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When you find yourself in a place that doesn’t suit you, well, you leave!
The “acceptable” early evening!
A. was completely out of it. So, I decided to put on the demeanor of a sparrow who has lost its mother. I approached the burial shroud of the evening. Then, almost accidentally, I asked if I could join F. and C. for the night. The two Frenchies I met in Stockholm have nothing to do with the kind of dimwits I might encounter in Paris. But in our great wisdom, we adapt to avoid ending up as bitter expats. F., as usual, informs me that he has no clothes. He’s dressed like a passing gym teacher in a local Formula 1 who’s about to join his campsite in Vaucluse. I bring him some clothes. It was truly an upside-down evening.
I take an Uber, he gives me a meeting point at an address where he obviously isn’t. I enter the bar. I walk around it once. Then the waiter, alerted by my wandering Arab face, comes to ask me for an initial series of explanations. Well, I explain discreetly. In fact, he accompanies me for a second search of the bar. In my desperation of the day, betrayed by my origins, I tell myself slowly that even Sherlock Holmes walks around with Watson. We all have a tail, and it’s no small thing to say.
Finally, F. informs me that he is by the water. I arrive, he is sitting with S, his colleague (in my opinion, they secretly like each other), and a girl we’ll call A. A. is extremely drunk. I must say that I talk a lot. But there, A. is a verbal explosion. I feel like I’m in the neighborhood in front of a rapper doing a freestyle. I’m not sure what to do. F. dresses in the clothes I sent him. Before leaving, I can see that S is very tactile with F. even though she has a boyfriend. Girls being too tactile hide something. Or maybe I’m becoming old-fashioned. We go to the restaurant. I had planned to take everyone to Tradgarden, also known by myself as Mazdakgarden: where I spend my social capital. Finally, C. arrives, A, in her great boorishness, shows him her breast, and C. decides to go to the Anchor Bar. In small numbers, and especially completely clueless, I accept. The clash of cultures is the Anchor Bar!
The clash of cultures is embodied by the Anchor Bar!
We arrive in front of the queue at the Anchor Bar. It’s an absolute shock. It’s a hardcore rock bar, and there’s at least a 2-hour wait. F., alone with me, is not pleased. Three hardcore girls join us in the queue. One of them asks if I’m used to coming here; I mention that I usually go to Tradgarden. She responds seriously, “With the hippies?” The clash of cultures is the Anchor Bar!
Eventually, M., a friend of C., sees us at the entrance. The owner’s conditions are clear: you can enter as a group of 8, but we are 9. F. and I are the first to get in. I head to the bar as if the metal concert requires 4 or 5 glasses of whiskey. Far from Serge Gainsbourg’s “BB,” I sip my whiskey a bit autistic for the occasion amidst the noise of black metal and the indiscernible clashes of electric guitars. A dealer is in the other corner of the bar for a game of blackjack. C. arrives with the two girls who sit at a table with 6 guys. We’re in a remake of “Honey and the Bees.” The 6 guys are single, charging towards the girls to the sound of the burning bass of the live metal band, like virgins in front of the first creatures with long hair that they were allowed to discover. It’s a bit pathetic. M. flexes his muscles, another friend offers a bottle of champagne to S. and A., another guy completely drunk can’t even express himself in Swedish, let alone English. It was truly an upside-down evening.
When I finally arrive at the already crowded table, the owner shows up and says we are 9. I’ve never been so glad to be the weak link. I bolt outside. I call N. and An., friends of my wife A., to ask them what they’re up to. They didn’t go to Tradgarden; N. is at Café Pastis, a fantastic spot that reminds me of Café des Anges in Paris. I decide to share my misadventures there. I join A., who is staying at our place. I position myself on the terrace to avoid bothering her with my late-night breath. I fall asleep on the terrace.