Going out in the eighth arrondisement on a Thursday night is quite the thing.
A colleague organized after-work drinks and we were going to go down the street to a place called “Moods” on the Champs-Elysées. As we approached, we saw a line stretched across the wide sidewalk. It was a private happy hour party, something that the Frenchies save for Thursday nights. We had to find a plan B.
Naturally, everywhere on and around the Champs-Elysées caters to tourists. The place where we wound up, Bound on avenue Georges V, was no exception: A giant 80s-inspired space with black lacquered surfaces, giant glossy photos of models and lips, and cocktails for 16 euros. 16 euros! That’s five euros more than Experimental! And they were nowhere near as good.
But it was a nice night out. I’ve really been pushing myself to speak more French and immerse myself in the language. I can’t say much, but I can listen well. And I love that changeover when my thoughts switch to French. It was nice, too, to bond with a couple colleagues. No matter where you are, in any country or company, going drinking with your colleagues always makes people happy. (Unless your colleagues are just so horribly lame or awkward that there is no enjoyment to be derived from having cocktails together.)
After Bound, I met Michael at the Cha Cha Club, which is more my speed. I always love the DJs and the crowd: cool, without trying. But I think it’s just cool to me because it was actually cool years ago and is a little passé.