Not today, satan

I and my house music-obsessed Bulgarian bestie (accompanied by dragged into it other friends) used to come to Berlin every two weeks to indulge the best underground DJs, get wasted and prance to minimal beats until the afternoon, the next day obviously. We would stay at the shabbiest and coolest Berlin hostels at Kotti, with 16 other people (9€ per night); we had no clue, who they were, all I knew was that they had also come to Berlin to let their head down, break free, lass es krachen, as Germans would say. Once, the bed beside mine was of a dude that couldn’t find a place to live, so he would just stay at that Kotti hostel (I mean whatever works for you, babydoll). He smelled like rotten feet, but also couldn’t give less fuck about it and – apart from the killer stench  of his paws – I loved the concept. Forget of course about getting some weekend day sleep at that place, forget also about a night rest – the door would slam all the time, the others would fart and giggle or chatter all the time in fascinating Finnish nobody understood. We were young at heart and I really can’t say how on Earth we would do this. You know it, we had all the clubbing paraphernalia on point – no sleep, vodka redbull for breakfast, maybe even a short excursion to Pergamon to take in all the Egyptian hieroglyphs, seventeen beers, maybe a quick döner (ohne Zwiebel, keine scharfe Soße), maybe a several-times-interrupted nap in the hostel lounge to then wake up and frown at friends, who were already sloppily yet proudly making out with hot Israeli guys (go figure).

We wouldn’t care so much about anything, but just spontaneity and having the time of our lives, cruising Berlin on the U-Bahn, getting confused at Warschauer Strasse and consistently lost at Ostkreuz. We would wear something not necessarily flattering and ridiculous, like a satin flowery t-shirt with or even a sweater (pink yarn, golden threads, you werk that outfit). We would chat with open-minded bouncers at the door of about:blank, laugh our asses off with concierge-lesbians at wilde Renate. That was the whole point, to be who you wanna be, no fucks given like the feet-smelling hostel-living dude, enjoying our belloved minimal house, making friends with weird strangers, embracing Berlin night life at its best and everything else it had to offer (including drunk döner breakfasts).

Then, almost a year ago, I moved here and have been the happiest person ever since about it. Clubbig is just 4 S-Bahn stops away. I even have a real bed now and it is only me in the room. And yes, I am a queen and need silence to sleep, coffee in the morning and all this shindig (no farting gigglers, Hhhh-ell’ todano). 

However, I don’t know what it is. Is it me who got older and started to notice things that were not obvious back then? Or is it really different now? I feel like the atmosphere around clubbing in the city of freedom, free love and 3€ drugs became tense, stressful. Sort of uncool. Everyone tells you to be yourself, embrace it, to not conform. Yet, to enjoy the music and dance your guts out at some favorite berliner places, you now have to look a certain way at the door, in front of the bouncer, give off a certain attitude, sometimes pass the exam as to which DJ is scheduled at what time. It wasn’t like that before! Not at all! Alright, it wasn’t always easy to get passed the bouncer, but it was never that pretentious. I have a feeling it became just ridiculous in an unfunny way. You are expected to be yourself, yet you are also expected to look like you don’t really wanna get in. So even if are happy to go out, don’t smile. Don’t talk to your buddies. Just stand there, look blasé, look black, black bennie, black Dr. Martens, speak perfect German, show off your neck tattoo, be drunk but also be sober. In the end, there will be some zebra-leotard wearing bitch with pierced septum, looking down on you and – unless you get all her ticks on the checklist, heute leider nicht. Oh sure, embrace your power to fuck up my Saturday night, darling. 

This is not Berlin club scene I remember and love. Maybe this is just the nostalgy for passed puppy times, or maybe I just realized it now. Maybe there is a lot of tourists that kill the vibe. Maybe the night life is becoming exclusive. No idea. Anyway, no pretentious bouncer skank will ever take away my unprecedented love for weekend rave to minimal house, so bring it on, Miss Cunt. Karma will get you. I hope, it’ll get better, happier, easier, more honest and more about what it really is about – the music. Come thru New Year’s wishes! 

MA

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One day in Neukölln

Jeez, how weird it is to suddenly take off for holidays. Even though it is not any lusciously long leisure stay at Yukatan, just a two-day staycation in Berlin. You meticulously make plans where to go, what to do and – most importantly what to wear on that holiday body – to then find yourself on that very day frantically browsing through the work email inbox. So my self-advice:

Put your tired ass in the middle of the room, take a deep breath, take that 10 AM tequilla shot, take another one, calm down and make a trip to Neukölln!

So i charged my iPhone and took some pictures alongside Maybachufer and Graefekiez. It’s beautiful (and filtered, because it is a tad dirty, too. Besides, get a grip, everyone filters).

What I find really captivating about Berlin, is that every district feels like a different planet. Here, at Neukölln (oh did I already mention I am here?!), I am getting a party-Middle East kind of vibe, cool just-left-Berghain kind of people invariably with their septum pierced, everyone looking like they just finished a salutation of the Sun yoga routine spontaneously heading for a gluten-free matcha bio salmon bagel with a chia salad (but totally not in a pretentious Prenzlauer Berg way). Time passes slowly, but it is intense and vibrant at the Wochenmarkt at Landwehrskanal. It is friendlier than Mauerpark, where everyone seems chilled but somewhat tense. The fruitstalls are filled with mangos  this time of the year:

Mango for a beautiful girl, it will keep you young and skinny!

screams the oriental trader. Hipsters are chilling down around the water, listening to some live music, smoking weed and just being über-cool. I have been forever wondering what they do for a living?! Like how do you get around doing nothing, looking like you just had your hair styled in some expensive ass salon, being all calm and not worried about life! Anyone?! There are blocks of fabric everywhere and yet again I am regretting not being a seamstress. How cool would that be to knit this black tank top, cut a trouser and make a woolen black beannie and just proudly judge Zara! Reality check though.

Next, I am headed to the retro-vintage almost gluten-free boutiques, I was recommended by findingberlin.com. Hoping for some true style-katharsis moment, I am forever lost in the cement jungle, persistent, unfaltered, invincible (Google Maps). OK-so finally I am facing a tiny retro store, I come in.

The idyllic feeling of coolness rapidly takes a twist. Awkwardly squeezed in a 2 square meters space with an attentive owner thinking “I am so uncomfortable right now”, I turn to the clothes rack, to touch just a grey boring sweater. It is grey and boring. Like all the other sweaters on the rack. So I look up the price. 100 euros, straight up. Bye vintage store, i am off to Zara, black section. 

Vintage stores fail. But I like Neukölln anyway!


(And yes, I am planning that New York trip, in case you haven’t noticed. Gasp!)