Last night was the annual gala party at uni and this year we were the graduates, meaning we were the ones to be spoiled with quality(?) wine and food. Also it meant that this time around we were the ones who had to don our (penguin) suits. I’m kinda ambivalent on the whole suit deal. On one hand, it’s a pretty good chance for me to actually look good for a change, on the other hand; suits are uncomfortable as hell and really make me appreciate more the hardships that the girls go through for looking good for us on a regular basis.
But enough talk, on with the show: We were to meet up at Tina’s for a drink before the party started. I’d scored a nice bottle of sparkling Argentinian wine for the occasion and a bunch of fresh strawberries to go with it.. Strawberries, as it turns out, are incredibly hard to get this time of year in Denmark, at least if you want good ones, but after almost an hour of searching I found an acceptable bunch. Christian was in his parent’s car, so I’d made arrangements with him to pick me up since he was to drop some stuff off at my place anyways. When he arrived, I pretty quickly talked him into sampling a tiny little sip of the newly purchased El Dorado rum with me. Sampling a rum which is about half your own age is an incredibly weird yet delightful experience. I predict we’ll really, really enjoy drinking that sweet, sweet nectar on special occasions.
After sipping and, in Christian’s case, choking on our rum, we jumped into the car and drove down to uni from where we walked the last few minutes to Tina’s. Guys, here’s a tip: Walking through town in a suit with a bowl of strawberries and a would be champagne in the afternoon earns you a lot of looks from the ladies 😉 Anyways, we arrived in full force and found the girls working on Tina’s hair, apparently it took two and a half hours to do her hair, but the end result really was worth it. While Emelie finished up the girl’s hair, we spent our time watching Danish sporting persona, Bjarne Riis, holding a press conference in which he admitted to a lengthy abuse of EPO and cortisone.. Can’t say I was surprised!
After the breaking news of the day, a nice glass of bubbly wine and a bunch of strawberries, we made our way to uni, meeting up with Morten and his date, Mette, on the way. When we arrived and had finished being groped by Mette, we had a welcome drink, found a place to sit and mingled a bit before eventually settling down. After a short welcome speech from Justin and Nicolai, we were awarded half a bottle of wine each. Probs to Zascha for getting me my share and steering clear of the Primitivo in the process. I don’t fully understand the reasoning and logistics behind the whole deal, but apparently they ran out of money at some point in the process of arranging the party, so they had to use whatever wines they had lying around – which resulted in us being served a wide range of different wines of questionable quality.. Not cool! But at least the one Zascha and I got was drinkable.
The food was another.. uhh.. interesting aspect of the evening. I’m never entirely hooked on these gimmick deals, so I didn’t really know what to think when I found out that the entire menu was to be based around pancakes (or crepes for you yanks out there, you know, the thin Euro style) with various fillings. Never the picky one, though, I jumped into it and to their credit the starter actually was good; smoked salmon and creamed spinach wrapped in (you guessed it) a pancake and served with a garnishing of tomatoes. I was extremely surprised that they actually used sweetened pancake batter for the starter and main course – I’d figured they’d have only done that for the dessert. But in the case of the salmon, it actually worked pretty well.
For the main course we had pancakes (duh!) made to order with our choice of either chicken or beef filling, salads, chili sauces and garlic. This, of course, meant that we had to stand in line and tell the kind people what kind of filling and extras we wanted and it was while doing this I actually had one of the funniest episodes of the evening: While standing in line, I busied myself talking to people while Zascha, knowing me and my taste well enough to do so, took care of both our orders. After this had been going on for a while and I’d checked on her doings a few times, the pancake guy looks at us and goes “Are you guys married or something??!” – my answer came promptly: “Well, yeah.. Uh.. I mean.. No, not really.. Kinda!” He’d probably gotten the feeling that she was more or less dictating me what to eat, and we had to explain to him that we were just really good friends and to us that entailed knowing eachother’s preferences and food habits. This resulted in rather more weird looks and a crooked smile and a lot of laughs once we got back to the table.
