Berlin

My friends left yesterday, so I have the place to myself. Just me and Berlin. The joy of being alone in a strange city with nobody having any expectations of you. So much freedom to experiment with who you are. It’s a scorching day, so I’m off to the floating swimming pool on the river, which also has a fake beach. I soak up the sun like a lizard on a rock for a few hours, while I watch the ‘cool crowd’ do their thing. Berliners don’t really like tourists, especially now the boisterous stag and hen do’s have started invading.  At some clubs, you won’t even get in if you are not with a local or two. I’ve been lying here for a good 2 hours and not made any friends, so I decide to take a walk down the length of the river. Smack bang in the middle of the river, is a huge metal sculpture of 3 flat, holey men. They look like they are pushing each other and having a bit of a squabble.

The faint sound of music drifts over from under a railway bridge in the distance. This needs investigating. It’s dark under there but I can see silhouettes gliding on skateboards.  It seems like some sort of a party. A huge sound system has been set up right underneath the bridge, which is covered in graffiti. Families sit on the nearby green with picnics and some stoners are dancing in a barefoot trance. It looks like some sort of rain-dance. I would join in, but I just put my clothes on top of my wet swimsuit and now I have damp patches in all the wrong places. Before I have a chance to slip away unnoticed, I’m intercepted by a local guy who asks if I would like to join in. Apparently the party will go on for as long as the police don’t show up. This sounds like a great plan, so I rush back to the hostel to get a change of clothes and some liquid supplies. It’s clearly a ‘bring your own’ situation, since there is no obvious bar.

I return at sunset with my raving attitude and a few cans to keep me going. The DJ, a good looking blonde guy called Mio Mindstepper, is playing a mixture of Dub, Jungle and Reggae. I see a makeshift bar has been set up while I’ve been gone and the same stoners are still dancing their dance, but the families have all left. The night is filled with unspoken communication in the form of dancing. A couple of hours in and I can feel drips of water on my skin. The rain dance was a success! It now looks like a scene from Matrix Revolutions. Half-naked hippies with long dreadlocks and tattoos, swaying trance-like to the bassy sounds vibrating in the air. I seem to have made friends with the guy in charge of the bar and now have access to free drinks. This could be dangerous, but his stock is already running low. My sandals are pretty useless on this sandy ground, the holes are just letting all the sand in, so I do away with them and join in the barefoot dancing. Everyone looks seriously sweaty, but they are just wet from the rain. A few more blissful hours of dancing with friendly strangers and the police decide to rain on our parade. Some prudish passer-by clearly didn’t want hippies having any fun in their neighbourhood. The music is cut dead, but the party isn’t finished.

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