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The Berlin Perspective: Hamburger Night in Lower Saxony

Hey, wait a second! Isn’t all of Germany supposed to lift the same bans at the same time? Well, no. Now they are expecting us to travel to Lower Saxony for a hamburger and some fries. Great.

It looks like we can finally go out again, starting next Monday. But the Berliners among us will have to drive 196 kilometers (122 miles). Who would drive all the way to Helmstedt for a hamburger? Count me in.

Candlelight Dinner

It’s not entirely about that hamburger. I can get an excellent one right here in Berlin. This is about sitting down at a proper restaurant table, ordering the delicious thing, waiting a little too long for it to be served, and finally enjoying it with a cold ‘Apfelschorle’.

Whatever it is, a romantic candlelight dinner, a Sushi orgy, a Vietnamese meat dish or a Viennese Schnitzel: If they can, over there in Lower Saxony, we can. It looks like Helmstedt, which used to be a border crossing between the FRG and the GDR, might become the border between those who may not go to restaurants, maybe because Berliners and other Eastern Germans are not qualified to handle it, and those who may.

Medium Rare

On Monday of next week, Lower Saxony intends to open restaurants, under certain conditions. Distance rules apply, and only 50 percent of their capacities may be filled with guests. It will happen if the Chancellor does not have First Minister Stephan-Peter Weil for dinner after frying him medium rare. She does not like exceptions.

What if I want to buy a kitchen towel at Ikea? I will have to drive to North Rhine-Westphalia. How crazy is that? On the other hand, anyone who feels like spending a lot of money for useless items at large department stores can stay right here in Berlin. This is where they open.

Thick Layers

The competition among First Ministers is annoying. Some of them are trying to be the first one to open restaurants, furniture stores or other businesses. Everyone wants to be the big savior. To hell with that.

Who said the hamburger and fries trip to Lower Saxony is cancelled? I just did. It looks like they are still making us eat self-made sandwiches with thick layers of butter and liverwurst in the comfort of our homes. So be it. Over and out.