Berlin Calling: Who said nights are for sleeping anyway?
I’m dating a DJ. This, dear readers, is nothing short of a nocturnal education. Suddenly I’m frequenting grimy pits of London with the denizens of 5am, and the soundtrack of my life has become thumping minimal techno.
To quote Marilyn Monroe once again, “Who said nights were for sleep?”
But just when I was beginning to pat myself on the back for my capacity to roar through the wintry nights in a whirl of Jaegerbombs and MAC Lady Danger lipstick, I was put to the test by a new nocturnal challenge last weekend: partying in Berlin. For the über-cool inhabitants of this simmering city, there is no distinction between night and day. Perhaps after 25 years of having to put up with the most brutal symbol of division in modern history, they decided they’d had enough and did away with anything as crass as the bisection of time. Night or day, weekdays or weekends (most Berliners are self-employed anyway), rush hour or happy hour – Berlin is ripe for a party.
On arriving at Berghain – a colossal concrete warehouse known both as the home of techno and a temple to decadence – I politely asked the door woman what time the club would be closing. “Monday,” was her curt answer. We’d been rolling from cocktail bar to back alley techno den since the early hours, so this was music to my ears. Berghain certainly lived up to its decadent moniker – even decked out as I was in a white tank and Bullet playsuit, I felt positively overdressed compared to the leather-bound revelers. But the dancefloor was calling, so if you can’t beat them, you know what to do. It was only when the blinds started opening and shutting in time to the music and daylight flooded in that I managed to locate somebody with a watch – it was 11am, and my flight to London was due to take off in just over an hour. Could I have made it? Yes. Did I want to? Absolutely not.
But I’m afraid I had to let Marilyn down when I eventually made it home late on Sunday night. For 16 hours straight I slept, and all night long on Monday too. And when the DJ calls me on Friday night, I might decide to sleep then too. Sometimes, you just hit a Wall.