It’s 3pm on a Sunday, and while the rest of Berlin is going to bed after a long, hard day of being a cog in a system, I’m just waking up. Why am I waking up at a time that, to you, is a very unreasonable, but to me, is a normal hour to start the day? I’m glad you asked. Part of the reason is, of course, because I had a massive night out yesterday, hopping from one club to the next until I snuck into this abandoned warehouse party that turned out to be a fully operational Mercedes factory, at which point the cops arrived and escorted me back to the police station, where, thankfully, a rave was just getting started.
So yeah, that’s part of the reason. The other part? I forgot to set my alarm clock. However, that doesn’t bother me too much because I know that, if I had set it, I would’ve ignored it anyway. You’ve probably already guessed this, but I’m the kind of guy who only marches to the beat of his own drum. Once I get out of bed, I spend half an hour browsing online forums on what I should wear if I want to get into Berghain.
Oh yeah, by the way, I’m about to go to Berghain.
Berghain? But that’s the best club in the world! Isn’t it impossible to get into?
Did I stutter? Please tell me if I did. Because I’m actually worried that having my body rattled by techno on a nightly basis has given me a speech impediment. But yes, I’m going to Ber-Ber-Berg-g-g-ghain. What? On a Sunday afternoon?! Obviously. The club runs all weekend, and Sunday afternoon is when all the cool locals go, according to this one blog post I read by an Australian tourist. That guy didn’t get in, but his questions about the club were ignored by a lot of people who did. And that’s good enough for me.
After finding an online consensus about the dress code, I put on my black shoes, black jeans, black shirt, and black charm bracelet (a leather strap with metal spikes attached to it) and head to the club. Berghain isn’t too long of a walk, thanks to my foresight in booking a hostel equidistant to all the best clubs in Berlin. (Well, it’s actually less of a hostel and more of a building that used to be a train station but is now just an abandoned train station.) I’ve done enough practice walks that I could probably get there with my eyes closed, but I choose to keep them open because this is a moment that I want to remember for the rest of my life.
As I near the monolithic structure, I begin to feel nervous. Not because I’m worried about getting in (which I’m not), but because I’m scared the experience will ruin me for other clubs. Like, if you eat a pie that’s objectively the most delicious pie on the planet, all other pies will taste bad in comparison, right? It’s at that moment that I decide to permanently move to Berlin.
I reach the entrance to find that I’m the only person in line. The bouncers take one look at me and shake their heads. At first, I don’t understand. Why are they shaking their heads as if they’re rejecting me? But then I realize what’s going on. Every decade or so, a person will come to Berghain who looks so cool that the bouncers will show him their IDs. “I must be that person,” I think to myself. “The bouncers are probably just shaking their heads in disbelief.” Within a few seconds, I am proven right.
The head bouncer hands me his driver’s license. “Sven Marquardt, born 1962, eh?” I say, staring up at him. “You don’t look like you were born in 1962, Mr. Marquardt.” He gives me a panicked look, but I shoot him a wry smile, indicating that I’m just busting his balls. He breathes a sigh of relief. I enter the club.
I would describe what it was like inside, but words really can’t quite capture it. All I can really say is that the inside of the club is somewhere that I’ve been, and it felt so good to be there after not getting rejected. It really is just like the stories you’ve heard, but also completely different from what you’d expect. The music? You bet it’s loud. The dancing? So crazy. Did I see any freaky stuff? Oh boy, if I had a nickel for every time I saw something freaky. Would I go again? Buddy, I haven’t even left.