trillion for the UK, 2.7904 trillion for France. Most European nations are under 500 billion, not 500 million.

  8. You got the wrong train to potsdam. But it’s 100% their problem. Happened to me so many times. Idiots. If you had encountered conductors they would have charged you 200€+.

    However transport within the city is good. It runs through the night.

    You probably stayed in central Berlin aka Alexanderplatz. That can be quiet, other areas are busy as hell. (Kadewe, Mauerpark, Neukölln, Nightclubs @ Friedrichshain etc).

    Yep 100%, the women here suck…they wear horrible clothes… that’s the problem. They are beautiful but think they are men. Most of them shaved heads.

    They won’t mock your bad german but they do think they are superior.

    I lived in Berlin the past 10 years. It’s amazing. Cheap and you can make a lot of money.

     

  9. To any nerds – I corrected a single typo but this is not an article about economics so I’m not going to discuss or nitpick any GDP numbers. Feel free to post links to any more accurate figures if you’d like.

    As a European, I find some of your frustrations funny and very relatable. For example, I too, don’t have an elevator in my house, but never even thought of that.

    Correct. Human beings become accustomed to shitty conditions and stop questioning them. It’s one of the big negatives of human beings. It’s a real problem and one of the many reasons why the West is collapsing… as long as it’s happening somewhat slowly, no one notices or cares.

    Not sure how your visit will go, considering their English is not just bad, but almost non-existent.

    I am experienced in visiting places where no one speaks any English. Not a big deal. I’ve done business with people who didn’t speak any English and had sex with women who didn’t speak any English. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’ve never had a problem

    And worst case, I’ve got Google Translate on my phone. It’s clumsy but it can help a lot.

    What places in Eastern Europe you want to visit?

    Not sure yet. The only definite place is Georgia. Estonia and Latvia are also very likely.

    Speaking of which, how did you find London compared to your last visit?

    It was only about two years ago so it was the same. I like London a lot. Just hate the weather.

    Speaking of East Europe/Russia – St Petersburg was super amazing to me.

    Yep. That’s on my list as well.

    If you had to give a rough guess, when would you say that Europe will totally economically collapse?

    I get that question all the time and there is no way to answer it. If I knew the answer, I’d be a billionaire.

    All I know is that the answer is “relatively soon” and “before the USA collapses.”

    Europe will go first.

    USA will go next.

    Canada will go last.

    (And in all three cases, the voters in those nations deserve it.)

    This cry of “fuck capitalism” is catching on big in the western world.

    I know. That’s one of the sub-reasons why I’m leaving the West. If both the left and the right want to throw away the least-bad economic system we know of, well, good luck with that folks. I’ll be over on the other side of the planet laughing at you from afar. 🙂

    That train issue that you had would have never happened a few years ago, but it’s getting worse and worse because the public and private services don’t give too much of damn these days anymore.

    Correct. Germany is collapsing.

    It’s sad.

    Sometimes I have to wait for like 1 hour for a bus to arrive.

    Yes, I’ve heard this from some Germans.

    Unacceptable.

    I notice you don’t mention the food. Having spent five days in Berlin myself, I can see the reason for that.

    Yeah, the food was just “fine.” Better than England (the meat in Berlin is really good) and there are some interesting street vendors, but nothing super exciting. I had some sausage that was really good and PF had some chicken that was amazing, but that was about it.

  10. You got the wrong train to potsdam. But it’s 100% their problem. Happened to me so many times. Idiots. If you had encountered conductors they would have charged you 200€+.

    Haha, yeah, I believe it.

    You probably stayed in central Berlin aka Alexanderplatz. That can be quiet, other areas are busy as hell. (Kadewe, Mauerpark, Neukölln, Nightclubs @ Friedrichshain etc).

    Incorrect.  We stayed in Friedrichshain. Spent a lot of time in Neukölln as well. These places were not busy at any time.

    Go spend a week in London, Paris, New York, or Los Angeles, then come back and tell me that Neukölln or Friedrichshain are “busy as hell.” Heh. They’re not.

    And again, I don’t consider that a bad thing.

    Yep 100%, the women here suck

    I didn’t say they suck. I just said they were average.

    It’s British women in London who suck.

