Friday, November 19, 2010

‘Kegeln’ and ‘Chillen’ - Berlin, One Building: Different worlds.

It is wednesday evening in Berlin. Spontaneously we decide to play skittles. One of us knows a place, which is close to Potsdammerplatz in a typical seventies high-rise. Following the old signs we find our way to the basement, to the Verein Berliner Sportkegler (VBS). Stepping inside means stepping into the past. It smells so mouldy, it’s as if the air has been stored here since the seventies. The totally brown coloured interior completes the picture.

I was used to the bigger bowling balls and an open hall, but at the VBS each group hires his own room. This looks like a small living room, with a big table, seats and a view on the hall. Thus, each group has its own VIP-room where they can privately enjoy playing skittles. I wonder if this says something about German culture. What do you think? Without a doubt the VBS is great, it has an unique atmosphere, a great hall to play and the visitors are all above 40 years old. Germans for real.

After an hour of fun, throwing balls, eating ice-cream and drinking coffee, the hired shoes must be given back to the ‘Bahnwart’. The friendly man explains that the association exists since 1922, and that he has been working at VBS for thirty years. Now, it´s time for a drink. Time for a different world. We go from the basement to the top of the building where the lounge-club Solar is housed. The old high-rise received a face lift some years ago, a brand new elevator (from glass) was then attached to the building. The elevator brings us to the top, on our way one can enjoy the view. The evening ends with drinks, music and our gazes on the dark grey city.This is Berlin. City of contrasts. Different realities, temporalities coexist within its urban spaces.