Friday kicked off with a mild thick head (a 3/10) and a f/book message from Desmond one of the guys I’d met the night before and another organiser of QBT. Bless him he’d obviously sent it soon as he got home reminding me they were all off to Pet Shop Bears and to join the fun. Followed by a 2nd msg saying in case he didn’t make it to the club he’d be drinking in a certain bar meeting friends at 10pm. How nice and welcoming is that?
Andrew rocked up at 10am. After a nap to make up for his 3am start we had another day cruisin’ around mostly in Volkspark Freidrichshain (checked out the Polish War Memorial - bit ‘meh’ after seeing the Soviet War Memorial)
and then down into Friedrichshain itself for lunch and mooching.
And then home for the essential disco nap.
The evening we U-Bahned it to ‘Zum schmutzigen Hobby’ bar. Literally The Dirty Hobby - it wasn’t, was like a cosy living room with decor by Woolies. Even by Berlin DIY chic standards it was umm… rudimentary.
This was when we finally found the place. Stupid Ian left house without phone or map. We found the Strasse easily enough and promptly walked so far we came to the next U Bahn station still not having found it. First rule of Berlin - nothing is easy to find, it’s always hidden away in some derelict building/back alley/random court yard. So, we got the train back to our starting point and, now armed with our “Berlin sensibility” found it pretty much right away.
Desmond was there and an international assortment of his mates turned up. After some drinking - and studiously ignoring the odd bar crowd; a definite whiff of wedding reception about then - it was a cab to Kantene club for Pet Shop Bears. The club’s in the same former power station as Berghain but without the 2 hour queues and arbitary door policy. Don’t know Berghain? Google it. Though you will be hearing more about it here. Eventually…
Pet Shop Bears was great and remarkably bear* free. Just lots of cute guys and a great friendly atmosphere. Safe to say it was a great night of drinking chattin’ dancin’ until some time after 3am when the previous night’s 3am start caught up with Andrew and he hit the wall. Home time… but the fun didn’t stop there. No no no…. to be continued.
* Bear is a LGBT slang term that refers to members of a subculture in the homosexual and bisexual male communities. Bears tend to have hairy bodies and facial hair; some are heavy-set or muscular; some project an image of ruggedmasculinity in their grooming and appearance, though none of these are requirements or unique indicators. Some bears place importance on presenting a hypermasculine image and may shun interaction with, and even disdain, men who exhibit effeminacy.