You’d think that the more I travel, the more fun and outgoing I’d be. But I’ve realized that I am really quite boring.
The other night, D wanted to go out for some drinks. Well, because it was a Saturday night. (Even though technically, every night is a Saturday night for us.)
Let me explain that this is very out of character for us. Most of our nights are spent watching Netflix or working on our laptops (after all, D actually has a real job). And plus, I don’t really drink, except for the occasional glass of wine or girly cocktail if the setting calls for it. And my party days are way over and I no longer enjoy drunken crowds or having to shout over loud, thumping music.
Yep, I realize that all of this makes me sound extremely boring. Maybe I am. I categorize my travel style as “30’s-flashpacker” even though I’m not even 30 yet!
Anyway, that night, after cooking in the apartment in order to save money, D suggested we end the day with some drinks. Because it was Saturday night and we’re in Berlin, a city with a famous nightlife. I agreed and slapped on some makeup. He put on the only semi-nice shirt he has, and I put on the same dress that I had already sweated through earlier that day (but hoped that nobody would smell anything).
D had done a bit of research and found a trendy bar/restaurant close to our apartment – a nice, slightly upscale place perfect for 2 people to enjoy each other’s company. But we were dismayed to walk there and find dark windows and a sign on the door (in German), which we can loosely translate to them being closed until August (or something like that).
We walked around a little more to look for a Plan B. Berlin does have an impressive bustling night life, and it was actually nice to be out on a summer night, when the day’s stifling heat has gone and all that’s left is a comfortable (albeit still slightly humid) warmth. The air still feels heavy but no longer magnified ten-fold with a harsh, searing sun.
We walked by a little unassuming doorway in between 2 equally unassuming buildings. But this doorway was different. Peering in, we could see little strings of colorful lights, vegetation cascading down the walls, graffiti covering practically every inch, and people laughing and chatting over drinks.
We stepped in through this little magical doorway and kept on walking through the open-air corridor. We took a turn at the end and things got even weirder. Another bar, more people, a DJ playing loud techno music, and a large animatronic bat.
“Let’s grab a seat!” D pointed to one of the empty tables.
“It’s too loud here.” I said… or rather, shouted.
(Wtf is wrong with me?! I say I want authentic experiences and here we go… we practically STUMBLE into one, and I don’t want to go through with it.)
So we walked back to the first group of tables, where it’s quiet and more relaxed. The only problem was… the tables are like long picnic benches and grabbing a seat would mean rubbing shoulders with your neighbors. I wasn’t comfortable with that. Because I’m incredibly socially awkward.
Exasperated, D walked to a kiosk and bought a beer there. But bless him, he was good natured about it (and I know he was trying really hard at this point) and said “It’s ok, the beer is cheaper at the kiosk anyway.”
We ended up grabbing a bite at a fast serve pizza place. We sat outside to eat it, while watching hordes of scantily clad early 20’s girls walk by (where they’re going, I have no idea… but it’s obviously a group that I am no longer in), and really well dressed, high-end prostitutes work their (potential future) prey.
(Btw, Oranienburger Straβe is apparently the BEST street for people-watching.)
Later, as we rode the elevator back up to our apartment, I hugged D and buried my face into his chest. “I’m sorry I’m so boring,” I mumbled as tears started to well up, convinced that I had ruined the evening.
“It’s ok. I wanted someone like you, and not a party girl,” he reassured me. I wasn’t quite reassured, but at least someone doesn’t think it’s a bad thing.
Maybe we would have had a great time if we had sat down there. Maybe we would have made new friends and swapped travel stories as we pound back the drinks. I would never know.
Maybe I don’t drink or party, or have the enviable ability to chat up strangers. Maybe I need to get out of my social comfort zone more. And I don’t know why I feel so awkward all the time. But what I do know about myself is: I AM brave enough to quit my job, pursue happiness, eat weird foods, open up to love, try thrilling activities, and just trust that things will be all right. And that sounds pretty darn exciting to me.
I guess I’ve grown up, and maybe got a bit socially boring in the process, but I’m perfectly OK with that.
(And D is too, thank god.)
When was the moment you knew you grew up?