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Thursday, 21 January 2016

MY GAY LIFE IN BERLIN - THE MOUSE SCARE!


Berlin, April 2005, July 2005.


Adriana came to pick me up at the Zoologischer Garten Station and we traveled by underground to Südstern, where our new home was located. It was a two-bedroom furnished flat and as my room was much smaller than Adriana’s, I only had to pay 230 Euro of the 500-Euro monthly rents. The kitchen was yellow and fully equipped. There were yellow dishes in the yellow cupboards and the yellow blinds hid the yellow windows. The owner, who had moved to Smyrna in a rush, had forgotten a rabbit made of chocolate on a cream-painted shelf. A week after my arrival in Berlin, I started taking German classes at the Volkshochschule in Schöneberg, the district famous for his gay nightlife. My teachers, two professional and yet funny women on their forties, had to handle a class of 20 foreign students from various countries. Most of my new class-friends were Russians and Poles, but there were quite some Turks, a Japanese girl from Kyoto, a Ukrainian couple from Kiev and an Indonesian man. After school I used to have lunch with Adriana and once every second day I went jogging in the Hasenheide, the 50-hectare large public park between Kreuzberg and Neukölln. I cannot count the times I was interrupted from my run by some likely illegal immigrants, who asked me if I wanted Hashish or Marijuana. Didn’t they see that I was running? The fun part was to see how those drug pushers run away and hid in the woods when the police drove through the park. On the first week of May, when I felt I adapted to my new environment, I called my 6th ex-boyfriend Ernesto, who had been living in Berlin for half a year. That Saturday my Spanish ex invited me to go with him and his friends to the Berghain club. The meeting point was at Warschauerstrasse station at 11pm, my ex, his Indian friend Deependra, his American friend Samuel and a Taiwanese guy arrived five minutes after me. Samuel and I got along quite well from the start, he was a smart guy on his late twenties born in Arizona, he worked as an English teacher, he had lived in Japan and he could speak several languages. Deependra was not my favourite person, in fact I did not really like him and I think he did not enjoy my presence either. I remembered how he kept on saying that he hated the sound of the Spanish language, in which Ernesto, Samuel and I, used to communicate from time to time. The Taiwanese guy came out with us only that one time, so I did not have the chance to get to know him better. “Hey guys, I gotta go to an A.T.M., I only have 30 Euro with me!” I said. “Are you mad? With that money you can go out the whole weekend!” They replied all together. “Sorry, I am still used to London prices” I said smiling.

***

One morning I was on the telephone with my mother when I saw it. A tiny grey mouse was devouring the stomach and the legs of the chocolate rabbit. I hang up the phone and I tried unsuccessfully to chase the monstrous little creature out of the kitchen window. The day after, I bought a mousetrap and some cheese and I placed the trap in a corner near the amputated chocolate rabbit. The smart mouse, which had managed to eat the cheese without falling in the trap, provoked the terror in our home, so that Adriana and me decided to move to a safer flat, on the 15th floor of a tower facing Alexanderplatz. “We will be safe from the dirty rats up here!” We agreed the day we moved in the new home.