    …they wear horrible clothes… that’s the problem. They are beautiful but think they are men. Most of them shaved heads.

    Yes,  saw a lot of that. German women definitely more lean in a more masculine direction.

  11. I agree with everything you mentioned about Berlin Metro. I have been living in Europe for over 9 years. Have travelled extensively in most of the EU countries. In my whole EU travel, I found Berlin to be the most difficult and confusing.

    I will add Berlin is not a proper picture of whole of Germany, I find Berlin to be one of the most disorganised , dirty city compared to : Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg. Berlin is full of students and broke artist hence its one of the cheapest city in Germany. If you would Tavel to other Germany cities you will see a big difference.

  12. Yep 100%, the women here suck…they wear horrible clothes… that’s the problem. They are beautiful but think they are men. Most of them shaved heads.

    Reminds me of Denmark. Not that they are beautiful, just that they are manly and have atrocious fashion sense.

  13. ive been to stuggart with family and surrounding areas. Czech republic has the cool spy movie vibe if that’s relevant. Cute part of the world during Christmas.

    interesting note about the sociology. adam Corolla said somethinng similar about the U.S.

     

    Would certainly like to go to some of the hot babe European countries in my empire/actualization phases. Is that pretty much a no go in the kind of collapses you see happening?

  14. The only definite place is Georgia. Estonia and Latvia are also very likely.

    Oh, really? I am Latvian 🙂 My advise would be to visit Riga only during seasons (early/mid summer or winter pre-Christmas), other times of the year it is simply miserable. I was there this March and it was hell – weather sucks, no people on the streets, nothing to do. If you go in summer, make sure to visit Jurmala (pronounced You-rmala) – it is a beach resort 30 mins by train off Riga. Beautiful sandy beaches, clean warm Baltic sea, plenty of night entertainment. During winter there are Christmas markets in the Old town and the place has a bit of a buzz. Would also advise to stay in the hotel in the Old Town – narrow medieval cozy streets, quiet at night, and close to all transport links and most of the tourist sights.

    Can I ask you why you have chosen these places?

  15. I can comment on Germany and Russia — I’ve been to Germany in particular many times.

    I find Cologne more charming and friendlier, albeit smaller, than Berlin.

    Berlin is fine but the clubs are extra hipster, expecting you to know the bands and some German. But whatever. There are some really weird clubs out there — some scatalogical based.

    I know many funny Germans but the zeitgeist doesn’t always agree with me there. There is a ‘seriousness’ there at times typical of German stereotypes. The brew house culture can be charming. Snitzel is good. Currywurst, Doner Kebab.

    The police there at least feel worthless by American standards as well.

    Not sure how your visit will go [to Moscow], considering their English is not just bad, but almost non-existent.

    This isn’t true. And Moscow is not remotely hard to get around. They have an excellent subway system, many stops with famous art at the station (stark contrast to the pee-soaked US trains).

    You’ve been to China, I think. That country is much harder to get around.

    My impression of English penetration is German city centers: 95%, Moscow and St Pete: 50%, China: 2-3%. Take from that what you will. Both Moscow and St. Pete are in far Western Russia and are quite international.

    Also, government non-withstanding, I found Russia far more agreeable to my general demeanor, humor, and personal entertainment than Germany. I had many good laughs in Germany, but the Russian people are far more open (Germans don’t open up as much until you know them better). It’s a more devil-may-care attitude.

    St. Petersburg in particular was one of my favorite cities of all time. There is a general magic and adventure in the air. And the Russian women look hot and love American men.

    I will say Germany seems safer. I had several M-80s (some kind of explosion) go off in St. Petersburg around midnight (maybe holiday celebration?) and a bevvy of Russian police with assault rifles seemed to appear out of nowhere to investigate. Since I’m accustomed to sleepy Western towns, I thought I was in the midst of a terrorist attack and figuratively krapped my pants. Other than that, it was a lot of fun.

  16. I remember the fall of the wall and reunification when I was 7.

    When I was 10 as a French, I was already learning English and I could choose Spanish or German as a second foreign langage. I chose Spanish of course, because that makes the most sense in term of number of speakers. But my professors and parents forced me to not take Spanish, and take German plus a dead language in addition: ancient Greek. Supposedly it was better for the “math type good students” like me.

