I haven’t had a truly textbook night out in England since I got here. This is for mainly two reasons-1. A night out is expensive! and 2. most bars and pubs close at 11 or midnight, and you have to go to a club if you want to stay out later. But if we want to do that in Brighton, we would miss the last train home, and then have to pay a 30 or 40 pound taxi to drive us home. So….not too many nights out, just casual drinks with the bf in the house or a few drinks with friends in Brighton, but always getting on the train before 11:30. And that, my friends, is not a night out. And this girl needed a night out to shake my groove thing!
It was still rainy when we got off the train, so we waited in a long, long line to hitch a cab to Jon’s friends’ place. Seriously, try to avoid any Friday evening, just-out-of-work time trains. Crowded, busy, and the lines are ridiculous. But it was rainy, and my hair looked good, so taxi it was. We got to the house, waited out the prep time and got on our way.
The night turned out to be a bar hopper, and super fun. Points worth remembering: paying for seven songs on the jukebox at PavTav, only to never have them play (Kal, Jon, and I were very upset), dancing to Spice Girls and Lady Gaga, much to the boys’ chagrin, sitting at a table in an upstairs bar with a glass floor and being glad I was wearing tights under my dress, sitting at the same table and chatting with some girls who asked if Koreans eat dog-and telling her about the dog restaurant across the street from the Humane Society outside of Pyeongnae which I never ate at, realizing that the same table was decorated with a collage of Japanese porn/anime, eating a delicious tofu cashew nut meal at the first pub because I didn’t want to be drunk with no food in my belly!
It’s been so long since I’ve been out like that and it was just a great time. Sometimes I feel really old, and boring, and yes-a little sad. I came all the way to England for a summer and it’s amazing, but at the same time I spend a lot of time alone, trying to be super frugal and responsible and unable to work because I’m foreign. It’s so different from every other experience I’ve had abroad, and so much of that (okay, all of that) is because it’s the only time I’ve ever traveled so far to be with a person. Just be. I think it leaves a lot of room for self-reflection, contemplation, and even a little bit of loathing in ways that working or studying abroad don’t allow. I know I’m lucky to be able to do this at this point in my life, but sometimes, at the risk of sounding like a jerk-it’s not all fun. The point of this all being, a night out was a great reminder that I’m not all that old and lost, and there’s a lot of fun to be had out there! Also-I won’t always be an unemployed, loitering, foreigner in a country that finds a way to make fun of me at every turn.
The night ended as the morning came in. The guys and I walked to the beach and sat down by a large, rocky hold to protect us from the spray and the cold breeze. Max and I walked out to the beach, watching the waves come in and talking about all sorts of things-mostly, how frightening the ocean is, and how terrifying in all its vastness. Kal, Jon, and Pete stayed behind and finished eating the fish and chips we’d picked up at a shop from a lone, amused chip shop guy. Eventually we made it home around 4:30, watched a few episodes of Arrested Development, and hit the hay. We were lucky that the guys’ have such a comfy couch!
The next day we hit up the Brighton Gay Pride festivities. Lots of crazy outfits, lots of public drunkeness….all sorts of fun. Guess we’ll have to catch up on that later!