In general I live a pretty quiet life. Going out dancing until midnight is a late night for me and staying out until 2:00am is what I consider a crazy night. Those who know me probably aren’t surprised by the fact that I had never been to a crazy bar party before I went to Iceland- though bars in the U.S. close at 2:00 or 2:30 am so the amount of “craziness” differs from country to country. The fact that we all headed to the bar at 2:30am is something I wouldn’t normally do, mostly because I am a huge fan of sleep and mornings and in order to enjoy both I go to bed earlier than most people.
It was the last big dance of the Arctic Lindy Exchange, and many people would be leaving the next day. Sadly, my friend Tale wasn’t feeling too well and so she headed back to our accommodations early (which I think still ended up being around 12:00am, our typical exit time when we go to dances in the U.S.). I was determined to stay late and started asking around to make sure I had people to go back to our accommodations with after the dance was done. Somehow one thing led to another and I was headed to one of the really popular bars around 2:30 am with some of my fellow Lindy Hoppers, one of whom was kind enough to buy me a Sprite since I didn’t feel like drinking and wouldn’t have known what to order anyway. I also figured I was plenty drunk off of dancing and sleep deprivation as it was. Here are some of the highlights from my very very late night experience (or early morning experience depending on how you look at it):
1) Being packed in shoulder to shoulder and watching people have to dance through the crowd to get anywhere. I was extremely impressed with the employees who had to balance a ton of empty glasses when clearing tables while trying to get through the crowd.
2) An awesome musician- I think there was more than one but I never actually saw the stage. The guy had a really good voice and played the guitar. At first I thought they were playing recorded music, but no! It was a live musician who was able to belt it out clear up until the bar closed at 4:30am. He sang both Icelandic and English songs including “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Hit the Road Jack”, and the first verse of “Piano Man.” I got very excited when I actually knew the songs he was singing.
3) Singing along at the top of our voices even when we didn’t know the lyrics to the Icelandic songs.
4) Getting kidnapped onto the dance floor by some rather drunk man who was still coordinated enough to spin me a couple of times without running me into people. At one point I thought he asked me my name but then he seemed really confused when I said it and I was confused about why he was confused, so I quickly escaped back to “my people” when he got distracted by one of his friends.
5) Feeling every single Lindy Hopper in the bar wanting to swing dance/ Charleston to “Hit the Road Jack” and not having the room to do so.
6) Stepping out of the bar with the sun coming up at 4:30am
7) Walking the 2 miles back to our accommodations after the bar closed, putting me in bed around 5:00am
I had an absolute blast and don’t regret only getting 4 hours of sleep that night! Would I do it again? Possibly. Would I stay out until 4:30am on a regular basis? Definitely not. I love my sleep a bit too much. However, that experience was a wonderful way to spend my penultimate night in Iceland with some very awesome people.