Home > Germany, Personal > Endless Fun: Karaoke, Foosball, and Punk Rock Dancing

Endless Fun: Karaoke, Foosball, and Punk Rock Dancing

I’ve pushed my endurance this past week, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Actually it’s been longer than that considering the little sleep and general madness of last weekend. As I wrote, I almost fell asleep at dinner on Monday and was eager for bed. But with work the next day, I didn’t sleep quite as much as I would have wanted. And work, despite, or perhaps because of it only being four days, took a lot out of me. Between issues (hopefully resolved) with some of my standing duties, a veritable Three Stooges sketch with one of my bosses over unclear instructions, and a new assignment to write fifty plus captions that will actually get engraved on metal plaques next to the picture they describe around ESO headquarters, it’s been stressful. We have a new intern though, a nice Romanian woman named Oana (pronounced like Juana), ostensibly a graphic design intern but really more of a public relations and promotions intern. I’m still the only science-writing intern at the moment.

Though I was still fatigued, I did go to Shamrock Tuesday night. I nearly missed my stop when I bemusedly observed an attractive woman, probably in her thirties, sitting on the train and reading a Playboy. I checked, she was actually looking at the articles, but she wasn’t hiding what magazine it was at all. In America she would have been getting dirty looks from some of the families on the train but here everyone seemed to take it in stride. One young mother was even reading over her shoulder. Not many people were there when I arrived but there was a gradual trickle of people coming in, Adam, Melon, Sarah, and others filling in the seats with me near the stage. Jennie, the Canadian I had met on Thursday showed up as well. As it was her first time there, she was nervous about doing karaoke but I said I would do it if she would so we put in “Hit the Road Jack” by Ray Charles onto an entry slip. Melon as usual did Sinatra’s “My Way,” although the karaoke DJ knows him so well that he didn’t even need to submit it, he just got called up to do it. Kerre showed up a little later and I introduced her to Jennie, telling them both that I thought they would get along. Happily, I was right and they hit it off immediately, with only a brief moment of confusion when Kerre asked Jennie if she was “ghetto” (meaning open to things like walking around town drinking as a cheap option to overpriced club and bar drinks).

Jennie and I finally got called up to sing and we did a creditable job I would say, although we didn’t realize that the female vocals lyrics wouldn’t be up there. She still sang with aplomb, while I tried not to embarrass myself too badly. Of course I’m glad I didn’t have to follow, Melon, Prashant and Becky’s impassioned rendition of “On a Boat,” a truly epic occasion. I’m surprised how long it can be between submitting a song and getting called up, and Jennie’s second song took so long to get called that she left before it was, at the same time that Melon, Adam and I did. Of course, first Jennie wanted to exchange phone numbers with everyone, though I don’t believe the numbers ever actually got successfully exchanged despite the many attempts.

I caught the train home and went to bed, somehow making it through work on Wednesday. I had various different meet-up plans for the night but for better or worse (depending on when you ask me) a combination of circumstance and thunderstorms put paid to that notion, and I spent a fairly quiet evening and hoped to recover some of my energy.

It seemed to work somewhat as I felt more lively on Thursday, and I felt downright jaunty on my way to MAH bar (scene of one earlier Toytown event and a memorable Sunday afternoon a while back) for the usual meet up. Andy had planned some event for the same night, and the voters on Toytown had gone for the bar as the Thursday night choice in order to not have to pick between events. When I first got there, I was roped into playing (and losing) foosball with Sara against Brooke and Ken, but I soothed my bruised ego with a beer. Noka, whom I have spoken to a lot online but not actually seen in some time, was there with her boyfriend Lio and it was nice to hang out with them. Lio and I apparently have similar tastes in humor since, after placing a beer label on her neck, he and I commented at the same moment that Noka should get it as a tattoo. Barbara as usual arrived before most of the others, but Fraser and Jamie were not far behind, and I saw Casey, Aleks, and Ida soon after. There were plenty of people I knew closeted in little groups around the foosball and ping-pong and along the darkly lit bar area. Jennie came, and after a short chat became cemented on a bench with a few fellows, including a nice English guy I had earlier played Foosball with (and won) named Olly, where they all discussed, with my occasional comments, the Game, that is, the theory behind hooking up using strange tricks and backhanded compliments. I met other new people that night including a former au pair back in Munich for language school named Hannah. She’s from New Hampshire/Tennessee ( a strange combo she agreed) and we did not talk long, but I did get an amazing photo of yelling behind Noka and Lio. There were also lots of friends I hadn’t seen in a while like Sorcha, and those I didn’t expect like Kerre, whose flight to England that day had been canceled, leading her to come to Toytown instead and have a wild night of her own before flying the next day.

Insert standard boilerplate here about having to leave earlier than I wanted to and riding the train home.  I am annoyed to have missed the end of the night, which from what I heard got really fun, but that’s the price for being responsible, and the stories I heard the next day made me think of this wonderful Dave Attell bit:

“You ever hang out all night long and then you go home a little early? Then you get that call the next day? You know that call: “You shoulda hung out man!” “What happened?!” “Ohhh! 10 minutes after you left.” It’s always 10 minutes after you leave when the all fun shows up. Like the fun-mobile is a block behind ya at all times. Full of strippers, and midgets, and balloons. And every type of fun imaginable. “10 minutes after you left, the Dixie Chicks broke in and fucked everybody. Even the fat boy with asthma wearing the Babylon 5 tee-shirt got a hand job. And it’s never gonna happen again.”

