Berlin Obsessions #3

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Christmas in Berlin can be both a romantic and dangerous affair. And we all know those two words are synonymous with one another. It’s all gorgeous and picturesque when you’re sitting within comfortable confines, listening to the crackling fireplace and watching snow dust over everything like a fine layer of icing sugar. And then suddenly you get cabin fever and decide it might be a fun idea to, you know, actually ‘go out there’, go to a party or something. But, alas, the icing has gone and all that’s left is a giant mud cake. It’s a veritable slippery slide, and I nearly ended up in a neck brace but it’s also how I met musician Barbara Cuesta.  No one commented on my limp or cut lip when I arrived at the Christmas party and there were a rad band of Berlin musicians who made the horror journey worth it.

If you too dare to brace these arctic temperatures, well, there is much to see and do. Take the Christmas markets at Alexanderplatz for example; they have rides, food stalls and everything in between.  And if you ask for a “Negerkuss” (nigger kiss) you won’t be slapped in the face. Actually I am being a little facetious, do not ask for the aforementioned because a slap might be getting off lightly.

The first mention of what was originally known as a Negerkuss dates back to Germany in 1829, however in the 80’s they received a somewhat more neutral and less prejudice name change to “Schokokuss”. They also sometimes go by their brand name Dickmanns. What is it with Germans and their love of the profane? Archaic moniker aside, they are still a very modern treat of marshmallow dipped in chocolate and to use a typically Australian adjective…are bloody delicious.

Be warned though of the festive gluhwein – mulled spiced wine, which sometimes contains rum –  smash one too many of those down and you may smash your face on the ice and sail into a nearby neighbour watching disapprovingly from the dodgem cars. Yes, if you haven’t already noticed, I am accident prone, or is that alcohol prone?

And if you’re in search of others who are perhaps a few bananas short of a fruit salad, why not head to Salon Zur Wilden Renate where you might see a woman parading around with a half-empty bowl of fruit on her head dancing to house music. If those on the dance floor don’t fill your voyeuristic desires, go in search of the room (this place is pretty much a mansion) with the loft bed. You must admire the couples cavorting around in there; if not for their carefree demeanour, then definitely for their sheer ability to clamber up into such a high space while intoxicated. They don’t call it Wilde Renate for nothing.

Sabine is a writer and electronic music producer from Australia who recently moved to Berlin to experience the different music scene. Now she puts together all her furious adventures in her very own column for Berlin Sessions. You can follow Sabine on Tumblr and Soundcloud