Sunday, March 21, 2010

Berlin, Germany

March 21, 2010
Overcast, raining

Last night we went to a disco in an abandoned electrical factory. This was one of the strangest party experiences I’d ever had; we arrived around 1:30am, and I thought the dancing would be winding down and people would be thinking about going home. Instead, it turns out the club had just opened and it was a little empty. We checked our coats and walked downstairs to the dance floor and started up the party. The techno was absolutely blaring and there was a machine spewing ridiculously thick fog. The guys in our group started pushing each other and doing those ironically dorky dance moves, and I thought that we would stand out in comparison to the sophisticated Europeans.
One look around the dance floor proved me wrong. Nobody was dressed up at all, and leading the grooving was this guy with his sweatshirt tied around his waist waving his pointer fingers around in the air. It became a bit more crowded, but everyone kept at least a foot of personal space around them, even when “dancing” with another person. It seemed that everyone was just really into the music and wanted to have some space to get down with themselves. And they got down – people were going all out with their awesome moves.
I sat down on the couch for a moment, and the vibrations from the subwoofer combined with all the strobe lights hypnotized me. I’m glad nobody seized up. I eventually stood up, and everyone was so into the dancing that it sucked me in too – I spent several hours just bobbing up and down. These four girls dancing by themselves in the corner (literally, they were each about three or four feet away from each other) started screaming. Joyful screaming, but screaming nonetheless. Sweatshirt guy started whistling in time to the beat. I was ready to leave.
Thankfully the U1 and U2 train lines run all night, so getting back was easy. I was boarding the train, and just about to sit down when the car lurched forward and I flew about ten feet down the aisle and everyone laughed hysterically at me. I stood up feeling really humiliated, and skulked away trying to reduce the shame and embarrassment. Just as I was thinking that everyone was staring at me and thinking I was such a klutz, these two ridiculously drunk girls started yelling in German. I don’t know what they were saying, but they made such a scene that anything stupid I had done was immediately forgotten and everyone turned their attention to these girls. Their uncontrollable laughter distracted from my uncontrollable spazzing.
We got home just before most people get up, and I dragged myself to my room, tried to open the door quietly, and passed out in bed and didn’t wake up until just before noon today. Lunch was delicious Berliner currywurst from a place I ate at yesterday – the guy who works there recognized me and was just a tad creepy. Fortunately language barriers prevent anything too creepy from happening. Now I’m back at Starbucks, trying unsuccessfully to do my work.
Tonight, perhaps there will be another philharmonic performance, or perhaps a contemporary six roomed electronic extravaganza, with the help of “head listening ensembles,” suggested by the Berlin weekend program.

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