Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sweatin' to the oldies

And now for a brief word about our accommodations in Berlin. Puppy and I are staying at a recently opened, "hetero-friendly" hotel in the Schoeneberg neighborhood. It's actually a nice place for the money we paid and we have a perfectly comfortable room, even if it is a bit small.

It has cheeky doorknob signs that range from the typical "Please make up my room" to the more unconventional "Please disturb" and it invites guests to have "memorable encounters" in the public areas.

After our segway tour today, while we warmed up, I decided to visit one of the public areas - the spa/fitness center on the top floor. The workout equipment took up approximately 20% of the available floor space and the rest was dedicated to lounge chairs, showers, a hot tub, sauna and steam room.

When I arrived, the elliptical machine was already taken and I couldn't figure out the stationary bicycle so I hopped onto the treadmill. Meanwhile, a bunch of older, naked men lounged on the chairs, enjoyed the hot tub bubbles or took showers, while enjoying the views of the city.

It was kind of weird, considering it's a shared area where women are also allowed, but I figured it was part of the liberal German attitude toward sex and sexuality. Eavesdropping, however, it became quite clear that many of the men in the area were not German. In fact, on Sunday night Puppy and I wanted to visit the hot tub, but it was occupied by an older, Brooklyn-type Jew (with a swimsuit on) who informed us that it was lukewarm.

Needless to say, my workout wasn't fantastic and I hurried it up so I could get out of there as soon as possible.

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