2005 was the first year that I spent in Berlin for New Years, very early on in my friendship with Uli. Then 2010 sees me here again with Uli ringing in the New Years. So how do the two 31st of Decembers stack up against each other? Same city, same players, same weather. But very different nights out.
2005 – Turn up to Uli’s house to find four bears in the kitchen all trying to cook one meal. There are a number of arguments on the correct way to roast a loin of pork, boil knudels and make rotekraut. There are 5 of us there altogether and we’re all single except Uli.
2010 – Turn up at Olly’s house. Olly is one of the guys who was there in 2005. There are 10 of us for dinner. Olly and Jan, Uli and Jorge, Stefie and Stefie, Frank and Stefan, Me and Paul. Everyone has made something to bring to the night; Nicoise salad, Beef Bourguinon, Rabbit in Cream Sauce, Croquettes, Cheese Soup. Not to mention a boyfriend to bring as well.
2005 – Drinking beers, talking about how men suck. Still working on dinner.
2010 – Drinking champagne and wines, talking about property prices, Opera, starting up companies. All over four courses.
2005 – Drinking more beers, men still suck. Still working on dinner. Concerns over what time to get to the Berghain, the big club here.
2010 – Onto dessert – an orange bavarois and beignets filled with jam. More talks about travel, US politics, state of the German nation, favorite holiday destinations.
2005 – Drinking more beers, men still suck. Several hypotheses of what time to arrive at the Berghain for the shortest line/maximum fun. Dinner is served. Discussions around how much to eat to maximize drug effectiveness at the Berghain.
2010 – Coffees served as we all get a little noddy from all the amazing food and great wines. Ate way too much.
2005 – Dinner hastily cleared away in time to countdown to midnight and drink champagne.
2010 – Everyone standing around glasses in hand.
2005 – Countdown begins.
2010 – Countdown via the cable broadcast of the party at the Brandenburg Gate begins.
2005 – Cheers, hugs, kisses and well wishes.
2010 – Cheers, heartfelt hugs and kisses for good friends. A kiss from Paul. It’s been a long time since I had someone to kiss on New Years Eve. It’s wonderful.
2005 – Outside on the street to watch everyone else’s fireworks.
2010 – Outside on the street to watch all of our heavy investment in fireworks.
2005 – Back in the house and out come the pills. Berghain here we come.
2010 – Back in the house and out come the pills. Tums, here we go. A great antacid. Congratulations to Frank on his foresight. This prompts a discussion on what gives each of us reflux (the champagne, the rich food). This leads to a further comparison of bodily ailments. Someone says something about the Berghain. Someone else laughs.
2005 – On the tram to the Berghain, no one pays. Very excited about trip there. It’s full of clubbers all ready for a big night out. We talk excitedly about what the night may bring.
2010 – Settling back into the chairs, drinking more, talk happily about what the year may bring.
2005 – Lining up outside the Berghain in the snow.
2010 – Dozing off in the chairs and thinking about bed.
2005 – Inside Berghain. Drinking, dancing, running around, cruising men, racing all over the four clubs in the building.
2010 – In a taxi on the way home.
2005 – More drinking, more dancing, more everything that’s within arm’s reach.
2010 – Asleep.
2005 – jorneaporti&$())#*&njksdfi8*)UR(IENOP IA*)(#BJQOW#)IJ EFIQWER)NJLj!1!1
2010 – Asleep.
2005 – Taxi. Please dear Jesus.
2010 – Get up to pee. Go back to sleep.
2005 – Passed out.
2010 – First breakfast of the New Year.
Upon reflection, it’s entirely possible we’ve all become our parents. Thank God. What a difference five years makes.