Berlin is known for its countless nightlife options. // © 2013 Thinkstock
Sometimes not getting what you want can be a heck of a lot of fun. Wait, let me explain.
Berlin is internationally recognized for its nightlife options, from open-air bars along the River Spree to mega-clubs that blast electronic dance music all weekend long. So, on my third trip to the city that truly never sleeps, I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about and go clubbing with an out-of-town friend.
After asking around, locals told us to head to the Kater Holzig club where the frontman from Bloc Party, Kele Okereke, would be playing a DJ set. As we approached the venue, walking through what appeared to be a residential backyard, we could feel the bass rattle with every footstep. Violet and electric blue lights lit the path and lead us to a wooden cabin that served as the gateway into the club. We hopped in line, gabbing about how fun the night was going to be, when a teenager turned around and said, “You might not want to let the person at the door hear you speak English. They don’t favor foreigners much.”
We thought it odd but kept quiet anyway. As we approached the door, we saw the club’s supervisor motioning for people to spin around (so that she could see their outfit) and reaching for their accessories to see if they passed inspection. My friend and I looked at each other in disbelief and started giggling at the absurdity of the situation. But it wasn’t long before the group in front of us, including the informative teen, got turned away from the door. We were next and, when she saw us, the supervisor simply shook her head in silence.
“You never know what they are looking for,” explained a local who couldn’t be bothered to stand in line. “Kater Holzig is like Studio 54. It’s the hardest club to get into in Europe.”
My friend and I didn’t want to give up so soon. After grabbing a beer, re-adjusting our outfits and plotting a plan to come off as more “Berlin,” we jumped back in line.
“I noticed that the last two girls were nodding their heads to the music, and they let them in,” whispered my friend. “I’m going to try that.”
My strategy was to look as bored as possible. That way, the supervisor might think that I do this sort of thing all the time.
In our favor, the supervisor had turned away at least 200 people since our last attempt and didn’t seem to have any recognition of us. She asked us a couple of questions, and I answered back in a mix of terrible German and some English. For a moment, it looked as if she was about to take pity on us — then came her signature shake of the head. Drats!
In all honesty, not getting into Kater Holzig might have been a more memorable experience than hanging out inside of the club. In fact, we learned a few things about ourselves that night:
1. We were not “cool”
2. A good sense of humor goes a long way