Field Trip!

The first week of class has been great here at berliner ID. I have awesome teachers, the other students come from all over the world, and I feel like I am improving very quickly. I tested into level B 1.2, which I am very happy with. We had to have class on Saturday, September 5th because we didn’t have it on Monday the 1st. A little disappointing, but it’s what had to happen. Our teacher (who is probably one of the coolest people ever) decided that part of our class would be a field trip, in order to make up for the fact we were having class on a Saturday. Our destination was the Fuck Parade, a celebration of subculture in Berlin and demonstration against the gentrification that is slowly pushing Berlin’s club culture out of the city. We spent about an hour and a half discussing what the parade was, the subculture in Berlin, and gentrification in the city. Then we headed to the parade. It consisted of five trucks with speakers, playing different types of music (mostly techno), and a whole crowd of people that were there supporting the demonstration. As the parade went along, Sylvie (our teacher) pointed out important places in the subculture scene and explained their significance. Several of the older buildings that the city wanted to remove had really beautiful artwork on them, and others were home to squatter communities that couldn’t afford the rising rent in Berlin. It was definitely a side of Berlin that a regular tourist wouldn’t have seen, and I probably wouldn’t have found on my own.
After the parade we stopped for a cup of coffee. A couple of Sylvie’s friends had joined us during the parade, and we talked about how we thought it went and our impressions. The topic then turned to what was going on that night, and where people were planning to go. Someone had information about a free festival, and we decided to go there. I stopped by the apartment to drop off my backpack, and proceeded to get a little lost on the way to the venue. Once I got there, it was amazing! It was a little courtyard with a little bungalow in the middle. That was where the DJ was. The music was loud, the lighting was colorful and not too bright, and everywhere there were sofas and little hidey-holes to sit in. The music was a mix of German and American pop, and was mixed rather well. There were even a few songs to swing to. I had a great night out dancing, and made it home safe and sound.

A wide variety of people rallied to support subculture and the Berlin nightlife.
A wide variety of people rallied to support subculture and the Berlin nightlife.
Waiting for the parade to start. The trucks in the background are full of speakers playing techno music.
Waiting for the parade to start. The trucks in the background are full of speakers playing techno music.
MediaSpree is a campaign to build new buildings along the Spree river. This would displace many of the nightclubs and  alternative communities that call the area home.
MediaSpree is a campaign to build new buildings along the Spree river. This would displace many of the nightclubs and alternative communities that call the area home.
The loud music attracted the attention of residents along the parade route. Some where supportive, like this lady.
The loud music attracted the attention of residents along the parade route. Some where supportive, like this lady.
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