The Early Bird

This Sunday I got up at 7 am, had some quark and blueberries, watched a BBC World show on the euro crisis, then went dancing at a gay nightclub.

Berghain is legendary for its marathon Saturday nights. You hear people say things like ‘there still a queue outside at 6 am!’ and ‘It’s still going at noon on Sunday!’ I arrived at 8 am, and sure enough, it was still at least at half capacity. ‘Is this pepper spray?’ the bouncer asked me, feeling through my bag. ‘It’s sunscreen,’ I said. ‘I’m going to the park after this.’ He waved me through.

Inside, the crowd was actually more mixed than you find at more normal clubbing hours. Hipsters in their 20s, gay-banker types, even some women and ethnic minorities. Had they really all been up since the day before? I’m sure there were pharmaceuticals involved in a significant portion of the stamina on display, but overall, the crowd didn’t seem any more wasted than, say, 3 am.

There was a lounge outside where people were drinking coffee and relaxing, before coming back in and dancing. The dance floor had huge steel shutters that did a good job of blocking out the light, but when the music reached a crescendo, they opened them all and let the light in. The crowd loved it.

I danced for a bit, chatted to some Germans and some tourists, and wandered back out into the sunshine at 11 am. I stood past the exit, watching people squint out the door and into waiting cabs. And I started applying sunscreen.

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