Ok, so I have to acknowledge that I have really been talking up this ‘miraculous’ Sunday. This unintentional hype has actually made it quite difficult to write about!! (a little performance anxiety, as it were.)
I’m hoping that I can translate to you all, just how magic this day was. (Wish me luck!!)
The 14th of October, of every year, is an incredibly important date for me.
This is beceause 14/10 is the birthday of my gorgeous, strong, brave and beautiful Mother.
So, I think that the universe must have been shining down on me this Sunday.
Last week, Sammy kept mentioning this AMAHZING sunday flea market. It was called the ‘MauerPark Markets’ and were held a few minutes from her place.
Over the course of the week, I had heard that the markets were fantastic for great vintage clothes, hand made jewelry, incredible vegan burgers and basically everything an indie girl like me would just love!!
Also, this miraculous market was the home of the “Bear Pit Karaoke!!” which is a PUBLIC karaoke event, held every Sunday, where anyone and everyone could sing their hearts out for the people of Berlin
After hearing these incredible descriptors, I was swept with those all too familiar feelings of incredulity.
How could a flea market be THAT good?!
So, Sunday rolls around and we head to MauerPark. Two blocks away from the market; crowds were forming and moving en masse. This flowing crowd was full of smiling faces and laughing children. A brilliant vibe emanated from them all.
The markets were STUFFED with people. But everyone was incredibly considerate. No one got mad if you stepped on their toes or you accidentally blocked their view. Friendliest market experience ever.
The stalls had EVERYTHING!!! There were stalls devoted to fur lined boots, jewelry made of Legos, vintage dresses, hand made instruments, antique bric-a-brac and probably anything else you could wish for.
I made friends with a young girl from one of the dress stalls, who shielded me with a blanket while I tried on a GORGEOUS dress by some little known Berliner designer (& for 10€, how could I possibly say no?!). I also bought some hand crocheted gloves from a fabulous hippy and discussed the history of art with a watch maker. (I know, right?!)
At the Turkish markets, Sam had told me about this SPECTACULAR CHEESE THING THAT I SIMPLY HAD TO TRY!!! I was called Quark (pronounced Kvark). It’s like a cheese version of froyo and it’s flavored with fresh berries and chocolate. When I saw the seller at the Mauer Markets, I almost ran to it.
Quark tried. Life changed.
(Any one who wants to learn how to make it while I’m away and then present me with some upon my return; I WILL marry you)
Then there were the Vegan Burgers.
Oh……such Vegan Burgers!!!!!!!!!!(INFINITEEXCLAMATIONMARKS!!!)
For a moment, I never wanted to eat anything again so that I could keep that incredible flavour in my mouth.
And, thinking my day couldn’t possibly get better, Sam took me to the Bear Pit and she signed up for karaoke.
The ‘Bear Pit’ is a small amphitheater, sitting next to the flea markets. The “Bear Pit Karaoke” was run by 2 guys with a portable speaker system, 1 microphone and a maclaptop.
By the time the singing had started, a THRONG of people had gathered and we all jostled to find a place to sit. The sun had started to set and the sky began to color beautifully.
The singers were incredibly varied in age, ability and levels of shame. (Bless!) And the crowd was wonderful and supportive and appreciative.
My favorites were a VERY old German man trying to sing ‘Fire to the rain’ by Adele (SO much energy!! He only knew the chorus, so every time he sang the word ‘fire’ it was like an explosion of joy!) and this tiny little girl (about 3 or 4 years old) who ran on to the stage between songs and sang a little nursery rhyme (and the crowd went WILD!).
When it was time for Sammy to sing, the sun was hanging low in the sky, the clouds were turning pinkish and the crowd was snuggling for warmth. She sang ‘Summer Time’ and the whole experience was pretty perfect.
Just before the end of the Karaoke, this group of 4 spaniards bounded onto the stage and spoke rapidly with the host. He announced that the group were going to do a “new song” and that people were invited to join in(?).
Suddenly, ‘Gangnam Style’ was BLASTING through the speaker system (if you don’t know what this is – GOOGLE IT IMMEDIATELY!!).
People from the crowd started pouring onto the stage and dancing like wild horses. Sam, her friends and I abandoned our things and threw ourselves into the crowd. Everyone was dancing. Everyone was reveling in this incredible, unforgettable moment in time.
It was too fucking awesome!!
We returned to our seats and the host finished the Karaoke by singing ‘Minnie the Moocher’.
I spent the rest of the evening floating on a cloud of contentment.
I felt like I’d been touched by magic and that, in that moment, the whole world was happy.
Pretty hippie, I know. But if ever you find yourself in a similar situation, I defy you to feel differently.
I hope you liked me little story about the best Sunday ever.
Pictured – The crowd at the bear pit, Sammy enjoying the sun and song.