Saturday, March 25th:
1:20am- Writing in the journal “Sher is downstairs on the couch of his beloved artist’s loft, mumbling about cheese pizza”. He was half asleep and I had just enough energy to write a bit in the journal. I was so excited to leave in the morning for Africa… heat and adventure!
Later that morning- left Paris and on the way to the airport, I was so excited to get into the African heat, put my feet up, and relax. We get to the airport and Sher has another surprise for me… Berlin is actually our next destination. I love his sense of adventure and wanting to share his favourite city with me. I should stop there but I was whining while writing the journal and I continued.. “BUT I’m so cold and tired. And I can tell that we are both on the verge of getting sick. But I don’t want to spoil his excitement and it was nice to be on such a quick, easy flight… putting off the long flight to Africa for later. Plus I’ve always been curious to see Berlin.”
We arrive in Berlin and take an Uber to… a cold, grey warehouse. It’s an old factory in East Berlin that was later converted into a hostel. A lot of the abandoned buildings in the East part of Berlin have been converted to tourist destinations, I think partly due to tourist’s curiosity about the former communist area and also because a lot of the population were afraid to stay on that side in case the wall went back up suddenly and they’d be stuck on the communist side. Anyways, the “Industriepalast Hostel” is kind of a cool concept but not really what I was expecting… it actually looks and feels a lot like a prison. Normally, people socialize a lot in hostels but there didn’t seem to be many people around generally. The room was clean but very tiny with a window that was also tiny and faced what seemed to be a recycle sorting station… or some sort of landfill. Even the weather was grey and chilly to match our hotel ambiance!
As you may have guessed, I was grumpy. Sher found a Korean restaurant only two doors down that turned my mood completely around… we even went back to the same place later the next day because it was so delicious! Nothing like green tea and kimchi to warm you up and make everything feel better again. After eating, we went for a nap back at our strange little prison cell. The nap turned into pretty much a full night of sleep and we woke up late in the evening. We then had just enough time to quickly get ready and make it for the last reservation at a popular Italian restaurant that Sher found online. It was delicious food (and cheap!) but mainly we were entertained by the waiter’s Italian flair and heavy accent. It was probably a bit of a show that he puts on but it worked on us!
After a heavy dinner, I was looking forward to being lazy again in our hostel and finally getting started on the blog while wrapped in a blanket. Sher had a more exciting idea, though. He had been talking all though dinner about a trendy club called Behrkine (not sure of the spelling?) that is super exclusive and random about who they let inside. It’s some type of wild place that he had tried to get into during his last Berlin trip but the hostel crowd that he went with was loud and they were all turned away. I told him that I wasn’t at ALL dressed for a club, especially a picky club, but Sher insisted that you don’t have to dress up but instead dress “cool”… all black, sneakers, mini backpacks, etc and come with your head down humbly but also with a little bit of attitude, not being over eager. Sounded complicated and annoying but I could tell this was a big deal for him so we went straight from the restaurant, in our matching MEC jackets (purchased for the Kilimanjaro hike) and our very casual outfits.
The lineup was HUUUUGE but Sher explained more of the process while we waited in line- apparently the line moves fast since the bouncer only nods yes or shakes no after looking you up and down. He is unimpressed often… I think Sher said that only about 50% of people get in. What we didn’t think of was that last time Sher went, it probably wasn’t as busy so the line moved faster. We went on a Saturday night at peak time. In my journal, there’s a long rant about how my toes froze and near the front of the line, it turned into chaos with about twice the amount of people cutting the line. 3 painful hours later, we got a head shake no. I blame the matching jackets! Later my gay German friend, Peter, told us that it’s also a gay club and we tried at the worst time. I was upset during the last hour or so in line that Sher even wanted to try… seemed so stupid to me… but it would’ve made for some interesting stories if we made it in! I guess I have to chalk it up to another adventure! Haha