    I learnt German for 12 years and I have zero use whatsever of this language, I never had any interest in the culture plus our lessons were super guilt tripping and depressing: over and over again about themes such as Konzentrakonzentrationslager, Judenfervolgung, Hitlerjugend, Geheime Staatspolizei, die Schandmauer, etc… super morbid! And that’s basically all the words I remember in german, how useful!

    If I could get back in time I would throw a gigantic tamper tantrum at my parents and literally throw my own shit at my professors’ face right in the middle of the class until they just put me in the damned Spanish class. I would use ever increasing physical violence if necessary. And I would of course not attend a single ancient Greek class. I can’t believe how obedient I was conditioned to be to endure for so long such a stupid thing!

  17. Plus I have several German friends and they are cool people, but guess what: they all speak very good english.

    Unlike a lot of spanish speaking people who don’t speak a word of english.

    So yeah german language, when I have no interest in the culture, or visiting and even less so living there: completely useless thing to study!

  18. I corrected single typo but this is not an article about economics

    Sure but I guess you mean 1  trillion here instead of billion:

    one of five European countries that have a GDP of over $1 billion. (The vast majority of European countries have a GDP of less than $500 billion each.)

    Because as such, this sentence just plainly doesn’t make any sense at all anymore. And I mean by that just plain english language sense is lost. I am not discussing economics or nerd numbers here.

  19. BD this is unrelated but what are your thoughts on the Hong Kong protests? I know HK was on your five flags list so does the current situation change your mind about that at all? I imagine it must. My parents who live there are strongly considering moving to the West of all places to escape the economic damage being done there.

  20. *Edit didn’t read the “no unrelated” rule before that comment. Not expecting a reply, but it’d be great to hear your thoughts on it sometime, maybe in another blog post

  21. “the two formerly powerful and masculine nations of Germany and Japan both had their Alpha Male badassary ripped out of their cultures.”

    Alpha Male badassery or Sociopathic/Psychopathic cultural tendencies? Ripping it out of them was decidedly a  good idea and completely necessary all things considered.

  22. White American girls have no interest in going to Asia …

    what about Portland nerd girls who love hello kitty, anime and tentacle porn?

  23. The only definite place is Georgia. Estonia and Latvia are also very likely.

    At a shrewd guess, you might be there to check out banking facilities. Georgia still has a reputation for offering very discreet banking services to non residents.

    Although a mentor/client/friend of mine raves about it as a travel destination in it’s own right, too. Linked in to the old Central Asian Silk Road, played an important role in Asia-Europe trade, a long and colorful history.

  24. Can I ask you why you have chosen these places?

    One or both may be my eventual Country C. Maybe.

    BD this is unrelated but what are your thoughts on the Hong Kong protests?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=von08-Eg65A

    I know HK was on your five flags list so does the current situation change your mind about that at all?

    No. But I was never going to move there.

    My parents who live there are strongly considering moving to the West of all places to escape the economic damage being done there.

    They would be moving from a speedboat on the rise going through serious but temporary problems to a slowly sinking Titanic that is definitely going to be destroyed.

    A very stupid move. (Unless are they are retired and 100% location independent).

    Alpha Male badassery or Sociopathic/Psychopathic cultural tendencies?

    Perhaps both. The expulsion of great evil may have also included the expulsion of something good. Perhaps.

    what about Portland nerd girls who love hello kitty, anime and tentacle porn?

    I don’t date those.

    At a shrewd guess, you might be there to check out banking facilities. Georgia still has a reputation for offering very discreet banking services to non residents.

    Bingo.

    Although a mentor/client/friend of mine raves about it as a travel destination in it’s own right, too. Linked in to the old Central Asian Silk Road, played an important role in Asia-Europe trade, a long and colorful history.

    Bingo again, also I’m more interested in the new Silk Road. Trillions of dollars of new money will be created by that over the next 30 years.

    And I want some. And I will get it.

  25. No. But I was never going to move there.

    I see, and I agree with your points in the video about HK’s freedom being what makes it valuable and worth protecting.

    Do you think though that the protests have reached a point where the economic damage done outweighs any further contributions they might make to their cause?

    After all the original extradition bill was withdrawn and frankly, 3 out of their remaining 4 demands are illogical. The one for universal suffrage isn’t likely to be met and like you said, would actually be detrimental to HK’s freedom.

