So this is will be my fifth year playing mas in Berlin Carnival. For me, it’s pretty easy and inexpensive to get there from London . A two hour journey tops. I remember my first year at Berlin carnival. I was amazed and humbled by how the Germans had fully embraced the carnival West Indian culture! They sing allll the lyrics as if it was their native tongue! I’ll never forget singing loudly to one soca tune word for word with this guy. I turned to ask him one question in English and he stared at me blankly not comprehending.. LOL.
My my has this carnival grown from my first year there four years go! More fetes, more organised. A lot more international visitors (especially from London). Berlin has consistently brought out the international soca artists; Bunji and Fayann, Kes. This year? Machel Montano. Last year, my favourite event was the newly included soca on the beach party.
Thursday June 5th. Lime and secret location
So my friend Nicole and I get off the train, made our way to the hotel, had a shower and made it jusss in time to make it to the secret location for the first of the weekend carnival fetes! We missed the Welcome Lime at the Yard Gear Store ( luggage took too long, finding the hotel etc). Off we go, following the crowd, with the guy at the front like the Pied Piper.
And it was a great start to the weekend! The location fitted in with the general architecture of the Berlin soca locations really; a kind of underground, earthy feel to it. And it was free!!! So all well and good. The bar wasn’t too crowded. And everyone was ready to fete! The music was great! Mostly soca with a bit of rap and old school towards the end.
We got back to the hotel at stupid o clock (meaning soo late that it is actually early and too damn early to be up at that hour). Enough time to sleep for a couple of hours before we get ready for the start of Friday’s events, maybe the most anticipated soca on the beach.
My favourite moment? The look on my friend’s face as he took in all of the soca crowd. The most random of things. We just so happen to meet him coming out of one of the german underground stations. He was returning from work. Sooo we drag him along to party!!