I really don’t know what to say about the main course, a lot of people found it to be good. Christian and I were less than impressed and started busying ourselves drawing comparisons to the legendary episode of The Simpson’s in which Homer gets a job as a food critic and a eventually starts hating on every restaurant in town, thinking that this is the way of the critics. The first serving, i.e. the chicken was probably my favorite. Again, I don’t understand the concept of using sweetened pancake batter for main dishes, we were also stupid enough to go with onions as extra and these were so overpowering in their taste that the general taste impression was generally that of sweet pancake batter and onions.. Definitely a first! Apparently I was not the only one who was a little overwhelmed as I was encouraged to dump two plastic glasses filled with chopped onions in the trash on my way to get my second serving. All the wiser from my first attempt at the main dish, I opted for beef instead of chicken for my second serving and went with garlic instead of onions, thinking the taste wouldn’t be so overpowering. Oh the luck of the Johan. I naturally end up being served by a garlic and chili freak who dumps about five spoonfuls of chili and three spoonfuls of minced garlic in my food. Needless to say I spend the rest of the evening frequently answering the question “Did you have garlic for dinner?”
For dessert we had.. Well, pancakes! I’m starting to see a pattern here. Again, opinions differed. However, my serving was sadly entirely uneatable – Well, to anybody but Morten anyways, who commented that I was right in saying that this was the worst pancake ever served and then continued to eat the whole thing. I instead opted for ordering a plain slice of vanilla ice cream drenched in Grand Marnier – probably the best thing I had to eat that evening save maybe the salmon. I think my conclusion for the dinner would be something along the lines of: Interesting concept, horrible execution. Oh well, didn’t really come for the food anyways.
After dinner things did pick up a little. A nice little cover band had been hired to play a few hours for us. They had me pretty hooked from the start as they started off playing the drum break from Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” as they came on stage. Sadly, however, it never turned into the whole song. Instead they kicked off with a couple of Rock ‘n’ Roll and 60’s classics and eventually, just before going for intermission, went into Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” which (disturbingly enough) probably qualifies as “Our Song” for Zascha and I. Their second set was less successful but at least we’d had a couple of more beers by then and didn’t care too much. Well, except for the horrible rendition of Take That’s “Patience” and Kim Larsen’s immortal “Kvinde Min”, two songs which should never be covered – for different reasons, one just doesn’t bear repeating , the other is a mile stone in Danish rock and should not be blasphemed upon 😉
When the band had finished, I sank into that weird mood I get every now and then even when surrounded by friends and just sorta sat around for a while not really enjoying myself at all and not really being able to find anyone to talk with. After a while I noticed that Morten, too, was being a bit quiet and established that he, too, was feeling tired and worn. We contemplated taking a nap but realized that would probably be frowned upon so we opted for more beers instead which helped a bit. At around this point, I also ran into Dunkel and Gale Mads and had a few beers with them. Mads, as could be expected, ended up passing out somewhere and Dunkel instead came and joined us at our table. We had a pretty good time doing stupid shit such as beer chugging through straw contests and trying to convince people that we were actually related. At some point Sanja who has been in my English and IT classes for three years now looked at me and went “Hey, your hair’s gotten long” – I love how I’ve been growing my hair for 11 months now and only now do people start to notice.. What’s up with that?
By the end of the night, Mads showed up again and made his presence known by bumping into Dunkel and spilling a pint of beer over my suit.. Oh well, I was gonna have it cleaned anyways 😉 By this time, we were actually starting to have a pretty good time and by the time the whole thing was over at 2 AM, Morten, Jens (Jakob’s drunken friend), me and a few others were actually on our feet, trying to sing along to “I’ve Had The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.. I can only imagine how horrible that must’ve sounded! A bit of confusion ensued as we were trying to make up our drunken minds about where to go and with everybody wanting to head in different directions, that proved a bit hard. We eventually decided that Christian, Morten and I would walk Emelie home, then see Morten on his way to the bus station and then Christian and I would head down to the English Pub for a goodnight pint – a wonderful idea, had it not been for the fact that Christian and I managed to JUST miss last call at the pub and therefor could do little but stand around sulking in our suits before heading back out and back to my place.
Safely back at my place after a waaaay to lengthy walk, we prepared a glass of Czech absinth (which apparently has nothing to do with absinthe) and eventually got a beer each, kicked the ties and fell into our old routine of drinking one last goodnight beer, listening to music and talking till sunrise. Good times! And for once, we actually didn’t get sloshed out of our minds. We were actually pretty coherent and unaffected when we got up the next morning.. Unlike my poor “wife” who wrote at around 1:45 PM complaining about a headache and lack of painkillers and was still staggering ever so slightly when I left her place at 5:30 PM.. That’s what you get for drinking all night with the boys, baby, could’ve just gone home in due time like the rest of us – hopefully one day our responsible relationship to alcohol will rub off on you 😉