    The protests, or riots to be honest have been getting more intense and at this point I don’t know if Hong Kong will be able to recover economically for a long time. You might not be planning to live there, but does this change your plan to use HK as a “base” for your Asia businesses (paraphrasing from https://calebjonesblog.com/my-five-flags-plan-as-of-december-2018/) or do you see Hong Kong returning to normal at some point in the future?

    They would be moving from a speedboat on the rise going through serious but temporary problems to a slowly sinking Titanic that is definitely going to be destroyed.

    A very stupid move. (Unless are they are retired and 100% location independent).

    Ha, that’s one way to put it. My father’s plan is actually to grow his business in HK and Beijing for a few years before retiring in North America

  26. @Al
    Non-harmful masculinity exists in the mild part of a spectrum which, at its extreme, contains sociopathic or militaristic tendencies and so forth. So yeah, when you make broad cuts to a culture, you could end up taking away both, even if only one is actually bad. Similar reasoning regarding the dwindling levels of testosterone in men today: “high” T is not bad at all, but statistically speaking a high T society may have more violence because ultra-high-T will be more common on average.
    That said, in the case of Germany, I seriously doubt that they were inherently “manlier” than other european nations at the time of WWII. They were angrier, for historical reasons, and they got themselves a tyrant who knew how to play into that. When you look into it, nazism is actually not much more extreme than some beliefs that were pretty common circa 1890. It’s just 1890 racialism continuing a few decades too late, plus genocidal madness. Change a few parameters and such a thing could happen in another 1930s european nation. High T was everywhere and people ready for war were everywhere but the specific manifestations depended on more chaotic factors.
    Now, did the death toll of WWII “drain the alpha” out of Germany in particular and Europe in general? It’s possible. But it seems drained in the US too, even though the US’s casualties were far lower. The main causes are probably different.

  27. In Japan and Germany, the societies were historically heretical, although they are in democracy now.  Theres a good reason for that.  The people there are pragmatic, hardworking, but followers not individualists. Both societies place a lot of passive pressure to conform. If you want Social Programming, this is a master study.

    This is not ripe for Alpha anything, more like bedding up so weeding it out by the roots is easier.

  28. In Japan and Germany, the societies were historically heretical

    How exactly were either of those heretical historically? I am quite familiar with the history of both countries and have no idea what you are talking about. Do you have some examples?

    The people there are pragmatic, hardworking, but followers not individualists. Both societies place a lot of passive pressure to conform.

    I do not think Germany was very alpha at any time in history except for the world wars which they both lost, before that it was quite the opposite as well.

    As for Japan the samurai clan concept and the Shonugate was a very alpha time – if you were part of the ruling class. The rest of the society – the vast majority was very much conformist. Same as today. It was basically a very fedual society. Same for most “western” countries historically.

    It does not look very different today, except there is way more individualism then every before, mainly because it is actually possible now. In the past you would not have survived unless you were a very rich noble. In the east there is much more emphasis on the family then in the west and this is kind of individualism also but in a different way – the individual here is not one person but the family. Then the leader of the family is usually present and this person is very alpha almost always (sometimes it is a woman – in fact in many eastern societies it is often an elderly woman who is the de facto family boss).

    What is interesting is that despite both of these countries having lost the war they quickly became economical superpowers with also very important geopolitical power. In that regard it does not feel like a loss at all. The social and cultural impact of the loss is very strongly evident in Germany, and was in Japan but now they seem to be reversing that unlike Germany. They managed to keep a lot of the traditions in some ways and mix them very elegantly into modern life and modern high tech culture. The big deal in Japan was that they were only allowed self defense country which now is not the case anymore which has huge implications not just geopolitically but especially for the Japanese nation and they’re identity. I expect they might get more alpha as a nation with this. As for the men in Japan they are about as beta as it gets – as long as they work as an employee. You don’t wanna be a normal employee in Japan. Gotta be either the big boss or an entrepreneur. In Germany on the other hand it is more realistic to be alpha and an employee even if difficult.

  29. The protests, or riots to be honest have been getting more intense and at this point I don’t know if Hong Kong will be able to recover economically for a long time.

