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BERLIN – Neukölln bars + techno palaces

We started the weekend long before school was over. Our program manager organised some excuse for us to start the partying after lunch already as he knew that over 20 of us in the class had tickets to go to Berlin a few hours later. Tipsy, blasting hiphop we stood in a corner on the 3rd floor, dancing as if it was a late night club. I’m definitely becoming one of those slightly disgusting people who are absolutely infatuated with their class and only wants to spend time with them and nobody else, haha. Lienestrasse,-Berlin Three trains, a bus, a plane and an u-bahn later I stand in front of Frida at her pastel coloured station in Berlin. It is inevitably exactly like this scene. Frida-Regeheim,-2015 She brings me past all the kebab shops and icy streets up to the flat she’s renting for her three months internship. It’s like taken from a magazine editorial, and I expect nothing less for my queen. Geist-im-Glas,-Berlin We then head out zigzag across Neukölln’s streets. I thought Stockholm was cold but the temperatures feel different here, more evil perhaps, persistently penetrating the cloth hiding my skin. We stop at what looks like a secret cave, all candlelit and the amber light spills through the windows out onto the black roads. Geist im Glas is the name of the bar and between dilapidated walls we drink cocktails for a few euros and discuss square German agencies, refugee parents and us as 30 year olds. My classmates keep sending me texts from various phones commanding me to get my ass over to the bar they’re at. Frida-R,-2015 We hail a taxi as we’ve seem to have forgotten that we have no money. Frida directs the non english speaking driver with the few German words she possess. The bar they’re at is rammed with all my friends but it has closed and we stand in the window gesturing to them to go open the door. My drunken friends just wave back. Sigh. A man is out smoking and as we curse and damn the world it turns out that he is the owner of the bar and unlocks a back door for us to sneak in. I present Frida to my friends as if she is my hidden most valuable treasure and they all love her. It isn’t long before we leave that bar and jump into taxi number two that takes us to what I feared most about going to Berlin, an all night german techno palace. We’re banned to talk in the queue and hushed we pay and enter the smokey, strobe lit venue. It’s hidden deep down under ground and I keep on thinking how we’d have no chance of surviving if there was a fire. The people are drugged and the song playing (even though I’m pretty sure that is the incorrect term for this kind of music) doesn’t change even in the slightest during the following hours. I hate it, like so much. I’m a lyrics and hiphop and punk kind of gal. I even love pop if I have to, anything but THIS. I look over at Frida and she seems to hate is just as much and I don’t know why but the situation is too comical to be boring. My classmates seem so misplaced and so in love with it at the same time that I burst into laughter. So we pretend to get into it and dance to weird beats and the epileptic light messes with my perception of time. At 6am my alarm rings and it’s time to go home. We jump into the third taxi of the night and when we finally lay in bed the grey sky shines bright in through our window and I wonder how Berliners do this every weekend.   Linn  

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