My plan was to reach the carnival after party this year. Honest. Even bought a ticket before hand. Never got there.
In my years going to Berlin Carnival I have only ever made it to one post carnival party on the Sunday night after carnival. That was the year Fay-Ann and Bunji Garlin headlined. That was what, two years ago? And I left that fete at 8:30am the Monday morning. I kid you not. It was that good. But this time round? I started and ended at the kebab shop.
Ahhh the kebab shop at Alexanderplatz. The London veterans of Berlin carnival know of the kebab shop. And those new to Berlin Carnival will have heard of the kebab shop. The owner of that place must hear that ‘ch ching’ sound in his ears every new year Berlin carnival rolls round.
On Thursday evening at the start of the Berlin carnival weekend, we passed the kebab shop looking for our hotel. Kerwin Du Bois’ ‘Too Real’ was already blasting out from the kebab shop. I smiled. The kebab shop is ready.
Quick shower and Judith and I head down to the kebab shop to meet the energiser bunny and others who were having a post carnival fete. It felt like that the limers didn’t know that carnival was done. Or they didn’t want to believe it was done. Or they just didn’t care. Cause the place was still full of energy! People were dancing and wining still in the kebab shop to soca. Carnival masqueraders eating and catching up! I don’t know how many people went to the after party. But there were looooaaaadddsss at the kebab place until the wee hours of the morning!
Soca came on. They danced. Zouk, bouyon came on. They danced. Bashment, R’N’B, old school hip hop. People weren’t leaving. Hell they even played Cameo’s Candy and people bruk out into the dance! I got an on the spot kizomba lesson. Saltfish came on?? Oh gosh, people on the table, chanting ‘salt fish, soak it good’. That had to be the anthem for Berlin carnival. It was too much fun. For the most part I was happy to just sit down and take it all in.
Soca people… don’t care where the music and vibes is. We will respond. We left at about 3:00 am. Took in a bit of alternative Berlin, returned to the kebab shop about 4:30? 5? and the kebab shop was still going! That place is now legendary. So some went straight from the kebab shop to the hotel to get their stuff and head straight for their morning flight. And that marked the end of another Berlin carnival. And the start of the carnival depression till the next carnival rolls round.