Last summer I had a revealing journey in my mothers homeland Suomi - Finland.
I intended to blog about it but found myself experiencing so much and never sitting down
to really write about it.
This summer It's France. Upon the invitation of a new french friend, Valentin, a very interesting and charismatic guy. I arrived about 9 days ago at Marseille, and every day since has been full of interesting and powerful experiences, I wanted to write and had many opportunities I could have taken to do so but I'm always seeking the next interesting thing over the next ridge.
I've been keeping a mini blog going on my Facebook, but for the multitude of different things that happen in a day, the new experiences and thoughts about this fine country, Facebook is inadequate.
So here I am, now in Lyon, in the centre-east of France meeting a friend of Valentin's, Thomas, who I met on my first day in Marseille. Lyon is a big city, twin rivers snaking their way through it splitting the old and historic part of town with the more contemporary area.
After I met Tom I bought a few Asian beers, since the Asian shops around here have a bit of a bigger selection than the UK, and beer in general is half the price, then I had one of the biggest kebabs I've ever had - all this was the standard preperation for a good night out.
Soon some of Toms friends came over with some vodka and some more beer, as is often the case I was in charge of the tunes, I chose Breathe by The Prodigy,[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuDeCaKzJyc] to start off with, something that young people everywhere can enjoy.
We headed out to a club about 6 hours after I first arrived in town, I think my fastest yet for a foreign countries city. The club was an Ozzie bar on a boat on the river except like with most Irish pubs in foreign countries it was laughable how little like an Australian bar it was.. the usual pseudo authentic memorobilia, and wonderful wonderful Fosters the pisswater Australians don't drink but export to the world.
We had some white wine, wine something I'm starting to enjoy since being in France yet something I hated every time I tried it previous. And then I heard something nice, some fatboy slim coming from the dancefloor on the lower deck[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X_1o3Qw4KM], I raced down and what I saw was sadenning.. but not unsual - a half full club, good music, people drinking all around but an empty dancefloor.
I jumped down to it (the dancefloor) and said hi to the DJ before getting into the groove, fatboy's classics are a joy to dance to bouncy but with a deep beat, true big beat. Slowly as is often the case when I club, after I take that first Mauritz step, then other people trickled into the space, the DJ showed his thanks by spinning constant great electronic music, non Fromage, there was one french girl in a cute blouse and skinny jeans who stood out from the crowd we danced FAST together bending and curving round and down, I love those moments at clubs, sometimes hours but usually moments where your dancing with someone you've just met and nothing needs to be said you just enjoy the music together and go to some place beyond this place just for a little bit...
The other peopled parted and gave us space but soon our duet would come to an end, we told eachother it was amazing what we just did but we never met again that night. She left the floor and I kept on dancing for a bit but it just wasnt the same so I went back up to the top deck and chilled out a little bit. Tom's English is quite fluent and for some reason he sounds like an american, no French accent at all, so he introduced a funny game to me.
We would sit alongside or near some cute French girls and then speak English loudly near them and wait for them to pick up on it and ask us where we were from, courtesy to my friend Jake or Adam at Marseille we call Tom the Californian. The game worked a charm it was so funny, if I was a tad more charismatic fellow I could definitely bed a French lady in this manner but last night we used our powers for good clean fun.
Back on the dancefloor later the place was a hot, sweaty mess of moving bodies, It always makes me smile to know I was the first, although clubs always get busier later on so who knows how much effect, past the initial trickle of people, I have on anything. The music was pretty decent, the DJ wasn't a noob, he had some good tracks and then, it happened.
The strobe lights went up, I heard the front end of the track crossfading into the current one and my heart leapt, it was coming, a track I love, a track that everyones been going crazy to for months in the UK, a track the Sub Session DJ's of my university town, Middlesbrough pioneered... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSeNSzJ2-Jw I raised my right arm in the dove sign I for some reason always make and caught the eyes of the DJ and ROARRED!!
He smiled and dropped it.
A great moment for a great night.
We walked back home along the river and saw a group of youngsters on the bank so we initiated the game and had a last laugh. One of them was from Reunion Island, a place I'd never heard of, an old french colony off the coast of Madagascar, that guy had a very strange accent but was super super friendly, I told him I'd tell the world about him so I did..
All in all a fantastic first day in Lyon, what will this afternoon and eve bring...