Last night was so odd. My classmate, C (names have been shortened to protect the not innocent), invited me out with a group of her friends. We went to a club that none of our group had ever been to before, but about which they'd heard great things.
List of oddities:
1. The club is directly opposite from London Bridge tube station. There is a completely innocuous-looking door somewhere between two vending machines that is opened somewhere around 8 or 9pm in the evening.
2. The club opens at 8 or 9pm. What kind of club opens that early?
3. The line for the club starts at about the same time and runs all the way along the wall back into the London Bridge train station area. In other words, lots of people want to get into this club. We arrive at about 9:30 and are quite a ways back, but things move along fairly quickly. This is because other groups in the line have decided it isn't worth the wait, and leave.
4. After they've let in an initial number of people (say, 50?) the bouncers only let in one person at a time as people leave. One in, one out. Standing in line for 1.5 hours, you get the impression that it's a very small club.
5. We wait 1 hour 30 minutes to get to the front of the line. While there, some people leave the club. One of the people is very obviously a child. What kind of club is this that people are willing to queue an hour for, yet they let in children?
6. Also while in line, my classmate, C, demonstrates on her friends her ability to find peoples nipples through their shirts on the first try. Apparently, it's her party trick (she has only ever missed once.) I make it clear that I am not amenable to having my nipples located.
7. While at the front of the line, we witness several different people harassing, flirting with, shouting at, and attempting to trick the bouncers. One girl offers to pay double in order to be allowed to queue-jump. The bouncers are having none of it.
8. Due to the one in, one out policy, our group of 10 is allowed into the club in groups of two. I go in with C. This is where things get really weird.
9. The club is called "Shunt," which means that the word, "shunt" is now stamped on my wrist. I feel even classier than when I was sporting a "barfly" stamp.
10. We are now in the bowels of a train station. Imagine walking through a sewer, minus the sewage. We walk down a poorly lit tunnel with arches leading off to the right and left. In some of the archways, there are modern art exhibitions taking place. In one archway, a boring video is being projected onto the wall. No one is watching. In another archway, two men shuffle their feet in scraps of paper. The piece of wood they're standing on is outfitted with microphones underneath, so every movement, every scratch of paper, is amplified for the viewers. Apparently, earlier in the evening, there are theater troupes doing bizarro performances.
11. The place is absolutely HUGE. The one in, one out policy makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, as neither of the dance floors (yes, two) are anywhere near capacity. In addition to the two dance floors, there is a large room with a bar and tables, an even larger room with comfy chairs and fall leaves scattered all over the floor, a game room with pinball machines and video arcades from the 80s, and at least two pianos in random places. None of these are full of people.
12. The music is electro-trance, so is a bit hard to dance to and lends the place a rave vibe. I haven't taken any E, so it's a bit lost on me.
13. At one point, a few of us are standing in a corner, and water drips on me. We are basically in an underground cave, after all. The wall behind me is soaked, but the adjoining wall looks dry, so I touch it. I immediately pull my hand away, but it's too late. I have been slimed.
14. A guy named "Ferg" (Fergus, who is not Scottish), starts chatting with C and I. She does her party trick. They then turn to me to see if I can locate his nipples through his t-shirt. I learn that I am incapable of reaching out and touching a total stranger's nipples. Who knew?
15. The music gets a bit better, meaning that it acquires an actual beat, so we go to dance. I must have been a bit tipsy, because I hugged no less than three different previously-unknown men (though not at the same time).
16. As I'm dancing, minding my own business, a guy reaches out for my hand, spins me, and starts to dance ballroom-style with me. Not well, I mean, but just his left hand and my right hand clasped and pointing outwards, our other arms around each other's waists, our feet tripping over each other as we spin in circles. He continues to do this throughout the evening. At no point does he try to grind with me or sneak up and dance sexually behind me. I probably should have asked for his number, just because he was such a sweetie. And he wasn't ugly, either. Oh well!
After a while, I get tired and start worrying about when I'll be able to rest my head on a pillow. I think the club stays open all night and morning, so it could potentially be many more hours. As I'm worrying about this, C motions that she wants to leave. Yes!! Relief! I am still dancing with ballroom guy, so she says, "You can stay and come home with the others." Ha! You underestimate my love for my pillow.
17. To leave, we head back the way we came in, but the way is blocked with a gate. Through the gate, you can see the long, dark, now-empty hallway. It's like being in a medieval prison. The London Dungeons actually are just around the corner from the club. I think it's also where you get the Jack the Ripper tour.
18. As we leave the club, I check the time. It's just before 1am. Pathetic! Though you do have to consider that we got there at 9:30.
The weirdness pretty much ends once we leave the club, but while we're waiting for the bus, a couple guys start talking to us about it. They arrived at 11, when there was no line at all, then tried to leave at 11:30, but the bouncer wouldn't let them. As we're talking, I notice that one of them is wearing an Obama t-shirt. Awesome! They are both British, as is C (sort of), and they start talking about how funny it is that they know more about American politicians than they do about British ones. Everyone here wishes they could vote in this election. The other day in the mail I received my voter registration card for Renton, WA. Thanks, King County. That'll come in real handy over here in the UK. Glad you splurged on the 94 cent stamp! I was with Scottish Laura at the time, and she was saying how she wished she could vote in this election, so I offered her my registration card. All she would have to do is fly to Seattle and commit fraud by forging my signature on the ballot. Oh wait, I already voted. Right, guess it's a faulty plan after all.
It's now 1:22pm and I'm still in my pyjamas, so I'm starting to feel a bit funny. I've been up since 10am, so it's not an issue of sleeping too late. It's more an issue of having wasted the better part of the day. Whatever I do today, if indeed I do anything at all, the day will be over before I'm ready for it to be done. Hm, I bet people are ready for this blog post to be done, eh? Getting a bit long in the tooth. Does that expression apply here? Whatever. Have a good Sunday! Don't waste it like I've done.