This series of short articles about night life, bars and music in Berlin by the irrepressible and ever curious Ms Cindy Su is copyrighted to its owner OTA-Berlin GmbH.
It may be reproduced or copied only with the prior written permission of OTA-Berlin GmbH. www.ota-berlin.de
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The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of OTA-Berlin but of the contributor.
Copyright © 2010 OTA-Berlin GmbH
Backstage at Berghain: 16 Hours on a Sunday in Berlin
The best time to party in Berlin is Sunday or Sunday night. Better both. The best club in Berlin is probably, although disputably, Berghain. Getting through the door, past the infamous Sven (known as ‘the hardest bouncer in the world‘), is not always easy.
I recorded my day/night/morning in Berghain by the hour on one Sunday, to share with you below.
11a.m. Arrival at Ostbahnhof mandates alcohol be consumed fast before reaching the door. Walk through the Sunday market and admire all the wares you won’t be buying, and sober people who are about to miss out on the party.
11:13 Throw away empty alcohol container while still out of line of visibility of the bouncers who you know are watching everything moving in the distance. Begin quick pep-talk with lone companion saying things such as ‘Sven never works this late on Sundays’ and silently but mutually agree to abstain from any farther discussion.
11:19 Phew. It wasn’t Sven at the door, but rather the handsome salt-and-pepper haired bouncer who always let’s you in. Proceed to have your entire body searched by a female…a female body searcher, while your male companion is searched by another bouncer. Hand over camera and receive ticket to pick it up later.
11: 38 Coats are checked, bathrooms have been used. Get a drink. Start to realize it will be hard to record actions by the minute, decide to aim for buy the hour. Hit the dancefloor and stay there.
12:00 Berghain dancefloor. Sunglasses on. Greet friends then fall silent and dance. Too hard to hear and the point of the glasses is not to see.
12:30 Try not to be suffocated from the smoke shooting out everywhere. Pause dancing to see if it’s possible to not move. It’s not. The floor vibrates too much with the beat.
13:00 Berghain dancefloor. Move to another section away from man wearing nothing but tighty-whities stepping on your toes.
14:00 Vodka shots. Check out lounge, peer into cubbies where there are indeed, people ‘getting intimate.’
14:30 Conversation with two men visiting from Holland, explain that Berghain is, as they say, primarily a homosexual club. Part of why it’s so great. They haven’t slept since Thursday night. Let them buy you a drink. They don’t serve wine so instead, champagne. Ditch the Dutchmen.
15:00 Head upstairs to the Panarama Bar floor, better known as the ‘Panne.’ Greet friends and pick a spot to dance. Chose the platform near the window which is letting in light, put on sunglasses… Sunglasses are gone. Frantically search around, retrace your steps… Give up on them.
16:30 The shirtless man next to you takes your hand during a song by Kiki, as if to say, we are united by great music. Remove your hand and look for friends. Check phone and learn they are in a lounge. Remain where you are on the low platform.
18:00 Spot friends at bar. Order drinks, tip generously because of good mood, and go with friends to sit on couch.
22:00 Accept another drink from the Dutchman without leaving the floor. Dance with him to be nice. Check phone and learn friend you came with is looking for you. Ask him where he was, to learn he was in ‘the dark room.’ Don’t ask for farther explanation.
22:20 Notice the person next to you looks familiar. It’s the man who owns the pharmacy next to your apartment. Listen to him explain that he is shirtless because this is ‘private life.’
23:00 Text the people you promised to call tonight you’ll have to call another time. The phone rings, answer without thinking.. It’s your mother. Run downstair to where it’s quiet to talk. Tell her how, with tears, how she cannot imagine how much you love her. Don’t forget to reiterate this point, she might not get it the first few times.
24:00 Get off the phone with your mother. Notice several people have been listening to your conversation. Shake it off. Get a shot and return to the Panne.
1:00 Check texts and realize all friends who work Monday mornings have departed. That means only you are left. Figure the Dutchmen are still here.
2:00 The dancefloor is packed. Start to feel sober and wonder if anyone still here has to work. Get a club mate with vodka for energy and keep dancing.
5:00 Realize it’s 5 a.m. And be grateful you aren’t working in the morning. Decide to go home now.
October 19, 2010
Berghain – Backstage: 16 Hours on a Sunday in Berlin : 16 Hours on a Sunday in Berlin from OTA Berlin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Germany License. If you use this article or parts of it, please refer to http://www.ota-berlin.de.