Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day in Norway, or Saturday night.

Yesterday was St. Patties day, a day where, in many (if not most) cities in the States, people celebrate the day of the patron saint of Ireland by binge drinking on green beer, and if you're from my hometown of Chicago, watching the city dye the river green, and a pretty darn impressive parade.

As to be expected, the Weegies don't really have a set or stereotypical shindig for St. Patrick's day...although they do have certain festivities on Saturdays...pretty much any given Saturday.

Now back in my college days, I admit, I had the tendency to get a little wild. All I'll say to further extrapolate on that is that my best friend/roommate at the time were dubbed "Paris and Nicole" because apparently your party wasn't a success unless we made it to the event. Yes, that crazy.

As a happily married lady, I don't really indulge in my old party ways anymore. As a result, my previous and practically superhuman alcohol tolerance levels are also now nonexistent. And the craziest I might get would be a beer or single drink with dinner a few times a year...until last night.

Harald and I went with his best friend to meet up with a few more old friends that my Husband had grown up with, went to school with, etc. at a girl's house to knock back a few. Now I haven't gotten out much and socialized here in Norway, and even though I really would love some Weegie friends, I just have been feeling a bit hopeless about making any at any given point for whatever reason, and with some persuading by my Husband and his bestie, I managed to head out in the fray last night in hopes of some real life peer interaction.

And I have to admit. It was pretty damn fun.

There were only six of us at this girl's house, but everyone was super nice and we all just sat around drinking beer and wine, listening to music and talking, and even playing a party game at one point. Around 10:00p.m. everyone decided they would call and order a taxi-bus for all of us to go to town around midnight to hit up some bars and the one dance club in Haugesund. By the time midnight rolled around, I'm a little embarrassed to admit, we were all feeling it: and I was pretty shitty myself.

My memory is a little bit blotchy, though mostly intact from the point the six of us boarded that taxi-bus at midnight. In Norway, as long as the driver isn't drinking obviously (and I do mean not at all, Norway has a zero tolerance level for drunk driving, people have literally had to have court cases to be declared innocent for a breathalyzer test they failed because they used mouthwash before they drove. That serious.) it is allowed to have passengers drinking while in the car. Still something I as an American am not used to, and still feels a little wrong...but regardless we all climbed aboard with our final beers in hand and made the journey...

I remember looking out the window of the taxi-bus and thinking that we were driving really much to fast because I was so dizzy. Then I remember everyone splitting up when we got to town, and Harald and I realizing we would rather just go home than keep partying. Apparently, I then was really upset and indignant because of all the women with "immodest clothing" that were walking around, and also managed to set off an antique store alarm from leaning on their front window. Then we snuck into a pub to use their bathroom, and I walked up to the front doors of the main, old cathedral in Haugesund trying to get in so, as my Husband claims, I could "go visit with Jesus then sleep where it was safe". Harald picked up a kebab plate (the most choice drunk-food in the area) to go from his favorite joint, and proceeded to usher me into a cab so we could get home. I must have dozed off on the ride home because I don't remember much of it, other than our driver looked eerily like Santa Claus, and I told him that, along with the fact that I loved his beard, and thanked him for driving us home.

I wish that our night ended there, but it didn't really. I ended up sitting on the bathroom floor and crying in my underwear because "I just want to go home, and where is my Mom, and I don't feel well."
I never actually threw up, just felt like I was going to all night, which is probably worse than actually doing so. We both rolled into bed around 2:30a.m. and I emerged a few times between 8:00a.m. and noon in order to relieve myself, groan, and get more water...
not my most eventful nor intoxicated St. Patties day actually, but still a memorable one because it was my first in Norway, I managed to meet a few new neat people, and make it home in one piece, all while speaking a drunken amalgamation of German, English and Norwegian at any given point.

Even if you're a happily married lady, I guess it's still ok, and even relieving to just relax, knock a few back with your spouse and some friends, and enjoy a saint's day once in a while.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone!