The other night I met up with a friend at a bar. As I went upstairs for a smoke, a good looking guy with a hair band, the sort that Argentinean footballers are known for wearing, looked at me from across the bar. I caught his eye and kept moving, accidentally on purpose towards him, as if towards the door. He stood in front of me and said, “You’re cute.” Blushing, very much from the inside, I said, “Oh yeah?” in a nonplussed Courtney Love kind of cool way. “Yeah. Where are you going?” he asked. “Nowhere. I’m downstairs with my friends if you want to talk,” I replied nonchalantly. “I don’t want to talk to your stupid friends,” he said, “now let’s say you get in my Cadillac and we go for a drive.” Suddenly transported to the 1960s Teddy Boy era, I had to laugh. “Seriously? No thanks,” I said (reason one: you have a Cadillac, reason two: drunk driving is not cool). He leaned in close and said, “I know you’ll change your mind,” and with that, he smacked me on the arse like an airline stewardess in a ‘Carry On’ movie and turned away.
Flirt fail. I decided this ‘djamm’ (night on the town) was all about me and ma’ girls dancing the night away. By the time I got back, however, said ladyfolk were all engaged in strengthening their games of tonsil tennis. As I concentrated on saying something dry and hilarious on Twitter, I realised something: Icelandic people don’t know how to flirt, there’s no va-va-voom, just Bam-Bam. Boys and girls stand apart, as if at a school disco, drinking themselves so silly that “Dutch courage” isn’t the right phrase for it. The tipping point comes at 3:30 AM when alarms go off and the inebriated herd gets anxious. Snog o’clock is upon us and there is only a small window of opportunity before a potential sleepover becomes a lonely hangover. So, grab the person nearest to you and snog. At this point, my inner British gentleman is less of a flamboyant, sexually promiscuous Oscar Wilde, and more of a pre-pubescent Harry Potter. I stare insanely at my beer to avoid eye contact with any guy who hovers around me. Just to get away, I stand behind and dangerously close to touching distance away from a couple having a go at the old oral washing machine (tongues outstretched, they rotate, rinse, and repeat). In an attempt to stay drunk, I dance a bit like Mr. Bean at a rave, with my eyes closed and head down, only opening them to coordinate beer to mouth, I’ll admit, sometimes unsuccessfully.
“Just pick one,” my friend drunkenly shouted in frustration at my poor attitude. Yanking some guy from the crowd, she said, “Look, he’s perfectly acceptable!” My Cadillac boy grinned from ear to ear, and I couldn’t help but laugh. “So, you came back,” he said. My friend suddenly realised who she’d picked out. “No! You’re just an example of a half decent looking guy,” she said, pushing him away. He sidestepped to the bar Dick Van Dyke style (‘Mary Poppins,’ not ‘Diagnosis Murder’) and landed safely, amazingly with his hair still intact. If he’d led with this, namely making a bid to become an MP in the Ministry of Silly Walks, he surely would have had me in his Cadillac at that point. Besides, I wouldn’t have minded some tips on getting my hair to stay that way.
Read the first instalment of this series here.