This week has been quite busy, I think as people feel more confident in asking others to meet up and explore parts of Berlin. Like I’ve said before, being on a pre-semester language course really does give you a head start in meeting other exchange students and seeing the city before the majority of students return from their summer!
I’ve felt much more comfortable this week in my decisions; not just saying ‘yes’ to potential plans because I felt I had to be sociable, but because I actually wanted to spend time with these people and had an interest in the plans. I’ve learnt that FOMO is never as bad as you think, and you won’t lose friends if you say no to one event. Having said that, this week has been packed; language lessons, lunching, a class trip to a cabaret show, shopping and visiting the OLYPMUS Perspective Playground at Kraftwerk. I also went out on Friday to ://about blank…the club scene is an experience in its self!
So here’s a summary of the Perspective Playground exhibit (sadly it ended today), and a few comments about my experience clubbing from this week…
This was advertised all over social media (one of my home friends actually tagged me in a promo video for it which brought it to my attention), and the concept seemed amazing: a series of different artists’ work being displayed in Kraftwerk warehouse, all using light and colour. The main attraction for this exhibit was that it was free and that you were given an Olympus camera on entry and were encouraged to take photographs of the art, and interact with several pieces. Another bonus was that at the end, you were given the SD card and so were able to keep the photographs taken- great for keen photographers and selfie lovers!
Unfortunately, we chose to go on the penultimate day of the exhibition (also a saturday), so we ended up queuing for 2 hours!
However, once we made it in we made the most of what was offered! Some parts of the warehouse were great for catching the light on certain pieces, and I’m no photographer but some people took great shots of the art. It was lovely to be able to wander round a large space and take pictures of what you thought was interesting, not just what was meant to be looked at.
Some pieces like the one above were meant to be interacted with, whereas others had notices warning you not to touch and it was great to have a mixture of these.
I’ve also got no shame in saying that we enjoyed taking fun pictures of/with each other…I hadn’t really taken any photos of Berlin or the people I was spending time with before this week, probably because it can feel a little awkward asking someone you’ve just met to be in a picture you want to send to your mum! But this gave us a real opportunity to enjoy taking pictures and took away the embarrassment of asking someone to be in a photo with you.
Although this Perspective Playground exhibition has ended, they do travel around Europe quite often, so definitely check out their website and see if it’s coming to a city near you!
The Clubbing Experience
I also wanted to write about my second clubbing experience in Berlin (whilst living here). On Friday a group of us went out and struggled to get in to certain clubs…for reasons that confused us, so here’s a summary of what I’ve realised about Berlin nightlife in my very short time here:
- Generally, they don’t want tourists in clubs- so if you can’t speak German then don’t speak at all
- Small groups is a must; we split into 3 groups of 3, queued separately and still didn’t get in to Tresor, despite only saying ‘drei’ when reaching the front…you’re more likely to get let in if you go alone
- Know what DJ is playing that night, even if it isn’t someone famous. A simple google search will save your socks when you’re asked who’s playing/why you want to get in (we were asked this)
- If you can’t speak German and think they will ask you who is playing, make friends with someone German in the queue; if they’re alone they won’t mind pretending you’re with them (again, this worked for me)
- Even with these tips, there’s no rhyme or reason for why you will/won’t get in…bouncers just love the power! My friends were in the queue ahead of me and weren’t let in despite speaking very good German. I was then let in even though I attempted German and then laughed my way into English; he found this funny and I’m pretty sure this is how I was allowed in!
If anything, just be prepared for long queues and have back up plans for clubs, you’ll still have a great night like we did when we finally got let in to ://about blank (although they won’t let you take pictures in there!).
Bye for now,