Retrospectacle: A Neuroscience Blog

So I’ll start with last night (actually Montpellier Day 2….). After making that post yesterday, I mustered up the courage to go walk around at night and find some place to get a much-needed drink. As I pass the main square, my ears happen to perk up to the sounds of English! A group of kids, about my age, seem to be discussing what to do for the night. So, I walk right up to them, introduce myself and ask if they know of any good bars in the area. Well, one thing led to another and they ended up “adopting” me for the night. Turns out they were all American exchange students studying French in Montpellier, all just arrived and homesick (and some would be there for a year!) We ended up getting along great, and they filled me in on a lot of cultural tips (like the best way to get hit on is to make eye contact, and the cheapest way to drink is to order red wine, 2 euros).

So we headed to a Cuban “bar musicale” (it has a dance floor in the back). I had one 6 euro mojito (heavenly!) and then just drank cheap red wine. But the cheap stuff here is faaaar better than the expensive stuff back in the US. Here’s a picture of the exchange students:

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The bar played cheesy 80s and 90s dance hits from America (whenever they played French music, the floor cleared. Go fig.) which was certainly danceable after a couple “vierre du vin rouge.” We even got our pictures taken by a roving camera man who worked for the city’s nightlife website (which I gotta find….). Also, there were quite a few dancing old guys that were showing up us younguns.

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All the bars here close at 1am though (ah, that 8:30am conference start was looking very far away!), which is conveniently when the discos open! So, the kids led the way to the Rockstore disco which was very near my hotel (certainly stumbling distance).

Rockstore was a successful mimic of what the French must think a NYC nightclub is like. A huge red Ford Fairlane is “crashing” through the wall, and the club itself it a converted theater which must have been centuries old. It certainly gave me the feeling of bombed-out Versailles but a place grungy enough Nirvana would have played there. Here’s a picture of the scene:

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The music was techno plus a lot of gothy rock like the Killers thrown in for effect. So we proceed to get our groove on. Ok, the French are horrible dancers. So horrible, than even us Midwestern kids were cutting a rug compared to them. This, sadly, attracted the attention of more horny French guys……actually, not one but two! Yes, I found myself in the middle of a Shelley-sandwich (or croissant, perhaps?) with two gyrating guys on either end. Bewildered, I managed to slip out and rejoin my friends, only to be accosted a couple more times. Eh, I was having fun—but as soon as I *was* having fun, well they thought that meant I would leave with them! I had to call in one of my newfound American friends to translate what the guys were saying, but I took from the tone of her voice after they said it, that it wasn’t pretty. She said in no uncertain terms, that I was NOT going anywhere with them. Anyway, at around 3am the kids walked me back to my hotel and we exchanged numbers and said adieu.

Hello hangover for the conference!

Comments

  1. #1 somnilista, FCD
    September 17, 2006

    and they filled me in on a lot of cultural tips (like the best way to get hit on is to make eye contact

    You had to go to Europe to learn that?

  2. #2 sparc
    September 18, 2006

    Since you are in France may I recommend the following TV program about creationism to you?

    http://www.arte.tv/fr/programmes/242,date=19/09/2006.html
    (same announcement in german: http://www.arte.tv/de/programm/242,date=19/09/2006.html)

    Normally arte is broadcasted in stereo (one channel french, the other german). Still I understand if you would rather enjoy savoir vivre.

  3. #3 peter
    September 18, 2006

    Hi

    Welcome to Languedoc !

    You can get local info here : http://the-languedoc-page.com/forum

    +

    Peter

  4. #4 PrivatePigg
    September 24, 2006

    I was a foreign exchange student from America living in Montpellier way back in 2001. It was awesome. I even met my wife there (a Swede also studying in Montpellier).

    There are tons of great places to grab some drinks: Greyhound Pub and Cafe Joseph to name a few. Le Fizz (like Rockstar) is a great place to catch some late night drinks. And, if you are interested in doing some typical European-style disco-ing into the wee hours of the morn, ask about the beach clubs. Montpellier has some clubs down by the beach (so you need to bus or cab it) and they are outrageous. It’s been five years since I’ve been there, but I’m guessing they are still as crazy as ever.

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