Berlin, tampons, and handshakes

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.

Anyway.. 

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?

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The Men That May Have Been

As I’ve said before, I’m definitely one to jump on the bandwagon. After seeing posts by The Shit Show That Is My Life and Emily over at Incurably Curious on the ones that got away, I got to thinking about any fellas that I may have let slip through my fingers.

At first I drew a total blank, because, let’s face it – if the opportunity’s there, I’m probably gonna take it. However, after thinking about it for two weeks, I came to the conclusion that men generally get away because I never know if I actually want them or not. So, this is more the men that I was unsure about or too much of a pussy to go for..

The Dimpled Aryan

There was a boy in my year at primary school who all the girls fancied; he was blonde with blue eyes and looked like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. We were the only two kids in our class with dimples, so we were obviously soulmates – except for the fact that I couldn’t stand him. In a class of 30, it’s hard not to know who everyone is, but everyone knew who this boy was. He was incredibly athletic and it was obvious that he would grow to be a good looking man – he just wasn’t that bright. I, on the other hand, was awkwardly tall for my age, kind of a lone wolf, and in all the ‘advanced’ sets that got to go out to the hut to be taught by the Headmistress. We were very different, but we used to hang out because he lived next door to my sister’s best friend and I wanted to hang out with his big sister. I was in awe of her. She was a ridiculously pretty ballerina with long blonde hair – basically like a human Barbie to me – and I just wanted to be her. The blue eyed boy was my in.

When we were in Year One, I was at his house and we were playing in the garden whilst my sister was next door with her friend. One thing lead to another and.. Just kidding. He did show me his willy, though. It was supposed to be an ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ type situation, but obviously I pussied out/was mortified by the whole idea. Then, before I knew it, our whole year was talking about how he and I were naked on the trampoline together. Six year olds love a good sex scandal.

Although the kid never flashed me again, this general kind of fuckery carried on for the next five years. When my Year 6 teacher decided that we’d no longer be seated according to our ability, guess who I ended up next to. This was also the year that I started to fill that elusive ‘tall, chubby Asian’ niche and started to wear glasses, and the year that he started to wear gel in his hair and, I kid you not, developed a six pack. We were very different, yet he still sang Nelly’s Hot In Herre to me every day. As much as I enjoyed being told to take off all my clothes on a daily basis, it just wasn’t happening.

Naturally, he did grow to be a good looking man – but he is also a massive chav now. Oh, and his sister? She looks like an extra from The Only Way Is Essex. No, thank you.

The Jew

I can’t tell you how this gangly 6’4″ man child entered through the peripheries of our friendship group, but I can tell you I was deeply unhappy about it. We clashed like Jay-Z and Solange in a New York elevator. It took over a year of outright hostility from me before we came to realise that it was less a case of us clashing, and more a case of us being ridiculously similar. Somehow, through the sheer fact that we were both massive The Big Lebowski fans and had an unparalleled love of Firefly (were huge geeks, basically), we fell into a really weird friendship that was constantly misread.

Our friendship really took off when I started my first year of University. We would talk every day and when I came home drunk we would either Skype or talk on the phone. In retrospect, I can see why it looked like something may have been going on, but, at the time, I was livid that people would even think it. And not just that they would think it, but that they would think it and openly discuss it. Constantly.

I won’t lie – there were a few incidents that lead people to this conclusion. Like that New Year’s he took off my bra and hung it on a lamppost. Or that time he got in the car with the boys and drove two hours in the middle of the night to see me. Although I was incredibly naive back then, I still think I was right when I would say over and over again that it was just friendly. But, having the emotional awareness of a dildo, I started to get really fucking confused by everything that everyone around me was saying. I didn’t understand my feelings, or anyone else’s – so maybe they were right when they told me what we felt?

Anyway, it all blew up one messy, messy night in Brighton where I was running around the streets with no shoes on and racing head first into glass windows. He wasn’t there, but our mutual bestie was. I remember absolutely nothing from the night, but from what I’m told, he alluded to the fact that The Jew liked me, and I apparently let on that I may have felt similarly.

I call bullshit on the whole thing, though. Our fucking meddling friends fucked with my mind. I’ll admit it, it was kind of a pseudo-sexual relationship, but it was SO innocent. Obviously nothing ever happened. He got a crazy whore girlfriend and we drifted apart. I can’t tell you how glad I am, though, because he is dull as fuck and super weird now. Oh well.

The Seminar Leader

He was my first year ‘Foundations of Human Culture’ seminar leader and, despite the Jesus sandals he would wear, I really fancied him. I loved him from our first class when he asked who had watched Dexter that week and we had a five minute chat about it. I loved him even more when I realised how smart he was and how passionate about anthropology he seemed to be. There’s literally nothing more sexy than listening to a man who really knows what he’s talking about. His intelligence was captivating and he was young and fun – he was so perfect to me.

The upside of this compulsory module that I had no interest in was that we got to go on a trip to a wildlife park so that we could study the non-human primates. Basically, it was a day off to go look at monkeys. As it was fairly near the start of the year, I hadn’t really made any friends on my course – I’m not kidding when I say I’m shy and awkward. So, there I was, wandering around the park by myself, struggling with my worksheet and spilling coffee on my clothes when my knight in Jesus sandals sidled up beside me and asked if I needed any help. It was awesome. He was like my own personal David Attenborough. We walked around for hours and I mainly listened to him talk about intellectual things and it was magical.