    The main damage is that HK is now perceived less safe than it was before and makes people realize some stuff which was there before but most weren’t think of it. This has serious implications on the suitability of HK for investment in the eyes of many people now. Both the fact that some protest like this could happen again and have a big impact on the market or even ouright destroy property or the fact that is now perceived as that China could invade and confiscate stuff. Whether that is rational or not does not matter because most potential investors saw HK before as protectorate of China – some place China wants to keep the way it is and never change anything for economic reason and protects it from external threats. But this image has now changed for many people.

  30. Moscow and St. Petersburg are great, the best time I’ve had in Europe East of London. Women, food, comfortable cities. If only people spoke more English and it were easier to travel there!

    And I’m not saying the theory of emasculated Germany/Japan is correct, but Russians are certainly proof of the reciprocal: You better be masculine to a fault if you don’t want a woman calling you “hermafrodite”. They’re hilarious.

  31. I’ll just reiterate that I also thought Moscow and St. Pete were the greatest. Hell I sound like a Russian shill at this point.

    There are just super-model women there (like white women, but kind of their own species appearance wise) and they either like American men a lot, or everyone is hot so no one is, or both. My Tinder exploded.

    I’m seriously thinking of returning soon. And I seldom want to return anywhere (why not see something new?). And their Visa is a massive pain (and $300).

    Honestly I’d need to up my game + looks + lifestyle significantly to bed the same women in America as I can ALREADY DO in Moscow carrying an extra +15 pound beer gut.

    Too bad their government seems pretty shady. Maybe there’s a best of both worlds living in Finland. Is Finland as “special snowflake” as Sweden, or it is more laissez faire? That is the question.

    What were your 5 flag standards again?

    Russia is not exactly doing fantastic economically. And the weather is horrific. But the women situation is fantastic.

  32. How exactly were either of those heretical historically?

    Germany had a Kaiser until 1918 and Japan had a defacto aristocratic oligarchy until 1945.  The only reason it changed is they lost.

    Aren’t those hierarchical?  Wait, I see the problem.  I initially wrote heretical and I didn’t mean to.  My fault.  Sorry for the confusion.

  33. Actually, Germany is not REAL economic engine, as EU is not actually fair and healthy “empire” – Germans are hard working people, but they have no capability to rule anyone, simply due lack of understanding and accepting other cultures.

    They are ruled by banks, and Germany is used to devastate and rip off the rest of the Europe by unfair and uneven laws.

    That is why Germany seems to be engine, but is actually just a thief of resources and destroyer of the rest.

    Sad but true. Also, Germany is heavily censored country, and heavily policed.

    When EU collapses, we will see scenes similar like after WW2 , in ceconomic sense..

  34. What were your 5 flag standards again?

    https://calebjonesblog.com/overview-of-how-five-flags-works/

    https://calebjonesblog.com/moving-out-of-the-country-part-1/

    Actually, Germany is not REAL economic engine

    Then which country in Europe is?

    EU is not actually fair and healthy “empire”

    Correct.

    They are ruled by banks

    If by “they” you mean Europeans under the EU, then correct.

    That is why Germany seems to be engine, but is actually just a thief of resources and destroyer of the rest.

    You’re funny. Germany is a thief of resources, huh? Not Greece? Portugal?

    Interesting “analysis.”

  35. Every European country has different culture and history, you can divide Europe in few regions, I would say, Middle Europe, Nordic, Visegrad countries, Balkans, Iberian peninsula.. probably few more. None of those can fit into singular standard of living or producing.

    You are right, EU is top bankers’ creation, based on 200 years old non democratic idea of creating non cultural and non national serf masses, all under rule of self proclaimed aristocracy – Habsburgs, Rothschilds, Vatican and others.

    EU imposed the rules to newcoming countries – from Poland, over Balkans to Greece (including Portugal, Italy and France), where they were paying money to farmers NOT to produce local products in favor of import lobbies and chosen corporations. Thats why those countries manage to destroy local food production and import huge amounts of toxic meat and GMO food. In addition, rules to sell and export to common market were such they were favoring Germany as chosen EU “engine”, and not allowing anyone else to compete. It made all power concentrated in the middle of EU, empowerishing everyone else. To keep that “engine” going, those destroyed economies were given loans to survive, from the same bankers’ who destroyed them  – with a small trick – to use most of that loaned money to buy more “goods” from Germany and France, in the case of Greece, who HAD to buy not needed weapons , in order to get a loan. So this is how this economy works. Produce best product in Croatia, Hungary or Portugal, you wont be able to sell it in Germany. Knowing that you are not allowed to exit the EU, as we see in the case of Brexit, no other choice is given, but to wait for the natural collapse of the system.

