Friday night on the town

Sep 1, 2006 • Karen

I came home from an hour-long commute, put my fruit in the fridge, and a half hour later I was out the door again. DIS had organized a student get-together for Friday night at nearby bar Den Glade Gris ("The Happy Pig"). Taking place three hours after my class, it was slightly less inconvenient to commute home and back than to wait around and haul my backpack to the bar. I wasn't particularly excited about the whole barhopping/clubbing culture, but I figured I ought to try and be social. Also DIS gave us each a coupon for a free drink and a free hot dog.

A minute after I got on the bus to go back, it started raining. Note to everyone: When in Copenhagen, NEVER be without an umbrella, or at least a good raincoat. The rain tonight was light, thank goodness, but it still easily penetrated my sweater.

The first floor was crowded with students. I didn't recognize anyone from the folkehøjskole, though I ran into a Chinese student in my media class for whom this was also her first time in a bar. It was impossible to find the bathroom, so I went up to the bar. Not even my visit to Carlsberg Brewery had convinced me to appreciate beer, so I got the other beverage the coupon was good for--a glass of wine. They only served one kind of wine there, but at least it wasn't in a cardboard box.

I wandered about the bar, wine glass and pølse fransk (basically a hotdog stuck in a baguette) in hand, and settled at an empty table to watch the band set up their instruments. They weren't scheduled to begin playing until 9, though. All the other tables were full of jocky guys and straightened blonde girls with beers. I didn't recognize anybody. Who was there to recognize? This week, we have bounced and collided like gas molecules, exchanging boilerplates--names, hometowns, schools--until we go on to the next event and forget it all.

A girl who had stood next to me in line for the hot dogs (name, hometown, school, rinse, repeat--already I can't remember her name!) adopted me. She, her friends, and I went upstairs to the bar's dance floor, where Backstreet Boys blared and no one danced yet. We sat ourselves down at a table and talked a bit (name, hometowns, schools) as I finished my wine. I decided to go and see if the bar had anything decent to drink. I'd gotten a glimpse of the bottles behind the counter--lots of gin and whiskey, neither of which I am fond of. I still held out hope that they might have schnapps, though.

Nope. The way the barkeep reacted, I'm not sure he'd even heard of schnappes. I was sad.

Came back with an overpriced ginger ale to find that my seat had been thoroughly usurped by two other girls. I stood there awkwardly for a few moments. Everyone else was wrapped in conversation. I went back downstairs. The rain had abated for the moment, so I decided it would be as good a time as any to leave. I'd stayed for an hour. I'd tried.

I love taking long walks in Copenhagen. I can't explain the charm of the streets. How could I be lonely with the city for company, the produce stands and cobblestones and the cute Turkish woman who works at the ice cream stand? I am alone, but I'm at peace. Perhaps a little loosened-up from the wine, too.

I'm only lonely when I'm at home...

At the stop for the bus home tonight, there was a pot of mums sitting on the ground. No one around seemed to have any attachment to it; someone must have bought it from the flower stand and then forgot it. Like how I forgot my grapes on the train yesterday. I thought about taking the mums, but I didn't want to be stealing someone else's stuff if someone around knew whose it was. The bus arrived; one by one people boarded. No one gave any thought to the pot of flowers.

Panicked in the moment, I boarded the bus. Sans mums.

I wish I had adopted them.