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Ballroom dancers December 22, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Yes, ballroom dancers. That’s what young Berliners look like, or at least those that flock to the shops around Schönhauser Allee just before Christmas. I’ve mentioned the leathery tans before, but there’s the tweezing too. Both he- and she-Berliners are overtweezed. And what is it with that pulling the dyed-yellow hair back so tightly that their faces look as taut as Joan Rivers’? Not a good look.

Another fashion item I thought had been consigned to the basse couture hall of fame was those half-cord, half-jeans trousers with the pockets alternating with whichever material they are sewn on to. Did these make it to the outside world or were they stopped at the Berlin/Brandenburg border? They were as much of a class giveaway as a doubly buggy, even if the boy-next-door-ish barman at one of my local woofter joints could get away with them. Today I saw them on a young man for the first time since about 2002. Maybe I’m so behind the times that they’ve gone out of ‘fashion’ and come back in again. Could that be so? Stranger things have happened, like me getting my Geography AS Level. (I think we only had to accost shoppers in Watford to pass.)

The trousers and ballroom-dancing observations were made as I went on ‘my walk’ (as opposed to ‘my other walk’). I’m a man of habit and my walk takes me through the Mauerpark, even though I don’t possess a drum, but as I stumbled into it today in the pitch darkness, I thought I’d better not go any further as all I could see was the odd scampering alsatian and I was worried I might either get bitten to death or given a random blow-job (maybe that Mauerpark rumour is untrue) and I was in the mood for neither death nor fellatio. So I ducked back onto the streets and realised, when I saw someone in a shirt and tie, that that is a look one sees pretty god damned rarely here, whereas, of course, on an early evening in London, it would be the look of about 75% of the men you came across. Well, far be it from me to comment on the employment figures in Berlin…

Aber, as I headed homewards and revolutionarily took a completely new route – seeing as I’d thrown all caution to the wind with the Mauerpark swerve in what I hope won’t become an instant tradition and make me have “my other other walk” – through bits of Prenzlauer Berg, the place seemed fairly busy with new little businesses here and there. But they’re not the shirt-and-tie type of business. I wonder if Prenzlauer Berg will soon collapse under the weight of cappuccino machines. I mean, how many cafés can the area take? They’re all very nice, of course, but they did all look a tad on the empty side, but I suppose folk hadn’t got out of their ballroom dancing classes yet.

Still, wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, of course…


1. I hate my neighbours - December 23, 2005

If you think the “bun”/Joan Rivers haircuts and the suntans are bad enough on the Schönhauser, then you should see the Hohenschönhauseners (or Marzahners for that matter). Perhaps Kilroy’s got himself a fashion show on mid-morning Pro 7?

I was at a semi-Finnish concert the other week.

2. BiB - December 23, 2005

What was the semi-Finnish concert? Any good?

By the way, I think I might need to do an ode to the German male soon. In spite of my moans about the tweezedness and suntans in December, I do find them pretty god-damned ravishing. (Not the tweezed and suntanned ones. The rest.)

Glad to see you blogging again yourself with a vengeance…

3. BerlinBear - December 25, 2005

Those half-cord half-jeans monstrosities you refer to even have a code name in German: Vokohiji (=Vorne Kord, Hinten Jeans) analagous to Vokuhila for a mullet. Now you know.

4. leon - December 28, 2005

On a recent visit I thought a good 25% of Berlin girls were stunningly attractive, at least those that conformed to my favourite ‘bourgeois/pretentious art student’ stereotype (lanky; haughty-faced; clothed like they’d had unlimited access to their grandmother’s dressing-up box). The remainder certainly had a kind of over-tanned, end-of-the-pier look about them.

As for the men, a worrying proportion of them had the same haircut as me (and when I got back to London everyone else seemed to have it as well). NB I don’t have a mullet…

5. BiB - December 28, 2005

Leon, 25 is not a bad percentage of stunning attractive beauties. Does London compete? I know the lanky, haughty-faced types you mean exactly; if I wasn’t such a screamer, they’re the type I’d fancy myself. But on the ravishing beauty stakes, a heterosexual English friend of mine said he thought he might have to go gay if he lived in Berlin, which I’m not sure was a ringing endorsement of the ravishingness of the local males or perhaps a damning endictment of the Berlineresses. I might have to do an impromptu opinion poll.

Now are you sure you’re not a closet mullet-wearer? I’m always happy when I see a proudly-sported mullet with matching facial hair arrangement. I like a degree of continuity. But if you don’t have a mullet, I’m trying to think what else it could be. Either very, very short, but I don’t picture you as a skinhead, or a Hoxton fin, perhaps, or sort of big and shaggy, but still kempt. I’m going for the latter. Am I right? Am I right?

Vokohijis and Vokuhilas. Maybe both on one person would actually be too much to bear. Especially if the mullet was dyed yellow and on a woman, or isn’t it technically a mullet any more if donned by a Frau?

IHMN, thank you galore for the info on the semi-Finnish concert. Any comment on the beauty levels of those attending, seeing as we’re on beauty? Leon’s favoured type? Or Vokohiji-tweezers? Or neither?

(Just in a random schmaltzy PS. Thank you so much for commenting. It makes my day when I get a surprise e-mail commenting on the bollocks I spout.)

6. leon - December 28, 2005

You are, indeed, all too right about the hairstyle. I tried to stay ahead of the game by sprouting a beard (which along with the hair makes me look a little like I ought to be waving a Kalashnikov in some breakaway republic in the Caucasus) but sadly the Hoxtonites seemed to pick up in that as well, so now I’m pretty much indistinguishable from everyone else.

London has a fairly high proportion of attractive girls too, but the Berlin ones seemed to have a little more style about them (when they had any style at all). I saw one quite outstandingly ravishing one outside a cafe who I might have considered speaking to, were my German of chatting-up standard (actually, she probably spoke English, but I was a coward).

The London ones all inevitably have boyfriends, anyway. Pfui!

7. Blonde at Heart - September 19, 2006

About the Vokohiji: no, they had not arrived in Israel (thank God?). But I would give anything to stop the awful trend of low-rise-stone-washed jeans. Horrible.

8. BiB - September 19, 2006

BAH, I think this fashion disaster has perhaps never left German shores. Mind you, they are an ever rarer phenomenon, and praise be for that.

Leon, that’s a nice image, you waving a Kalashnikov in the Caucasus. I think Transdniester is the in-vogue breakaway republic at the moment, but hopefully you won’t mind swapping the Caucasus for the Balkans just this once.

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