Blackout in Berlin

I had no idea of the drunken madness that was to come, I was just aiming for Berlin. My new friend Luis was living there, I’d spent just one night in Berlin at his place on route to a wedding in Romania that he also attended. He’d since moved to a new place and said I was free to come stay with him so I could get a proper look at the big city.

That morning I was in Prague with the idea to hitchhike up, I took a bus and a tram from the house I was staying at there to get closer to the outskirts of the city where I’d have a better chance hitching a ride. Before getting to sticking my thumb out, I stopped in a bar to burn the last my Czech money on a beer and a meal.

I started getting rides right away, first from an older couple, then a young guy to a grocery store, another guy a little ways and then a friendly guy who dropped me off at a gas station where a couple other hitchhikers were waiting for a lift. Rather than waiting for them to catch a lift I opted to walk past them and straight on to the freeway like I’ll typically do in that case, cars are going a lot faster, but there’s a lot more of them.

That’s when I got picked up by three girls coming from Bulgaria, all my age or younger, all beautiful, laughing and carrying on, bound for Berlin. They’d just been camping and vacationing essentially, now they were racing back up to the city for a weekend long celebration for their friend’s birthday.

We shot up there having a great time. We got stuck in standstill traffic for a short period of time, they all got out of the car, rummaging through backpacks and changing into nicer clothes and getting fixed up. The blonde girl driving had to jump in quickly to keep the car moving in the middle of traffic, so she drove with just her bra on for a while as the others still shuffled around.

As we got closer to the city they asked if I wanted to join, telling me we would camp on the property and there was an open bar all weekend along with as much bratwurst and food we could eat, along with live music. All I could do was smile, some of life’s choices are too easy.

We arrived and were handed beers straight away, bratwurst too, a big bonfire was going and the night had begun. I whirled around listening to most everyone speak in German, sipping beer and getting into it. Just about everyone spoke English as well and got a kick out of story of arrival having hitched into very good fortune. It was a hell of a night.

I eased into the morning, rolling out of my sleeping bag and into a mug of coffee. Rolls and other treats were laid out and I grazed for a while, then helped move some boxes and set up the bar for the coming night. A giant pig was setup and being roasted as well. Soon the beers started popping open, shots were poured from strange unmarked bottles, bugs were crawling around on a projector aimed at the wall and more people were spilling in.

By the time the music was in full force I began to realize I was too, drinks had been going down like breaths of air. A couple German guys had taught me a phrase that sounded something like “Das Gile!” and apparently meant “Fucking amazing!”, I remember they had me shouting it up at the band as they smiled and played harder. Laughter and smiles and dancing everywhere, the fire was raging again next to the barn where the music was and people were everywhere. I’d have to say the fire is the last thing I remember.

I opened my eyes, slowly, I was laying down, early afternoon light spilling in. After a minute I remembered the fire, Berlin, the barn and the party, the girls. I was supposed to have woken up in my sleeping bag behind a barn, but I was clearly in a house or an apartment of some sort. I heard noise in the hallway, an unfamiliar face glanced at me as they stepped into a bathroom.

I looked around the room hoping to see my backpack or any kind of clue as to where I was, but nothing. I’d blacked out before in my days of drinking, but this was completely dark, I could remember nothing at all after the fire and was in a truly different place. Finally, a familiar face, a guy from the party, one who’d had me shouting “Das Gile!”, he smiled and came in sitting at the desk.

Before I could say a word I saw a girl walk past the door in the hallway too, one of the three who’d picked me up. At least I was with the same crew, more or less, I figured. I began talking with the guy next to me, hoping some more clues would spill out, that my memory would be jogged. We went into the kitchen for coffee, this seemed like a good idea.

At last I had to just ask him what the hell happened. He said the night kept on raging on, my shouts of “Das gile!” continued and that I was generally running around with a plastered smile, flirting and jumping and joking around, seen making out with one of the blondes and generally acting a fool having fun. A group of them had all decided to come back into the city instead of camp another night since it had started raining, so we’d all trained in and marched down the city streets back to the house. The one blonde girl apparently had packed up my gear and had it with her.

More coffee. Downstairs we had dinner, I guess it was even later than I’d thought. The girl there from my initial ride seemed cold, I couldn’t be sure what might have occurred the night before between us, if anything. I suddenly remembered Luis, I’d given him a heads up about the weekend, but I had to get to his place this night for sure, early the next morning he was heading to Munich for a business trip and was going to leave his keys with me to use his place.

I got some phone numbers and would have to arrange to get my pack the next day or so, then split to get to Luis across town. I got there and we caught up, then had beer and tea with him and his roommate.

I heard him leave in the middle of the night, later that morning I dragged myself out of bed and into the streets, a currywurst and beer stop was in order. Light rain continued, I napped out some more of the previous day’s hangover, then was right back out on the streets again seeking out another currywurst, another beer.

I marched across the city towards the apartment I’d time traveled to so I could grab my backpack.I had to guess which buzzer was the right one, guessed right and came on up. Just Teo was there, the “Das gile” guy. He told me that one of the girls had gone to pick it up, but it was too heavy for her since she had her own things as well. That meant I had to hop on the tram to go to a suburb where the blonde girl lived so I could meet her at the station and pick it up.

An hour or so later I’d made it and waited for her, unsure what to expect. Perhaps I’d made out with her or said any number of things, there was no telling. Her car rolled up, she was smiling, she got out and hugged me straight away before popping open her trunk where I was happy to see my backpack safe and sound.

“It was great meeting you and a lot of fun this weekend. Give me a call in the next few days, I’m sure something will be going on”, she hopped back in and drove off, all seemed well. I took the long trip back to the city and had an easy going night.

I only spent another couple days in Berlin, I gave the girl a call, but we never found a good time to meet up. Luis had a bike he let me use, so I biked all over the city seeing as much as possible. I hung with Luis’ housemates a bit too, Dave was about to move down south, Steffi was a singer and was starting to ramp up studio time and the like. We checked out some bars one night and had a lot of fun.

Munich was my next destination, since the town Dave was moving to was halfway there, he offered to give me a lift and let me stay a night at his new apartment to get me a good head start. Sounded like a plan for me, southbound in the morning we would go.