Blogging in Germany: Berlin Flashback

I´m in Münster and it feels good. I miss my cheap Nokia cell phone which has served me so well taking crappy but swift pictues of my routes and odd stuff that crops up, but never mind. Words shall be my pictures. 

I had all sorts of strange dreams last night: a lorry, a sleazy dive, nasty words exchanged, something that hurt me. So when I awoke, I felt glad and optimistic. 

The week past in bits and bytes:

- Berlin graffiti is the shit. The absolute last word in graffiti. On the way to Sophia's home, I saw a gigantic wall with a black rat or weasel, popping out in black line detail, like a Japanese master.
- Watched many plays, all largely annoying. The overarching theme was reality and theatre, so there was one loooong supremely self-indulgent manifesto called Young and Restless by two edgy theatre-makers with 8 young adults from Münster. It must have cost gazillion euros to produce and had some quite artistic moments (like when the girl with the afro pulled on an adult diaper and fellated a black Barbie. I kid you not.) but for the most part was some trance-y music, cool lights and set design, frenetic dancing (that I liked) an Al Gore chant, whining about global warning and America's poor human right's record. Of course it could have actually been very profound, but I didn`t get it. A good dramaturg could pull it together to a quality 60 minutes and say it all. 
- The reality themed festival program also contained a version of Alice im Wunderland, which I totally didn`t get being, perhaps mistakenly, under the impression that Lewis Carrol took drugs and wrote Alice under the spell thereof and that the book has little to do with reality as most folk know it. Hence the magic mushroom style 'Drink me' bit. Altered reality, right? But the actors were stunningly good and did some whack stuff like using a puppet for shrunken Alice, the White Rabbit played piano, the ensemble danced and sang and in general pulled out as many theatrical tricks as possible from, I`m guessing, the Mad Hatter's hat. Beautiful revue style theatre, is all.
- In my opinion (hugely objective no doubt) Boy with a Suitcase and 9 Leben from JES, Stuttgart http://www.tanzhaus-zuerich.ch/en/projekt/9-leben-ab-13-jahre-blickfelder-2013-kuenste-fuer-ein-junges-publikum were by far the best the festival offered this year. I missed seeing Blue Boy, a documentary play from Brokentalkers Theatre Company, Dublin that some say was very good.. But Boy a Suitcase just blew audiences away. Personally, despite having watched inumerable shows and rehearsals, I was very moved by the seamlessness on stage. There was so much generosity in the performances, a certain knowing of each others way. This is very delicate and not arrived at easily. The music, movment and text were inseparable and one couldn't imagine one without the other.
- In one of the discussion, a young woman asked a question about racism. Whether we had encountered it or talked about it in the making of the play. A pity the question was ignored for this offered us the opportunity to make the Boy experience deeper. Truer.
- Robbert is the lighting designer for Boy with a Suitcase. He and his partner Frederick had a dream about a chocolate shop in Berlin. So they moved from Mannheim and created Mon Plaisir, home to the prettiest macarons you ever saw. Beige yuzu macaron flecked with black sesame, lavender, violet, black, lime green, pink, taupe, magenta, orange....an Alladin's Cave of sugar delights. When in Berlin, do not miss http://www.monplaisir-chocolaterie.de/angebot/macarons/
- The Turkish guy´s good energy (at the Donner/Asia place next to Theatre an der Parkaue). Here's to glorious, cheap Asia imbiss. yum yum yum. Here's to strangers who are warm in big cities as folks speed by being busy and making appointments.
- Anke, the new PR manager at Schnawwl, who is from the Alsace region and was in Berlin for the first time. 'I feel little...the only one to have never been to Berlin before. Little Anke in Big Berlin.'
- Friends. Agnes and Yohanna who drove 600km from Munich just to hang out with us. Ramani and Mata.
- The breathtaking 3 course meal birthday present to me from Agnes at Brecht's (next to the Berliner Ensemble) and alongside the river. Here`s the menu...burn! http://www.brechts.de/en/menu/brechts-menu.
- Besides the food, this was an evening of high drama. The head waiter thought Agnes's handbag was a dog and wanted to bring it water, a silver fox meandered by and took away our water only to turn the corner and pour for us, quite shocking the living daylights out of us for she was so elegant and un-waiterly. Then a lady in a scarlet trenchcoat strode into the kitchen followed by a man who looked like a stripper-cop. When Agnes asked the waiter where the toilets were, he paused and shrugged and said 'Well, there's the river outside'. And things just got freakier after we had walked past Tränenpalast (whose anguished translation is Palace of Tears) and the cabaret distel...
- Lost (and trapped) at the surreal, blue-tiled Alexanderplatz at 2am with Ramani. Wandering the corridors of an un-filled gigantic swimming pool in the wee hours of the morning. The U Bahn, U5, U5...Smell of bread baking but not a soul in sight. Freezing cold and staying clear of doorways with their accompanying blasts of Arctic air. A homeles lady, suddenly, drinking at a water fountain. Three brown folk huddled at the steps looking for a phone number and then...Was macht ihr alle? Nothing, we`re looking for the U5 platform. That way...auf diese weise. Cool, let's go. Then, shock. The U train is out of service. Let's get outta here and take a cab! Then the doors are all locked, we're friggin locked in at Alexanderplatz!!! Alice had nothing on this.
- Quasimodo! Disco Heaven at the Quas. Mike Stern will be playing there this week, but Mata and Ramani made it possible that we hit it on the night of mirror balls, glitter and Studio 54 style fun. The band covered everything from KC and the Sunshine Band to James Brown, it was wet outside, but inside  was so warm :) Walking back at 2 am from the Frankfurter Allee station, we got soaked to the marrow in icy Berlin rain.

Like this, like this, life was. In this way. Impressions buzzing about my head like crazed bees, making it hard to think or feel. Then Kuki took my Nokia phone and his guitar and went to Munich.

I arrived in Münster and passed out for the night.

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