You died 150 years ago this October (actually, it was 147, but who’s counting!).
On that impossibly beautiful mid-autumn Mr. Blue Sky day, you stretched your last morning stretch, gobbled up your very last senf-drizzled wurst, all in preparation for an untimely end: a carriage flattening you to mush into the gravel below, perhaps, or a humble lil mushroom hunt gone poisonously awry. But just because you’ve met your ultimate “Vernichtung,” doesn’t mean you’re not still “with it,” in every sense not bodily. You’re hungry for the life and times that Berlin offers us all. And we’re gonna give ’em to you.
So whether this is your first Berlin haunt, or you’re journeying back again after 1871’s bad bout of dypyheria (listen, some stuff happened since then you should be aware of), we’ve got the top six tips to still have fun in Berlin, even though you’ve, well, “cut your mortal coil,” or, erm, “passed on.” As the Germans say, “Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.”
1. Find a decent flat, bridge, or graveyard for your stay.
Rent prices are skyrocketing in Berlin (want to see if your rent is illegally high? check it out here). But that shouldn’t hold you back!
You want an attic apartment belonging to some second-rate artist in Neukölln who’s always complaining about how he’s “haunted inside” anyway? Make him work for that! Interested in bumping around a crowded WG? There’s always weirdo-strangers running around. You could be one of them!
As far as bridges go, Admiralbrücke’s rather nice this time of year (frigid temps don’t really bother you these days, do they?), and, for graveyards, we’ve got none other that Bertolt Brecht up at Dorotheenstadt Cemetary! Impressive, even for you, who “handed in your dinner pail,” “kicked the bucket,” “did a seven,” or “stuck your spoon in the wall” a good 30 years before Brecht was even born.
2. Ghosting: For you, dating in Berlin is a dream.
After a brief technology hiccup (Tinder? Bumble? Inner Circle? It’s like your own, personal line-up at the River Styx, and they’re all looking to BONE), you’ll be on your way to discovering the vibrant ecosystem of dating in Berlin. Whatever your kink, you’ll find a willing party. And best of all? The next morning, you can go on pretending they don’t exist—because, hell, you really don’t exist, either! You’ve got every excuse not to call them back. It’s ghosting at its prime.
3. Possess some raver girl at Sisyphos.
No one will know the difference! Dance like no one is watching! Glitter your face like you’re high on MDMA, because, well, tonight you ARE! Your tongue ring’s in place; your abs are alive and free beneath that bright pink crop-top; and dammit, if someone offers you a tab of acid, you’re DOWN. You’ve SEEN the other side, and it’s wicked, man. “Like you wouldn’t believe.”
4. Cause some ruckus outside a kebab shop.
There’s literally nothing more dispiriting—not dying at the age of 29 from typhoid fever with your whole life ahead of you, nor getting caught in some farm factory equipment just days before you’re meant to marry Catherine, the 17-year-old love of your life—than waiting in a long kebab line, receiving said kebab with alle Soßen, amen, and then accidentally dropping it on the ground. You, with your invisible hand of fate, can make this happen for dozens of drunken kebab eaters, tonight. You have that power. Use it.
5. Wait in the line for Berghain, I guess, because why not?
Sure, Berghain’s famous in heaven and hell, and universally regarded as “harder to get into than that fro-yo place in heaven.” But you’re willing to try because, hey: what is the afterlife if not just one long waiting game? You’ve got time. Might as well.
6. Play three hours worth of ABBA songs on a dingy kneipe jukebox.
The scowling Germans will blame the two giggling Midwestern girls in the corner, without knowing the truth: that you, who passed on from this world and into the next plane 147 years ago after a mule kicked you so hard in the gut you saw spots and keeled over forever, discovered ABBA at a discotheque in Stockholm in the 1970s and haven’t managed to get Chiquitita out of your head since. Let those idiot girls take the blame. Sit back. Sip your two-euro brew. Because, Chiquitita, YOU AND I KNOW how the heartaches come and they go and the scars they’re leaving.