in germany, if you own a radio or tv, you are supposed to pay a usage fee to the GEZ. technically, they want you to register every radio, tv, or computer that has radio or tv capabilities. this includes radios in your car, office, and your dick tracy watch.

i would safely bet that i’m one of 10 people in berlin who actually pays this fee. although the GEZ has commercials in movie theaters, featuring their catchy slogan, schon GEZahlt? (already paid your GEZ fees?), i don’t think they are reaping in the euros. my favorite commercial features a bunch of guys breakdancing under a bridge. one of the guys checks out the stereo and asks if it’s registered. the other dude replies yea whateva (loosely translated). but hold up, all of sudden, the first guy zips open his jacket, revealing some serious *bling-bling* in the form of a GEZ medallion. the GEZ has infiltrated the urban, hiphop, and of course, delinquent crowd.

no one i’ve met here has paid one eurocent to the GEZ. the most popular form of GEZ avoidance is banking on the fact that there really aren’t that many GEZ secret agents flashing cubic zirconia medallions. if the GEZ does come knocking at your door, "don’t answer" is the second line of action. from my informal survey, most of the people who advocate not paying your GEZ fee don’t seem to be the breakdancing type. wrong target group.

if you are looking for the perfect christmas present for your non-GEZ paying friends, check out this online store for funny doormats. the best doormat reads: Alle Geräte sind angemeldet (we’re registered!). the most creative way of faking out the GEZ so far.


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