If you follow me on Twitter (do it), or paid attention to previous posts, you may know that I have family in Berlin and have just been to visit them for 10 gloriously tiring days. Although my time there is mainly spent doing the school run, going to playgrounds (they have sand, it’s cool), eating ice cream, playing with Lego and yelling at small children, I occasionally also manage to get out. I am fully aware that I in no way take advantage of being in probably one of the best cities ever to go out in, and I know it’s a pathetic excuse, but those kids are fucking draining. Every time I feel like I want a baby, I just think of them and my tubes literally try to tie themselves.
Don’t tell their parents I said that.
A trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without heading back to Prenzlauer Berg. And a trip to Prenzlauer Berg wouldn’t be complete without heading back to Duncker Club to make me feel like I was 16 again.
Duncker is dark and grimey and alternative and gothic. To me, now, this is a logistical nightmare. All my band t-shirts have been relegated to pyjama status and I enjoy wearing big earrings and a bold lip out. I left the apartment in denim shorts, a plain black t-shirt and flats, and my uncle told me that I was overdressed. Fucking Duncker. When I was 16-18, I didn’t wear make up and I dressed so grungey that I fit in perfectly there, but I have evolved since then, as people do. My other issue is this: how the fuck do you dance to that kind of music? I tend to just sit the fuck down, sway a little, and drum my hands on my thighs. THAT’S NOT A NIGHT OUT.
I hadn’t been to Duncker for about four years, and I really didn’t want to go. Throw in that it was, like, a million degrees that night and I had just started my period and a four year old had told me that I would never have a boyfriend like John Smith, it’s safe to say that I was in a dark place. But, it was our last night in town and my sister really wanted to go out. What a bitch. So I sucked it up and we set off to meet The Travelling Welshman at the club.
Basically, Duncker sucked. The band sucked and drove everyone out. They sounded like they were 15 and playing in their bedroom, though their abundance of facial hair signified otherwise. I felt a little bit bad for them to be honest, but I felt even worse about the fact that I was sweating out of my fanny. It was time to leave.
We ended up walking ten minutes to the Welshman’s apartment so that we could pee, he could roll a joint, and I could have horrendous flashbacks of losing my virginity (not to him) in his apartment. When I went to the bathroom, though, I noticed that he had a little dish-like bowl full of assorted tampons and pantyliners. Weird, right? I came out and asked him if he had a steady female night-time companion who kept them there, or he just kept them there for lady visitors to borrow. The answer was the latter. That’s weird, right?! My first point was that it made him look like he had a girlfriend, that girls he brought back would definitely think he had a girlfriend. He didn’t care about that. My second point was that it’s just weird. Like, I appreciate it when a guy has shit like face wipes or something that I can take my make up off with if I’m staying over, and I get that women aren’t always armed with an emergency tampon in their bag and it’s useful and considerate to have – but to have it out on display? WEIRD! What do you think? Let me know!
So, anyway, we ended up at Kaffe Burger, which always tends to be a good night. It’s a pretty well known place – Russian Disco, and that – so it tends to attract a lot of expats and tourists. Again, it’s crazy casual, and fairly run down, but nowhere near as grimey as Duncker Club. Due to said large number of expats – which Berlin is literally so full of, by the way – I didn’t have to wait more than 30 seconds alone at the bar holding my vodka cranberry and my sister’s Campari and orange (weird, right?) before an American decided that my resting bitch face wasn’t going to deter him from striking up a conversation.
He was really lovely. He was 32 and a freelance animator. He’d moved to Berlin for a girl (like literally half of the men there), and ended up staying for 7 years. He was like a taller, slightly darker version of Donald Glover with the stupid hipster glasses and so much energy I couldn’t keep up. I genuinely enjoyed talking to him; he was funny and interesting and attentive. He bought me drinks and would help me look for my sister when I got worried that I hadn’t seen her in a while. He told me that he really liked me – what do you say to that? – and that he wanted to kiss me. Naturally, I laughed and downed my drink. I told him that I needed to talk to my sister and the Welshman as it was miraculously two hours later and 4am, and I needed to check when hometime was. I came back and told him that I had to go, and gave him a handshake. A HANDSHAKE. That’s not a euphemism, either.
Like I said, he was really lovely; I just didn’t fancy him. I didn’t want to kiss someone just for the sake of kissing someone. Had I been more drunk, I probably would have been all over it, though. And, considering I remember next to nothing about the boy who fingered me on the streets of Schöneberg the week before, I was more than happy to be sober enough to make this choice.
Am I growing up?