Brilliantly describes the sensation I think.

On Friday after work I hung out with Alina and had a lot of fun watching Eurotrip and eating pizza and going on strange quests for tobacco (I still cannot believe they have a tobacco machine in the middle of a residential street). Alas it made me rather tired on Saturday, so though I was excited to go out, especially as I won’t be around next weekend, I was also a little apprehensive over whether I could handle it without falling asleep early. Nonetheless I headed off at the usual time, getting to Fraser’s a little after nine and hanging out with him while he got ready. Mauritz, Eva, Klaus, and Morgan were in Prague all weekend, so I knew the group would definitely have an altered composition, and it turned out that except for Jamie and Fraser, I was the oldest member of the “Saturday Night Party Crew.” Ally, whom I had only seen infrequently for a while now, came for the first time in a few weeks, ready to drink a lot because she was actually supposed to have been in England but her flight got canceled, which was unfortunate for her, but it was nice to see her again. Aleks and Casey arrived soon after; Aleks had her own mixed news to share, since she had bronchitis but on the plus side was going to quite smoking. As someone who fervently dislikes smoking and what it does, I could only be happy about that. Jennie and Olly arrived together, rounding out the crew of the night. Quite an interesting mix I thought.

To prepare, we started playing drinking games, first we played Kings, but that seemed a little dull, so we switched to Never Have I Ever, despite Jennie’s wish to just observe and not participate. There were a lot of great moments in the game, which of course almost exclusively dealt with romance and…related interests. Jennie felt embarrassed saying Indian in reference to people from that subcontinent, making us all laugh with her choice of South Asia instead. My favorite bit of the game was when someone said “Never have I ever had sex with other people in the room,” and Casey responded, “How do you define a room?” I was rather pleased when she posed a similar statement about planes, and I responded, almost instinctively, “How do you define plane?” Of course there was plenty of enlightenment from statements ranging from whether there was anyone else in the room people wanted to sleep with to whether anyone had made out with anyone famous. The important thing is that, with the exception of Aleks, who wasn’t drinking much that night, everyone downed plenty of alcohol and by a quarter to one we were out the door to Backstage, the chosen club of the night.

We took taxis there; I was in one with Aleks, Jamie, and Ally and thoroughly enjoyed myself. As Ally put it, “I like a good taxi.” She spent most of the ride entertaining us by explaining the Superman bedroom move, and explaining to Jamie why she thought he was homosexual before trying to arm-wrestle him (and losing). Jamie took it all in stride, even the discussion of his hair products and wedding dress taste. We got to the club and met up with the others, before paying the cover (including a drink token) and getting our wristbands. Inside we checked our jackets then saw two doors to two different dance rooms. We took the door on the right and entered a bizarre, heavy metal music room, filled with loud bass, people in black screaming and “dancing” general pseudo-mayhem. Even here the Germans were polite. I couldn’t help but laugh at their earnest desire to rebel as expressed by dressing and acting all alike. We stayed only long enough for Jamie to buy a round of (exorbitantly priced) drinks for us before going to the other room.

In here there was a bit lighter and the music was not quite so painful in quality or volume. Rather than dance music though, there was a mixture of rock, punk, ska, and other genres that I don’t normally expect in dance clubs and indeed wasn’t sure how to handle. Nonetheless, we moved out onto the floor and did our best. Jamie and Casey tried to do Jaeger bombs, but instead of shot glasses they were given tiny bottle that when dropped into the energy drink, were too tall to mix. Instead the two of them just tipped back the cup and tried to mix the two drinks as they poured out. In this room we ran into Tenna and a new Hungarian Au Pair friend of hers. Actually it was quite a lot of fun. Fraser and Jamie of course don’t need anyone but each other to have a good time, and I found their dancing inspiring, especially to the combination of Sabotage and Voodoo People that played at one point. Even when he said he wasn’t feeling well, Jamie kept dancing. The same alas could not be said for Olly, whom I lost track of for a couple of hours and had thought was either gone or with a girl. Turned out he had been ill in the bathroom the whole time because he had not been able to handle the drinking, more than he’d had in three years he said. He thus bowed out around three, leaving with Jennie, who, while a delightful dancer, had to get up early the next day for German class. Ally, rather drunkenly performed her awesome robot move before she too left.

The rest of us kept dancing. Casey danced like crazy, and Aleks, though sober, had no problem cutting a rug with the rest of us. I did laugh at the careful attention the girls paid to their purses, placing them on the ground and then dancing around them. I hated to bail, but by close to five I was yawning fit to dislocate my jaw, which was tender enough as it was, so I made my farewells and somehow negotiated the S-Bahn back to Marienplatz where I waited just twenty minutes to get home.

I slept for a bit before getting up again, but between the rain outside and my general lethargy, I decided not to do much and just enjoy myself being lazy and relaxed. Only a walk in the afternoon broke up my lazy day. Today I am back at work and still tired but I am very much looking forward to my trip to Paris on Wednesday and to seeing Claire there. A good week to all.

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