So here’s the next post in my ridiculously long queue. Unfortunately I have no pictures of this event, so words will have to suffice. 😉
Through the Buddhist mediation group way back in March, I met Caroline and her boyfriend Preben. They arrived here in Copenhagen in February from Luxemborg (where Caroline is originally from). Preben is originally from one of the islands near Sjaelland, I forget the exact name but it’s definitely near Copenhagen. We’ve met for tea several times at this French cafe downtown. I’ve also been to their apartment for dinner and had a grand time. They have a keyboard because Caroline does music therapy. We played the keyboard and sang songs, something that I miss doing a lot since my own keyboard is thousands of miles across the Atlantic.
Well, on April 18th they invited me over to celebrate Preben’s brother’s birthday. The plan was to go to Søpavillon, a disco club that looks like a ship. There was going to be a U2 cover band that night. I was all for it, so I went! The band would start playing quite late (as in 11:30) so we (Caroline, Preben, Preben’s brother Christian and a colleage of Preben’s from work whose name I’m unfortunately not recalling) hung out at Caroline and Preben’s apartment for a while. Drank wine. We all took turns playing the keyboard.
Now, by the time we left to go to the club, I was feeling especially happy, relaxed and confident for some reason. Maybe it was the wine? I’d drank wine before but never felt any effects from it. But on that night I had 2.5 glasses of white wine at their apartment. Yes, as we walked to the club and got into the oxygen, I was DEFINITELY begining to feel the effects. I didn’t care so much what people thought of me, and I was talking more freely.
We get to the club and started to dance. By that time I was definitely drunk. I had 2 more glasses of wine and a shot of this strong German stuff. I was laughing uncontrollably, smiling at everyone, asked the security guard how he was doing, really getting into the dancing, saying the first thing that came to mind…and a small part of me realized that I was drunk and I didn’t care. My body seemed to be able to move in ways that I could never move normally.
We all had a fun time (I hope Christian had a good birthday celebration, lol) and we walked back to Caroline and Preben’s around 4:00 in the morning. I kept going on and on about how I didn’t care what people thought of me anymore, that I wanted to make connections with people, that I was not acting “in-character” and who knows what else. They took care of me, too. They let me crash on their couch for the night, they encouraged me to eat and to drink water (even bought us all hot dogs from a 7-Eleven). I kept saying over and over that I could not have asked for better people to spend my first drunken experience with.
Well the next morning I had a hangover, yes. And according to them I was laughing all night on the couch. I felt bad because I hope I didn’t keep them up all night, lol. All during that day, the effects of the alcohol were still somewhat in my body. I think it wasn’t until Monday the 20th that I was completely back to normal, aka, all of my reservations came back! 🙂
I write about this because it was the very first time in my entire 26 years of life that I ever got drunk. I don’t plan for it to be a normal thing…because I know alcohol isn’t good and I don’t ever want to advocate getting drunk in order to have a good time. But the significant thing for me was the fact that now that I’ve experienced the whole “party” thing, I at least have a better idea of where people are coming from when they say they want to party. And that makes it less foreign to me. It widened my comfort zone. That’s what this trip has been all about.
I’d always wanted to experience being drunk at least once, and I finally did. I’m lucky I got to experience it with responsible, trustworthy people, in Denmark. Because of their hospitality, it was a pleasurable night, a night worth remembering. I didn’t drink enough to pass out or to puke, just enough to gain that state of temporary euphoria. Alcohol is a big part of the culture here in Denmark because it’s not as much as a forbidden fruit as it is in the US. The Danes are exposed to alcohol at a much younger age and so they learn to drink responsibly. I rarely hear stories about drunk drivers here, and people are always so good about cleaning up after parties. You have to be at least 16 to buy alcohol in stores in Denmark, and 18 to get into most bars.
Another thing to come of this — I know that I have the potential to be outgoing and fun-loving. I was like a party animal at the disco and it was ok. People were friendly and receptive. No one threw tomatoes at me. So this means that I can let go when I’m sober and it will also be ok. Working on overcoming my shyness and social anxieties is going to be one of my big projects over the next few years. 🙂 Small steps. I’m not aiming to become an extrovert; rather, I just want to work to a state where I feel comfortable talking to people and don’t focus so much on what they think about me. Hmm, I smell a topic for a new blog here, don’t you? 😉
Anyway, I’m so happy I met Caroline and Preben and they were saying the same thing about me. I had them over for lunch last week and we walked around the beautiful park near my dorm. But that is a subject for another post…I’ll add it to my queue!