Dance, til the night is done

A day well spent in Prenzlaur Berg.  Though our first attempt at walking through the suburb was cut short by heavy rain, we returned later in the evening.  Our guide book had recommended a Vietnamese restaurant, Onkel Ho, and that is where we went for dinner.  Unlike the majority of places we found to eat in Berlin, this one had vegetarian food, and we both gorged ourselves on wonderfully prepared tofu in plum sauce, vegetables, and rice.  For only 10 euros, I had this delicious dinner, a huge cup of jasmine tea (which came with a wooden spoon to push away the whole leaves and flowers that settled at the bottom of the cup), and a free tapioca dessert.

After this meal, and a few minutes of admiring the simple, but very well decorated restaurant, we made our way to what was to be one of the highlights of the trip:  a bar called Beckett’s Kopf.  While I ended up spending more money there on 10-euro cocktails than on all the entire rest of the day, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience–which I expect I will not repeat, due to the cost (and liver damage) involved.

The bar did not have a sign but only showed its presence through a glowing portrait of Beckett.  Indeed, with its stacked chairs and dark windows, it looked closed.  But a few moments after we pressed the doorbell, the black door opened, and we were allowed to enter into the redish glow of the interior.  After handing over our coats (I kept my camera by my side), we were shown to the “nonsmoking area”, where we could sit in leather armchairs by a small table, while jazz over the speakers played at just the right volume, so we could hear every note but still express to each other our approval of the place without straining voices or ears.

The menus from which we chose our drinks had been places inside copies of a book by Beckett.  Being unable to read German, we picked our first cocktails at random (though I’d remembered the online-review suggestion to try “Monkey’s Land”)–and I pulled out my camera.

A few pictures taken, I insisted that we sit at the bar, even if it was in the smoking area, because I wanted the chance to watch the bartender in action and ask for recommendations for further drinks.

When we finally left, parting with quite a bit of money, we found that the subway had already stopped working (I suppose only tourists go out to drink on a weeknight?) and we went in the direction of our hostel by foot.  Luckily, we were only a few subway stops away and the weather had improved.

Upon returning, I (perhaps foolishly) suggested a club as a means of sobering up (admittedly, it worked for me, who, unlike my friend, stuck to the plan of not drinking any more), and the sun rose uneventfully at 4.30am when we finally collapsed and decided to sleep through breakfast the next morning.

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