    Add to that  zillions of rules, regulations and permits you need for almost anything, you can see a real picture why EUrope is so rapidly dying. Unable to steal from the world anymore, it steals from own members, on the same principles explained in the book “The Economic Hitman”

    I am Croatian and I am well aware of that processes as they were happening overthere, and neighbouring countries.

    Cheers from Vietnam.

     

     

  36. My father and my grandparents left old Czechoslovakia when the Germans invaded, trying to get to Australia. They missed the last boat and got stuck in Holland for the war. After that, they didn’t want to go back to Prague if it was a Soviet satellite, so they finally arrived in Australia.

    So I sure grew up hearing about the Nazis, and Berlin was the very epicentre of the Evil Empire.

    So I was very happy when I finally made it over there to see for myself. The people were cool and friendly, helpful, it was a fun place. I spent two whole days walking the line of the old Wall, from city limits to city limits, 60km in all, through parks, suburbs, industrial zones, and the center, where all the historical buildings are. Checkpoint Charlie. The lot.

    No hard feelings, Germany. It was a long time ago.

  37. Will you go in Paris with PinkFirefly?

    If so, this will be a HUGE disapointment. The difference between what tourists expects and the reality is like day and night.

    Be careful however, there is a lot of pickpockets in the street, traffic is a awfull, trains are always late and the subway full of gropers (and the population very communist ha ha).

     

    But he women are the hottest on earth!

  38. If so, this will be a HUGE disapointment. The difference between what tourists expects and the reality is like day and night.

    I love Paris, but it has changed a lot. Globalization has hit it hard and now you see the same shops as you do anywhere else in the Western world. The charming little bistros that used to be dotted all over central Paris have gone and been replaced by fast food outlets, particularly along the Champs Elysee.

    For decent restaurants you need to go to the quieter areas away from the main tourist hubs (though to be fair this is the same advice I’d give anyone visiting London or Rome where I live/work.)

    But he women are the hottest on earth!

    Subjective, but their definitely the most stylish.

  39. I agree with Al.  Holy shit, maybe some of the other people here should have paid a bit more attention at school during these “useless” classes they were forced to take.  Go talk to some older people and see what they think about German and Japanese “masculinity” during the first half of the 20th century.

    Of course, you could say “I’m not a jew, gypsy, gay, or Chinese living in 1930s Nanking, and all I care about is making money and fucking.  (Oh and about having an elevator in a 4-story building because it’s uncivilized to haul my divine alpha ass up the stairs.)”  It’s fine if that’s your philosophy, but people shaking their heads at this aren’t automatically Socialist Betas.

  40. Gordan I agree with pretty much everything you said about the EU in your second comment and I’ve been saying those same things for years. The EU is just another way for the elites to step on the necks of the people. Yup.

    It’s your first comment I had a problem with, where you were blaming Germany for things you should have been blaming the EU for.

    Will you go in Paris with PinkFirefly?

    Already did. Post goes up Monday…

    If so, this will be a HUGE disapointment. The difference between what tourists expects and the reality is like day and night.

    Correct. I’ve already been to Paris but PF was surprised. “HUGE disappointment” is an overstatement though.

  41. Finally! I’ve waited a Europe related article so I can pop up some questions hoping you’ll have answers!

    BD what are your thoughts on euro? Is there some scenario where you believe it can hold spot number 2 in the future when China takes over?

    What are your thoughts on European sports market in coming crisis? Will it crash with both players and clubs experiencing heavy losses? I have some income opportunities in football (soccer in usa) but won’t waste my time if it’s gonna hit the wall.

    Since you mentioned latvia, estonia, georgia etc. Do you think Estonia would be a good place to register/move company in Europe? They do have strong taxes but let’s say we will take that into consideration. Whole nation is e-nation. They do 90% things online and belong to eastern europe. So maybe it won’t crash at all or if it does it will go last. They could also benefit for being near Asia, so instead of falling they just “switch sides” and be completely fine.

