The Tragedy at the Freiburger Barockorchester Performance; the Wrong Ensemble

by Sirje

Last night we were invited to a really fantastic performance of Beethoven and Mendelssohn by the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (they’ve branched out) at the Berlin Philharmonie, followed by a fancy thing given by fancy important people, to which we were invited via fancy important embossed personal invitation. We were pretty excited about this. How often does that kind of thing happen, really? We knew we were basically presentable pretty filler people, but we embraced the role with gusto. Who doesn’t love dress up days?

Alas: it was a Monday. In Berlin. But still, you’d think this sort of thing would call for fancy dress, right? A long dress, perhaps?  A pretty frock you can eat dinner in? Fabulously, I fit into my favorite dress, a floral thing with straps up top. (if you click the link, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about). I rarely get a chance to wear it, as much because it IS a kind of fancy dress as that I tend to really like English Cheddar Kettle Chips. So on it went!

Mistake! Oh my word was I overdressed. I spent much of the night trying to adjust my wrap to modestly cover my top half when I’d notice people literally standing in groups staring at me and discussing my outfit. You who live in Germany know this look. The blank stare, the unabashed minute observation of my entire being from head to toe, the obvious discussion that goes on for several minutes, undeterred by my staring back and shrugging my hands out. What gives, people?? You’re not helping my ego out, here. Invariably, comically, they always notice with a little shock that oh my, she is looking back? You mean she is not a photograph? Oh how shocking! Oh dear o dear. Fluster and shyness ensue.

No matter how many times I’m faced with it, I always forget that Berlin loves to look like the war just ended a few months ago. When will I learn.