“First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you.” Scott Fitzgerald
One does not have to drink alcoholic beverages to socialize. It used to be almost mandatory in the past in Poland, but nowadays there is no real pressure on anyone to drink (unless they are in the vodka interest group).
However, it does not change the fact that alcohol is still one of the main ways of making strangers feel comfortable around each other and making good friends party-minded. Just like anywhere else in the world.
All right… I am going to introduce the readers to the Polish night out. I will do it by rewriting a couple of pages from the diary of one Polish girl….
Saturday, September 19
It is 2 pm and I am thinking of going out. My plans have just changed- I was supposed to babysit my niece, but I have just found out I am free tonight. What should I do? I’m calling my friends. A few guys and girls. My roommate is back from work. I am kindly informing him about my plans. He’s in, asking: – So, what’s the plan?
I told everyone to show up at my place at around 8 pm. I am going to the store downstairs to get some snacks and drinks. I know my friends’ gastronomic preferences, but I told them to bring extra drinks if they want something fancy. I am tiding up the house and setting up the music. I made some sandwiches to make sure that everyone has enough energy for the night The first bell is ringing. Then the next one and more and more people are flooding in to our apartment. I am making sure the volume is appropriate- the neighbor above hates parties and unnecessary noises at night. It is not easy to party and have fun when you live in a 10 storey block of apartments in the middle of the city. But it is all right as long as the guests understand…
People are chatting, exchanging thoughts or getting to know each other. Some are hanging out on the terrace. ‘So I think it is time for us to have a toast…’ I am thinking along with the song and verbalizing my thoughts immediately. It is 10. Toast. My guests feel comfortable, they do not look like they felt like going anywhere else. I am mentioning the time and all the girls are expressing how much they feel like dancing. The word ‘club’ is thrown in the air a few times. If we stayed longer we could play a game, even if drinking games are not very popular here in Poland. But someone decided to motivate everyone to leave. Some of our friends are heading straight to the club now. They sent a message to everyone that the club they picked is perfect. It means it is not too crowded yet and there are special offers on drinks. We are taking taxis and heading to the club. Time for Hello Poland!
Our group started separating into smaller groups. The club has two sections and everyone picked their favorite dance floor . Some people found dancing partners and some danced in the circle. The DJ played some Dance, House and R’n’B. The other section was so called ‘Latino’. That one is usually occupied by people who attend salsa dance classes. At about 3 am the dance floor slowly stars getting empty.
There is enough space for the real dance. Some people take advantage of it and go crazy on the dance floor. A few of our friends have gone home. One of them was looking for his cloakroom number, but fortunately he found it on the sink in the bathroom. One of the friends was lost. Fortunately we found her talking to some foreign people outside.
It is time to go back home. We walked on the way back stopping by the Vistula River and singing rock ballads. Unexpectedly, a limousine stopped by and a bunch of people came out joining us to sing together. We went inside the limo for a couple of minutes and then wished the festeggiato happy birthday. The mattresses and sleeping bags were ready at home for all the friends who would have to travel far to get home.
We fell asleep recalling funny old stories.
Voice from Poland