I just got back from a crazy week in the capital of beer and electro music: Berlin! I was there to explore the post-war atmosphere of the city, which is meant to be buzzing with art, underground music and parties (most of the time the parties are so underground you cannot find them. I swear. ). After some rather disappointing sight-seeing trips and non-concluding talks with locals, Berlin makes up for it with its crazy music (and by crazy I mean the DJ-Panda playing violing at an electro-techno rave), crazy drugs (maybe too much? The only drug you need is loooove, mate), underground parties, graffiti and an excellent music festival line-up.
The problem with Berlin is this: they hate tourists. I understand that they can be fu**ing annoying, as I often curse the gods when I see them in London, but they're part of the economy and part of life, so, the best way is to smile and not lie to them about where that museum really is (Come on, it happened to the best of us...). On many occasions, my friends and I (all of them are London based internationals and speak perfectly good english) were being told we were too loud and too foreign. I can't keep track of the number of times people have stopped by in the streets to stare at us (in a rather disgusting way). I also couldn't believe how rude and impolite some of the stares, whistles and insults were. I have had my ass groped by an old man in daytime, and after causing a scene about this he simply walked away without embarrassment. On another occasion a man called us "dirty whores" then proceeded to ask for cigarettes. Is this really what the streets of Berlin have come to?
Despite Berliner's rude attitude, I had a really fun time there, especially at the Helmut Newton Foundation and the festival. The food was also really good, and those mini-eggs really helped my daily hangover, which usually consisted of wine, tequila shots and bad decisions. The clubs were also very good (once you knew where to find them... mmh mhh Goldengate & Magdalena!) though sometimes unnecessarily selective and rude (berghain.. :( ). The only time I felt truly accepted by the people was at the music festival, which had really big names like SBTRKT, Paul Kalkbrenner, Bonaparte and Django Django. I won't spend too much time describing how fun it was, so I'll just say that it was so crazy I fainted (oops!) and that I discovered a new band called Sizarr! You should check out their songs Icy Martini and Purple fried!