photos: Finding Berlin

There is a good reason why people from all over the world travel to Berlin just for the nightlife. On pretty much every night of the week, you can find a plethora of clubs to satisfy your dancing fix. The only thing standing in between you and the wildest night of your life is the stone-faced bouncer perched ominously in front of the door (also known as “the gatekeeper of your happiness”.) No matter how much black you’re wearing, how many people are in your group, or how expressionless you manage to hold your face for 45 minutes while standing in line— a pesky fly could zoom by the bouncer’s face at the exact same second you come forward, and then… well… you might then hear them say something like this: “Vergiss es. Nicht heute.” (Forget it, not today)

On one hand I completely understand their discretion. The bouncers (at least I’d like to hope) want to make sure that all who enters their magical wonderland is there to have fun and revel in the splendor that surrounds them, not just take selfies, hit on chicks, or gawk at “freaks.” While this process of elimination does *usually* succeed at keeping these awful kinds of people away, they also end up turning away plenty of fun, happy, freaks who just want to shimmy (like, um, I don’t know…me?)

After being in the US for a month, I was more than eager to spend a Sunday afternoon dancing like a madwoman at one of my favorite clubs in Berlin, Sisyphos. I queued up with a female friend and then proceeded to wait with other dancing hopefuls for thirty minutes. Though we had been both been there together plenty of times before, there was still a chance we could be rejected. Because of this, we both remained on our best behavior. Finally, it was our turn to come forth.

Not even two seconds later, my friend and I were denied entry after a very quick “sizing up” from the door lady. What followed next could best be described as “The 5 Stages of Club Rejection Grief”:

1. Denial

WASSSS???? WIESO???? NOT MEEEEE!!! I have been here LOTS of times, with the same friend, in the same outfit. Maybe there was some mistake. Perhaps she thought I was someone else…

2. Anger

How could they deny ME? I am seriously the most enthusiastic dancer of anyone I know. FUCK. WHERE THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GO NOW? Sisyphos isn’t exactly easy to get to. What a waste of time and energy. Now I’m not even buzzed anymore. FUCK. THIS. DAY.

3. Bargaining

I shouldn’t have smiled so much in line. Gosh maybe I’m wearing TOO much black, I should have just worn the first outfit I put on — or at least thrown some glitter on my face. Maybe I look TOO eager? Yea, that’s it. If only I had changed my outfit, my expression, my demeanor, and maybe my core values, this never would have happened.

4. Depression

This sucks so much. All I wanted to do was dance and now I feel like hell. I don’t even feel like going anywhere else because I don’t want to risk being rejected again. I don’t think I can survive another rejection today. Maybe I’ll just grab a kebab and watch Narcos at home…alone.

5. Acceptance

This is Berlin. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. Everyone is bound to get rejected at some point. This is what makes getting in so special, so exciting. Without this emotional roller coaster beforehand, I would probably just take the magic for granted. Really, I shouldn’t be such a brat, I live in one of the best cities in the world. Not to mention there are plenty of other clubs I could be dancing at right this very second. Your loss Sisyphos, see you soon Kater!

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Text: Nicole Paulus, Photos: Finding Berlin

Nicole Paulus is a millennial expat from the States. When she’s not dancing at Kater, drinking beers at Tempelhof, or eating shawarma at Maroush, she’s busy running her own digital marketing company Nico New Media. You can read about her adventures on her blog.

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