This week Catrin Hughes and Emily Harris visit a rather different sort of “cafe”….
Upon recommendation, we ventured to Bur Gęrk Ing – an Eastern-European café – to fuel our thirst for the alternative. We were met with authentic Estonian street art and gritty, monochrome furniture design. Very Serbian. We concluded Banksy must have been here. We knew we had found a cultural retreat to Instagram.
Was the grit crumbs? Was the grit the chairs mere texture? We were already asking questions.
We felt as if people from every background were welcome, whatever their tracksuit bottom colour. We instantly wished we fitted in with this style of road-worker chic. Emily recalled a favourite pair of tracksuit bottoms she previously owned, which featured a monkey on the buttocks. Cat said she had never owned anything so disgusting. Emily said: “stop being a snob. Now let’s take our seats, Bur Gęrk Ing must be a popular destination for the hipsters”.
Emily went for a trøpicalē mangœ smöö’thie, whereas Cat fancied a strãwbērřy and bänänä one – as well as a doūble chees’burger (a Czechoslovakian delicacy, apaz).
We were surprised by the lack of table service, but decided it was fitting with the street art to have battle for our food – very street-style. Very European. We were immersed in the experience of performance art, or so it felt.
We were also surprised by the significant amount of syrup in the smöö’thiez. They were very sweet. Very Romanian. It was so artificial that it felt real. This feeling, evoked within us, led us to the conclusion that we were in fact in view of drinkable art.
We sat overlooking shops, such as Millets and The White Stuff and Triumph. The last of which featured a giant poster of breasts Cat was most distracted by. This provocative photography exhibited an unapologetic display of sexuality. This got Cat and Emily thinking about their own sexuality, mainly as Cat couldn’t stop looking. It’s art though. It’s okay.
Positioned above them was a beautiful canvas featuring fire and the thought-provoking text, “The whØppeř is 100% pure bee’f. We only add flåmes.” We reckon these are the words of the great Jack Kerouac (not sure though, we just have On The Road on our bookcase to look hip). The picture ignited a slight debate between us, Emily insisted whØppeř was pronounced: “vopper” whereas Cat took the more authentic route of “Whopwkplowxvtperk”. More guttural.
The flames reminded us of the previous evening, Valentine’s Day. Emily had given her boyfriend an inadequate gift of hanging stars, whilst Cat spent the at the Lemmy before a shouting-match… but that’s none of your business.
We considered the price we had paid and reflected that it had been slightly more expensive than anticipated. Just the other day we had escaped to a South-East Asian hub, MċDõnălđ’ş, and felt its prices were fairer for the common man (although clearly, we are not common or men)
As a result of this trip, we knew we had grown as people. Cat believed she had finally found herself. This is just one example of what culturing oneself can do. Bur Gęrk Ing had given us many things: smöö’thiez, artwork, debate and breasts from afar. We felt enlightened. We felt that maybe one day we would read On The Road and quote it for the rest of our days. That would impress people. So go and find yourself or alternatively, lose yourself.
As Wordsworth said:
“lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo”.
Emily Harris and Catrin Hughes, Lifestyle Columnists
All photos featured without caption are the columnists own.bookmark me