Ok, it’s time for another time-warp. Since the antics of last Saturday’s Salon d’Agriculture, my week was pretty uninteresting, but really busy. A few IT issues exploded at work, and it sort of took over my life for a few days. The highlight was probably last Monday, when a friend of mine had a little apéro / soirée at her place to celebrate her b-day for those who can’t be in town for her official b-day celebrations (i.e., me and a few other Frenchy folks heading to Berlin). I offered to make food, and so I came with a big bag full of Peruvian goodies. Arroz chaufa, ceviche, ocopa, and so on.
Anyway, we come to Thursday! I had an afternoon flight today to Berlin to begin my weekend of debauchery/research, so I had to leave directly from work with my luggage and sprint to Orly airport. I got to my plane on time and all, but EasyJet had several other flights leaving at about the same time and the check-in area was a mess.
The flight was fine and I got into town at around 21h00 or so. As soon as I turned on my phone, I was checking in with my folks in Berlin, including Florian, my gracious host, N., a former roommate from last summer, Fantômette (who needs no introduction at this point), and K., a friend of another former roommate from last summer.
While on the train into town, I heard from Florian that he and some friends had just left an art gallery opening and were heading off to Cocolo, a ramen noodle joint that Florian had taken me to back in November. I had some trouble finding the imbiss in the maze of streets behind Hackescher Markt and my luggage slowed me down, so by the time I got to Totoro, they had already finished eating and Florian’s friends were getting ready to leave.
But Florian, bless his kindly Dutch soul, stuck around to keep me company as I had a bowl of tonkatsu ramen, which involved ramen noodles with half a smoked-boiled egg, smoked pork shoulder, tofu, and sweet BBQ pork belly. God, was that fucking awesome. I also had their roasted rice tea, which was lovely.
From there, we walked over towards Rosa Luxembourg Platz to grab a few drinks at a bar called Bar 3 (yes, seriously). It was densely packed with the denizens of the Berlin art scene, along with a lot of cigarette smoke. There was a strong majority of Anglophones in the room, at least by my ear. We ran into a friend of Florian’s that runs an art gallery, and we got to watch him do his “work,” flitting from conversation to conversation, discerning the artists from the buyers, making introductions, etc. Florian and I also amused ourselves by identifying the various cliques in the room, including the Rather Young Art-Fags That Dress In Ironic Versions Of The Fashions Of Their 20th-Century Queer Forbears. I swear, if you saw them, you’d know what I was talking about.
By about 0h30, we finally decided to head home. It was rainy and kinda gross, but the walk to the station was relatively short. Florian kept apologizing for Berlin’s cobblestone sidewalks, as I struggled to roll my luggage over to his place. It wasn’t that bad, mind you. I managed those streets with three pieces of luggage last summer. Anyway, we got back to his place, had some tea, and got some sleep.