Nico and I are standing on the platform of a Berlin train station paralyzed by the overhead speaker barking German with frenzied authority, "and we're boarding a train to Poland" I say.
The train was in fact heading for Frankfurt, the lesser known village of Frankfurt that borders Poland. From there we crossed the border on foot. "Germany marches into Poland again" says Alex in his clipped German brogue twinged with a gay panache that saves his comment from poor taste. How strange that what I saw of Poland should remind me so much of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. No 90 pound musicians or baseball capped graduates high on the enthusiasm of living in New York but rather those teenage prostitutes in the making wearing colourful squares of mesh and a sequin. The older folk were thick featured and shuffled about in all manner of sandals and brown toe nails. Women came with hair in the three colours, black, peroxide blonde and burgundy, all smoking as though it earned them money.
After an evening of laying in a field recovering from our previous nights revelry, Nico, Alex and I decide to spend our remaining Polish currency on ice cream sundaes that we ate while observing a family sat across from our table.
It was the little girl that caught our attention for at the age of 4 she wore the lined face of a middle aged woman. We stared at this poor child in disbelief spoon feeding ourselves with mechanical regularity. The girls family, of which there were several members, sat chain smoking beneath a cloud of smoke that hovered above while the old faced girl ran round and around the table. Nico declared this to be a "horrible tableau" and we vowed to never smoke again, or at least cut back.
In Berlin I had tried to contact Dirk, a friend of a friends I had met last New Years eve in New York, but after several failed attempts for us to get in contact I turned my attention to Yoni, aka "The Party" an old acquaintance from the Williamsburg party days labeled as such for his prowess on the scene. If he was there, it was a party, but he was never there for long for there were always more spots for him to get to. If he came back to finish his night at your venue, that meant it was the best. The Party only chose the best.
The Party answered on the first ring and even knew it was me. He said he'd be meeting a few friends for Tapas in the neighbourhood and that Nico and I should join them. Five hours, four large wines, a schnaps, a shot of vodka and thirty cigarettes later we are at Nilgun's place playing the card game Asshole. Bettie who works for a fashion magazine, Nina who's head of marketing for Addidas and her boyfriend Matheus who is rolling us a fattie are all sat around the table. The Party is ever slouched by the corner balancing his hand of cards, a constant text and his cigarette habit.
"Two bitches" he says slapping down a pair of queens.
We played for 3 hours and all the while serenaded by The Whitest Boy Alive, the band Nilgun's husband plays bass in. Nico buys the band's t-shirt and we both buy CDs while the drunken group dismantles.
"Get your stuff," says The Party, "We're going out."