“Berlin is just not Dubai”

“Berlin is just not Dubai”

EA friend of mine once said to me when I was too young for a driver’s license: If you want to drive a Mercedes, order a taxi. Today, nobody orders the flesh-colored bodies, but black or white Toyotas. All the more gratifying that the best of both worlds answers the call of the app: a Mercedes in black, as if it had been provided for us by the former sponsor of the Berlin Fashion Week.

In the bar, an acquaintance had just sent us a picture of the line in front of the hotel: Berghain length. It’s just the after party of a fashion fair. “We just rush forward with the body and then see if they really are all on the list,” says the person sitting next to you on the leather back seat. Flesh-colored Mercedess and people in coats gather in front of the entrance. Yes, everyone is on the list. “Will you bring us in if you can do it?” “Sure,” we lie. Then it’s quick: the taxi attendant knows someone, and we’re in.

We infiltrate our way through the crowd, it’s warm and cramped, the cloakroom no longer accepts jackets. Inside and outside: people in coats. Vats full of ice Prosecco are cooling behind the bar, the bartenders fill the glasses in no time at all, tonight they have a thankless job: If everything is free, there are no tips either.

Big disco and mussels

At the black marble edge sits a man with razor-sharp silver hair. He and his colleague next to him are waiting for something to happen to them. My companion leans between them to take our glasses. “They’re from the south and they exhibited at the fair,” he tells me.

A tall woman on heels in an evening dress floats past in the direction of the restaurant, in whose pink plush shells important people are chatting. A former mayor and an entrepreneur – he would like to be a media mogul – talk. At least the former no longer has any political power that the latter could corrupt.

Opposite to the mouse shells, things are less exclusive: the large room with a DJ has something of a large disco. The common people can take beer from refrigerators. With a cigarette we realize: The snake has disappeared. only where? In or home, it’s hard to tell, it’s so crowded. Another attempt to get rid of the coat.

The show of the designer Lilia Litkovyskaya at the Berlin Fashion Week

The show of the designer Lilia Litkovyskaya at the Berlin Fashion Week

Image: Reuters

An entrepreneur from Charlottenburg accepts his down at the cloakroom. Why is he leaving? “It doesn’t get any better.” Is he here more often? Yes, in the restaurant. But what Berlin has to offer is not enough for him. Where is it better? “In Dubai. You’ll still be properly served there,” he says, and means it seriously. “But Berlin isn’t Dubai.”

His shirt says “shit”

Stubborn suits continue to plow the dance floor, indie hipsters in vests and a crew that must’ve memorized ASAP Rocky’s number. A slim man in drag and a silver mini dress is dancing on the stage, opposite him a strong man in a green parka is bobbing back and forth. Over a cigarette in the backyard, a Roman stylist in light faux fur and a fedora explains why he’s no longer in Milan but in Berlin: he’s looking for young people. He won’t find her here.

“Too much masculinity,” a designer friend yells in my ear. We try our luck on the small dance floor. “I see your loins movin’, what are you talkin’,” sings a house singer. Please don’t, the designer and I think without shouting it out. His shirt says “shit”. He tells that he was partying here 25 years ago, there was an illegal electro shed. Everything that is good is now on the outskirts. And the rest? “A gay variant of Munich.” After all: not Dubai.

The cell phone vibrates: the car will be here shortly. I’m supposed to be on the lookout for a white Toyota.


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