Sinking prodigious amounts of the Konig Pilsener, I think I do certainly prefer it to the Berliner Pilsener. No difference in taste, I don’t think, but it is colder than I remember. I notice it comes out the tap much faster as well. The Berliner took forever to pour.
It turns out the “rickety old train” only went as far as Hamm and we then had to switch to the newer modern ICE for the rest of the journey to Berlin. Still arrived on time. In the hotel bar now. 20:38. The Berliner Pilsener is no more; replaced by Konig Pilsener, and I would say it is colder than the old one used to be. Flowing freely, so nice to be back in Berlin which means so much to me. But it means so much to me because of memories from the past, memories of night clubs which no longer exist in an extinction event of unprecedented magnitude—is there still life in Berlin for me? We shall see. Anyway I just came for Bowie this time, and the naughty places are just a bonus, hopefully. But the memories are so strong—Berlin is where I bloomed & blossomed, Berlin is where I emerged from the chrysalis a butterfly. My repeated visits to Berlin in 2003 and 2004 were life-changing. As Bowie said of his Berlin albums “they are my DNA”, my Berlin visits from that time are my DNA. They were my womb. 903pm.
On a rickety old train to Berlin; a “replacement train” said the announcer. Lots of leg room though as it is an old First Class carriage apparently.
Leaving Aachen (slowly). 1210. My Berlin train leaves Koln at 1248. Sure enough, the Customs get on at Aachen but thank god they just check my passport and tickets this time and move on. Last time it was so weird because I seemed to be the ONLY person on the carriage they checked, they came straight to me, but today I am reassured to see they are checking EVERYBODY for “papers”. They have a very pretty blonde girl with them this time, like she is training.
Oh but we are moving so slowly. A snail’s pace. I only have 33 minutes between trains at Koln. The driver advises we are exactly 25 minutes behind schedule. Just leaving Liege (such a beautiful station). The driver is putting his foot down now. Snow on the ground between Liege and Aachen. I managed to get through 77 euros already, 35 of them on taxis.
Oh Jesus, 1124, we have stopped again. I am so hungry. Same reason again, “person on the track”. For f—k’s sake. Moving again but that is another 5 minutes lost. “Fuck all internet fame bitches”. Graffiti on the wall.
I honestly didn’t think I’d ever go back to Berlin after my last trip. But now having fallen in love with David Bowie (as he was in the 1970s, the golden age for almost everything) I need to make pilgrimage to his stay in Berlin, when he was at his most beautiful.