Baddie goes to Berghain (part 2)
So where were we? Ah, yes, in the rain, in a remote corner of dark Berlin. Luckily, pal Naggie has some proper magic skills. I kid you not, I need only think of a cab, and she has summoned one. In the blink of an eye. And it’s a repeat-trick, too! So in a cab again, heading to the Raw Gelände – which turned out pretty raw indeed. Out we scurried through the rain through – you guessed it – a dingy looking industrial space with some grey buildings scattered around. They were obviously “underground” bars and clubs – unfortunately for us, so underground, that they had no signs on. We asked a bouncer about the location of the “Ressort bar” and he looked at us like we were certifiable. We grinned maniacally, just to prove his point. In the meantime, though, behold came the text from techno friend: “we’re not in Raw Gelände anymore… we’re now somewhere 30 minutes walk away” whaaaat?
I break down sobbing. So does Naggie. (No, not really). Given that a) it’s still raining b) it’s after 1 a.m. and c) we really can’t be bothered anymore, we go in the closest bar and have a vodka. Ah, life is beginning to look good again. Techno friend texts again to say they are coming back to our area (yay). I text him the name of our bar. (“Smuty trick”? “Dirty tit”? Something like that.) He text back: “the transvestite bar?” I look at Naggie, who looks at me. We glance around surreptitiously. Nope, none that we can spot, anyway.
A bout of chilling and a vodka later, the guys show up. (Ha! I bet you thought we’d never meet. Well, we thought so, anyway). And we go to another bar in the Gelände with pretty awesome music, where among other things I find out (from gay guy) that there’s such a thing as a gay ball-room dancing. I go “oh, that’s really cool” and he looks at me, looks aside, and murmurs: “uhm, you know… it’s for lesbians too.” I smile, and through my haze of alcohol try to decide if he thinks I’m a lesbian. I’m thinking yes. I don’t really know the appropriate response, so I just produce an inane “oh, cool” again and grin.
Two vodka cranberries later we start off for Berghain. Now, this club is famous. Or infamous. Your pick. Everybody knows that the techno music is absurdly good, and the location is a knock-out. And everybody knows that it’s damn hard to get in. I had read blogs and comments online before, and they were either raving about the coolness of the club, or the harshness of the door policy. People who were turned away went home to change clothes. A few times. Because their look was off or something. Not that anyone can tell you what the “right look” is. Some even changed friends. And everyone warns you against going in larger groups. And by that, they mean anything more than two. I remember reading this sob-story of a girl who pretended not to know her friends in order to get in; only, she was let in, and they were turned down, and as she was in the doorway she turned and a single teardrop shone in the corner of her eye (ok I’m embellishing it a bit) and the mean tattooed bouncer caught on and kicked her out along with her friends. That sort of story.
Well, after walking through the last remaining muddy field in Europe for about an hour (techno friend’s “shortcut”) we finally arrived at the entrance of Berghain. And yes, I concur, the regulated queue with metal bars right and left directing the “common people” coupled with the stark blinding light directed towards us did make me feel a bit like cattle. Which is nicer than what others have described it as (*cough* “concentration camp” *cough*) And you could feel the tension in the queue. People were nervous, and they really really wanted to get in. Anyone turned away (for no apparent reason and quite curtly) looked like their puppy just died.
We get the following low-down from techno friend: “After we pass that bit in the line, we’ll pretend we don’t know each other.” Huh? “Try to look not too drunk” Too late for that, kiddo. “Actually, it’s better if you don’t talk at all.” Double huh? “Don’t be scared of the bouncer.” As if. “Look him in the eye. Say hi or something.” “And pretend you’re German”. Easy-peasy, with my accented German and Naggie’s basic “Zanke and Ja”. I look at techno friend. He nods firmly, turns his back to us and proceeds to ignore us. Hmmm. I look at Naggie and start giggling quietly. She reciprocates. I giggle louder. And then I remember something I must tell my friend: “I AM THE QUEEN OF LESBIANS” I proclaim very loudly. “THE QUEEN OF BALL-DANCING LESBIANS” Naggie snorts. People behind me stare (silently). I insist: “No really…”
Ah, we are at the front of the queue. The guys get in (after they are asked how old they are. Hehe). We wait for a group with passes to get in. In the mean-time, heavily tattooed bouncer comes out. I gaze at him in raptures. Cool tats, and cool rings! Another bouncer asks me if it’s just the two of us. I say yes. A third one give us the once over and waves us in.