Archives for posts with tag: Berlin

I like showering after gym. I do it every time I have worked out. And I do it at the gym rather than at home; putting on a shirt on my body that I just sort of just dried with a towel is just not my thing. But apparently it is the Berlin way.

During my first week at McFit here in Berlin the showers were being repaired so I dried off and took a shower at home. But today the showers were working again and I was hoping to be able to write something juicy / humiliating but no. At a gym the size of four SATS Regeringsgatan it only has three showers and no sauna. So, were there a queue this crowded night? No. None. The Berlin way is apparently just to continue to dry off, put clothes on and leave into the night. That is just dirty. And not in a good way.

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I a previous post I wrote about absolutely necessary frases that I needed to learn to keep sane at the gym. And it did not take me long until I got all the translation help I needed from a person who speaks fluently gay, besides German and English. Here we go:

Bitch, do not interrupt me in the middle of a set. Rude.
Ey du Spast, unterbrich mich nicht mitten in meinem Satz! Rude.

No, I am obviously using these dumbbells.
Nein, offensichtlich benutze ich diese Dumbbells wirklich…

I agree. What kind of schmuck name is “McFit” anyway?
Das stimmt. Was ist ”McFit” eigentlich für ein beschissener Name?

Keep your fucking voice down, this is not the hair saloon.
Halt verdammt nochmal die Fresse, wir sind hier nicht beim Friseur!

Hey, that scruffy chin matches with your furry chest.
Hallo. Dein Grübchen am Kinn passt sehr gut zu deiner behaarten Brust.

Yeah, I would love to have a coffee with you. When?
Ja, gerne können wir uns auf einen Kaffee treffen. Wann denn?

My marvelous translater adds: “OBS! Germans are way more direct than Swedes. If a German asks for a coffee, they really just mean having a coffee… If a German wants some nookie, he is most likely gonna ask for it straight away: Entschuldigung… Ficken? (Excuse me… fuck?)”

Now I am all set for the gym. Thank you, Mr Translator.

I took German in school and for five years we did everything but learn how to have a conversation. We translated sentences and if you did not get the entire sentence perfect you basically got zero points on the exam. I remember I was able to read Herman Hesse’s Der Steppenwolf in the end, but not really speak. That was decades ago and I can still not speak for the simpel reason that I have not practiced.

Spending spring in Berlin, I trying to make use of my lost German skills. Sure, if you are in a cool store in Mitte, the sales person speaks perfect English but as soon you are outside the middle-class or tourist areas, it is a whole different situation; buying a metro card or wine all of a sudden becomes a linguistic adventure.

Another thing that school did not prepare me for was gym German. I mean, you do not do much talking at the gym with strangers, but sometimes you would like to communicate a little bit.

Here are the essential sentences I need help translating.

  • Bitch, do not interrupt me in the middle of a set. Rude.
  • No, I am obviously using these dumbbells.
  • I agree. What kind of schmuck name is “McFit” anyway?
  • Yeah, I would love to have a coffee with you. When?
  • Keep your fucking voice down, this is not the hair saloon.

Entering the free-weight room of McFit by KaDeWe I thought I entered a wet dream; the walls were made of raw concrete. Would I be able to concentrate on working out when I really just wanted to go around and talk dirty to the concrete? But there were something wrong here, was it the sound that was not quite right? Was it the smell of a generic gym rather than a basement? As I walked closer I realised that the walls were not made out of concrete but covered by huge printouts. There were no concrete, only the illusion of concrete. Sad and getrixed I started my very first gym session in Berlin.

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In the great tradition of fellow homosexualists like Stephen Splender and W.H. Auden, I have decided to spend some time in Berlin. Earlier this week I arrived to my flat by Kleistpark in Schönenberg, close to where both David Bowie and Christoher Isherwood lived. The mainstream gay life of Schönenberg feels very distant in Kleistpark, in my block there are several bookstores with an intellectual profile, an organic food store and the Heinrich-von-Kleist-Park.

I stay in a small flat facing a small courtyard with concrete and brick buildings. No sunlight ever reaches the large windows making the flat dark despite white walls and high ceilings. Decorative stucco and heavy wooden floors makes up for it a little bit but I have chosen to use the kitchen table as a writing desk rather than the small writing desk in the darkest corer of the flat. I have lived in Sweden this entire winter, spend most of my hours in a classroom without windows; I am absolutely desperate for some sunlight.

The Apollo Gym is located near the flat, however, the greenish flourescent lighs made everyone inside look sick freaked me out so I decided to sign up at McFit instead. So temporarily this blog is now called BERLIN GYM SYNDROME.