amw (amw) wrote,

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fast Berlinerin

I'm moved. It's been a crazy couple of weeks. After picking up my citizenship in another lightning trip to Canada, i arrived back in Berlin just long enough to sign my rental contract, then flew out to Holland. The rave was pretty fun. It was so interesting to see how different the Dutch scene is from the German scene. The music is ridiculously hard and fast. And loud. My ears were ringing within the first hour of being there, and i stupidly hadn't brought my earplugs because since i moved to Germany i haven't had to use them once. It was blistering. Which made it all the more amazing that someone brought their grandma, who - in a tweed jacket and with a walker and all - stood right in front of the speakers and bopped up and down to 180bpm+ hardcore techno. It was awesome. Later i visited the freetekno stage, where the bpm pretty much stays at 200. Well, i should call it the freetekno wall, because the "stage" was a tiny tent in the corner, and the main part of the space was a 10x30 foot wall of speakers that the freetekno freaks were lined up in front of, squeezed up close enough to shove their heads into the bins. It was retarded. And freetekno guys are a scary bunch. They have the matted dreadlocks of psytrance hippies (albeit less manicured), but then they wear army boots and cargo pants and black shirts and fucking spikes. Dancing amongst them was like being in a fucking post-apocalyptic wasteland, and it was fucking epic. There was a psytrance space too, but at 145bpm that was practically the chill-out room. Meanwhile, back in the acid techno space, i realized the average age was about 40, and people were bringing their kids along, who were completely bamboozled by the eardrum-wrecking beats and hundreds of very drunk people dressed in orange. It was fucking nuts. It felt simultaneously tamer and more freaky than the German scene. Tamer in the sense that a lot of people just looked like the mom and dad next door, but more freaky precisely because it was the mom or dad next door, covered in tattoos, wearing a TB-303 shirt and fist-pumping to techno that'd make the Berlin hipsters soil their wool-knit panties. One guy played some of the most epic acid i have heard in years. I was bent almost double and eventually fell to my knees headbanging, i was dancing so hard. Absolutely wild.

The next morning i headed out to Venlo for a quick cake, then to Düsseldorf for a short walk by the Rhein. I passed out as soon as i got back to Berlin, i was so exhausted. Monday was a write-off. Tuesday i had reserved to move, but that was also the day we had an evening booked with the production team (models, photographers, copywriters, PhotoShop guys etc), so after a tour of their studio and some beers and BBQ with the guys, i just decided i'd have to take the day off to move. And thank God i did too, because Wednesday i spent 6 hours straight walking back and forth from the old apartment to the new apartment to the shops to the new apartment and over and over until i had enough stuff that i could safely make it through Thursday (a public holiday) without freezing or starving to death. Once i got all my shit moved, i went out to my kneipe and had a thoroughly entertaining night, first watching the soccer, then enjoyed a BBQ, a few games of darts, a long chat with a 50-year old who tried to convince me kids were worth it, and then a very drunk game of Skat with a bunch of old Berliners. It was probably the best night i've had at the bar yet. Eclipses my birthday, seeing as i didn't end up shamefully puking somewhere this time. But yeah, i got home slept for a few hours, woke up, handed the key back to my old landlord (who was amazed i had left the place so clean) then went right back to bed, sleeping through the 18 (!) different techno openairs going on in Berlin for Labor Day. Ah well. Tomorrow's another day.

I love my new place. All i have here is a bed with a blow-up mattress, a tiny desk, a tiny wardrobe, a director's chair, a camping chair, a fridge, washing machine and gas stove. That's more than most apartments come with here. I'm in one of the Seitenflügeln (side-wings?) on the 4th floor overlooking the inner courtyard. It's pretty dark because the courtyard is small and i am right at the south side facing east, but the layout is nicer than my other place, and i have real wood floors throughout. The main lobby is covered in graffiti, as are most of the stairwells, but once you get inside my place it's a little island. My neighbors mostly appear to be punks. Well, and young families. The music matches that - no techno blasting out the windows here, just angry guitars. I guess this is more true to the roots of the neighborhood. There are still a bunch of squats up the road and some punk kneipen and stores in the area, and God knows we have enough crusties with their dogs sitting out the front of the grocery store, but they're still outnumbered by the young families and well-to-do singles like me. It's kinda nice to see a little bit of what this area used to be like. Though i never have to fear for being cut at the subway in the middle of the night, so boo-yay gentrification.

I am feeling a bit reluctant to buy stuff for my new place, because i was so happy to finally get rid of all my stuff when i left Canada. Not having stuff has made me feel lighter and freer than ever... And that, in turn, has made me feel saner than i have in pretty much my whole adult life. I am terrified that once i start to settle down i am going to feel trapped and start going off the rails again. But then, if i can manage to lug whatever stuff on foot from the store to my place and up 4 flights of stairs by myself, it can't really be that much. Can it?
Tags: music, travel

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