    ” Redbaron

    October 14, 2019 at 7:18 am

    If you had to give a rough guess, when would you say that Europe will totally economically collapse? My guess is 5-10 years from now (ca. 2024-2029

    IMO It least depends on EU and more on Asian power houses, China, Russia including other BRICKS nations. I remember article where China/Russia told they could stop using dollar right now and throw a world economy into tailspin but that is of interest to no one. So instead they plan to slowly overtake the world trough coming 10 years or so. I don’t think it will take that long. Tiny few years at most is mine guess.

    I’m in EU and that doesn’t make me happy! I’m working really hard to set it all up so I’ll be able to move out in 3 years most if needed. Makes me sad tough.

  42. I think that sociological theory you read is correct. The amount of casualties suffered on all sides of the wars probably resulted in a sharp decline in the amount of virile men in the West. That, coupled with the hard atoning which Axis powers were subjected to, may be a reason why continental Europe and Japan are faltering as fast as they are.

    Anyway, glad you enjoyed it. These trips are always fun to hear about.

  43. BD what are your thoughts on euro?

    It will eventually collapse just like the US dollar.

    Is there some scenario where you believe it can hold spot number 2 in the future when China takes over?

    No. Europe will likely collapse before the USA, not after.

    What are your thoughts on European sports market in coming crisis?

    I am not familiar with that industry.

    Do you think Estonia would be a good place to register/move company in Europe?

    Yes. Just make sure you only keep operating cash in there and nothing else. (You never want any long-term money or assets anywhere in Europe in my view.)

    IMO It least depends on EU and more on Asian power houses, China, Russia including other BRICKS nations. I remember article where China/Russia told they could stop using dollar right now and throw a world economy into tailspin but that is of interest to no one. So instead they plan to slowly overtake the world trough coming 10 years or so. I don’t think it will take that long. Tiny few years at most is mine guess.

    The best statement I’ve heard about Europe is that “in a several years, Europe will become a collapsed playground for rich Chinese.” Probably accurate.

  44. You forgot to mention the part where they don’t seem to believe in air conditioning :-P.

    And yes, I was shocked too that Germany efficiency was not really present in their extremely confusing and messy train system.

  45. Are you coming to Oslo anytime soon?

    Not soon but eventually. Probably 2021.

    You forgot to mention the part where they don’t seem to believe in air conditioning

    It’s not quite that they don’t believe in it but that they don’t have the logistics for it. (Or believe they don’t.) Advanced creature comforts like that aren’t really what Europeans are about.

    And yes, I was shocked too that Germany efficiency was not really present in their extremely confusing and messy train system.

    I was saddened, but not shocked. Germany is part of Europe after all.

  46. So yeah, Berlin’s subway system really bites ass. What a disappointment. But hey, to be fair, the exact same thing happened to me in New York. As I’ve said before, the infrastructure of the Western world is slowly collapsing regardless of what side of the Atlantic it’s on (as Asia’s infrastructure improves in leaps and bounds). 

    Makes Mexico City seem like a dream between the Metro, Metro Bus and cheap Uber and Taxis.

    So much for the joke about Hitler and the trains being on time in Germany.

    What was true twenty years ago or more has been flipped.

    Bricks and mortar business being a perfect example. They are crumbling. Punctual trains are no longer on time or even going to the correct destination.

    When traveling it is nearly impossible to get an accurate assessment of what the country or culture will really be like. Especially if you are going to a country and you have never been there. In fact, the internet has become so binary that you will get CONFLICTING information on just about everything.

    TRIAL & ERROR is the only method as Nassim Taleb has pointed out. As it should be. Adventure. Discovery. Exploration. That’s the whole point of travel.

  47. Martin Armstrong can give you more insight to this question

    If you had to give a rough guess, when would you say that Europe will totally economically collapse?

    I get that question all the time and there is no way to answer it. If I knew the answer, I’d be a billionaire.

    All I know is that the answer is “relatively soon” and “before the USA collapses.”

    Europe will go first.

    USA will go next.

    Canada will go last.

    (And in all three cases, the voters in those nations deserve it.

     

     

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