There were literally so many private places that we could have snuck off to, but I was not always the brave and daring sexual opportunist I am today, so, nothing happened. I don’t think I even flirted, to be honest. The day came to an end and we got on the coach to take us back to campus. Two months later, he failed me on my first paper. What a cunt.

The Travelling Welshman

I have an uncle who lives in Berlin; the Welshman is one of his best friends. When I first met him, I must have been around 16 or 17 years old and I found him fascinating. He was old, and too short for me, but he was so interesting and kind that I would just hang on his every word. He was a craftsman – so naturally that was just sexy in and of itself – and he would work in Berlin for periods of time to save up some cash, then sub-let his apartment and go travelling for months at a time. I was young and he was the first person I’d met who was so travelled and the inner anthropologist in me found his extensive cultural knowledge to be mesmerising. But, alas, he had a girlfriend.

When I was 19, however, he did not. We (myself, my sister and uncle, the Welshie and a few other Berliners) had decided to hit the bars where they lived in Prenzlauer Berg (my uncle was nowhere near trendy enough to live here), and, as always seems to be the case in Berlin, things escalated and we ended up in a club, drinking and dancing inappropriately. The Welshman and I found ourselves in a separate room, flirting outrageously and grinding up on each other. It got to the point where our faces were millimetres apart before we simultaneously realised that it was an awful idea and just backed away from each other without a word. I think he thought my uncle would kill him if he ever found out, and I just didn’t want to get with an old dude.

A year or so later I lost my virginity on a yoga mat in his apartment, but that’s another story for another time.

The Four Week Buck List – Second Update

So another 10 days have passed and I have accomplished shit loads very little. To see what I’ve already managed, click here, and to see what I set out to do, click here.

To be fair, I was in Berlin for five of those days. Not hunting for Aryan cock, but on a wholesome, family trip looking after my adorable little cousins. That’s not to say, however, that family trips to Berlin haven’t turned into complete and utter debauchery in the past, but that’s another story for another time, maybe. Berlin was great. It always is. The boys (my cousins) were horrendously naughty but have such butter wouldn’t melt faces that they could get away with murder. I got a rash on my face because the 5 year old thinks it’s hilarious to lick instead of kiss; I got scratches on my cheeks and chest and an almost bald spot because the 7 month old likes to grab and pull on everything; and I got sick. In fact, we all got sick.

At first it was just my sister. She was whining and complaining all evening but I ignored it as she has a strong tendency to be something of a drama queen. Next thing I know, she’s vomming in the bathroom and eloquently describing how diarrhoea is like having a wee out of your bum. An hour or so later, my aunt gets it. Around 10pm, the 3 year old wakes up with it. We think back and realise the 7 month old may have had it. I start freaking out. These are not good odds. I decide that I am strong willed and I refuse to get it. Mind over matter. ‘Move your big toe’ and all that jazz (we can only be friends if you get that reference, by the way). 

So, with the apartment becoming more and more like The Walking Dead, I shut myself away with the 5 year old – who slept soundly through all the commotion, by the way. The kids’ room is really cool. They have this thing called ‘the high bed’. It’s basically another level built into the room where the 5 year old sleeps. It has a play area and loads of cool stuff up there, but the steps are sketch as fuck if you’re anything more than 3 feet tall. But being cocky and confident that I was stronger than any bug, I slept up there anyway. Obviously, around 3am, it came for me. With one hand over my mouth I clambered my way across the high bed – thank fuck for night lights – and then tried to slide down the stairs on my arse. I leapt over the 5 year old in the pull out bed I should have been sleeping in and legged it to the bathroom. Of course I was a fraction too late. Brilliant. There was sick everywhere. In my hands, in my hair, all over the loo, on the walls and on the floor. Just brilliant. After cleaning, I go back to bed. Obviously the high bed is out of the question, and because I’m so loving and want to give him the best chance of not getting sick, I steer clear of the pull out with the 5 year old. This leaves the 3 year old’s bed. Just to be clear, it’s not just a bed that the 3 year old sleeps in, it’s made for 3 year olds. It can’t be more than 4 feet long. I’m 5’8″. Fuck my life. 

The next morning, the 5 year old gets sent to school to keep away from all those infected. An hour later, we get a call saying he was sick as soon as he got off the school bus. What a trip. 

Anyway, I’m back in London and better now, so things are back on track. I had a third date with the American the other day, so obviously I slept with him. He bought me Smarties, Skittles, and Penguins – how could I not? It was great. Casual and easy. No awkward fumbling. Watched episodes of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia naked and eating Skittles in between rounds. Perfect. I do have two issues, though –

  1. He wants me on top all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I like it up there, but not the whole time. Oh, you want to switch positions? Great! Oh, reverse cowgirl? That’s still me on top. Fucker. But, when I am bouncing about up there, I can see Big Ben and the London Eye out of his window, so I don’t mind too much.
  2. He talks too much. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the biggest talker. This extends to sex. I don’t mind a bit of dirty talk, but if you ask me a question mid-thrust, I’m not going to answer. And then it’s just awkward; you’ll think I’m not having fun and I’ll want to gag you. The same goes for narrating what’s going on. You don’t need to. I’m right there with you doing it. It’s not a documentary and you’re not David Attenborough. I’m not going to lie, I did tell him to stop talking a couple of times and swiftly redirected his mouth to much better use. 

So, as you can see, a lot of the list is yet to be completed. My birthday is a week away. Wish me luck!