Since arriving, we’ve both been waking up at 6AM and, exhausted, going to bed at 9PM. I think it has something to do with the heat, the caprihanias, and the jetlag. We wanted to try out the local party scene for one night, as we heard there were some great samba parties. Simone and Eva (the Dutch girls) mentioned there was a club that started at 4PM and ended at 9PM. Great! We thought, just up our alley!
That night we decided to get our dancing shoes out, and hit the town. We invited the other Dutch girl in our dorm, and another German guy from Dusseldorf. Off we went to find the pensioners nightclub. It was surreal. The club looked like it wasn’t meant to be there, all posh with bouncers, and fire dancers. Had we somehow walked into a club in Ibiza? Sure enough, the clock had barely struck 8:30, and the party ended, lights on, sound off.
There was a party happening downstairs, but that looked like a samba school of sorts, as people were twirling round and round, limps flinging all sort of directions. We decided that we would reserve our samba skills for Rio, and asked the others if they wanted to go for dinner. There was this place called Freddyssimo we were dying to go to. It had the theme of the mad hatters tea party, with all sorts of old furniture and 50s style electronic devices. It was set under some mangrove trees, so you felt like it was in the middle of the jungle. Convincing the others, we found a table, and ordered some cerveja, and some cheese bitterballen. Delicious!
Asking the small talk questions, (what do you do, where are you going next, where are you from etc), we soon learnt that Leonie was an environmental lawyer, and Oliver was a firefighter. My initial thought was somewhat condescending, ha a firefighter? Why would you choose this as a profession. Soon, hearing his stories, I learnt to appreciate the profession, and was left with some admiration. You get a different perspective of people when you’re in these sorts of jobs, on the edge of humanity so to speak. He told stories of times when he had to convince people from not committing suicide, saved people from taking too much heroin, and, on the odd occasion, put out fires. He said that often people would call the emergency services, just so that they would have someone come around to pull them away from their loneliness, and despair. these calls would only increase around the festive season. Quite sad hearing that. I’ve heard through various podcasts that our society has become increasingly lonely, we don’t have tight communities anymore, no grannies, grandpas, uncles and aunts, no cousins within arms reach. A side effect to globalisation. I enjoyed listening to Oliver, and his stories. He was going through a introspective period in his life, questioning what it meant to be German today, what it meant to be western. We had plenty to talk about.