Twelve months ago, or thereabouts, I was staying at a youth hostel in Stockholm.
It was there I met a bloke called Edward.
We had three or four days together sharing a room, and since we’ve been back in Sydney, we’ve caught up on three separate occasions so far.
We caught up again tonight, and once again, we reminisced about our time together. In particular, the night we went out for a few drinks and were dumb-founded by the high cover charges at bars in Stockholm. As I wrote at the time…
We went out for a beer tonight. Well, four actually. A mate of his had recommended Cafe Opera as “the hip place” to go in Stockholm, though when we arrived at about 9.30, there was hardly anyone there. We wandered around for a while, decided it was pointless, and went instead to the tourist haven of Gamla Stan.
After a couple of beers, we decided to give Cafe Opera another go. This time the place was a little busier, though not too much more so, and not exactly the hip and happening place to be on a Friday night. The crowd looked a bit ordinary. The clincher for us was the cover charge of 180kr (about $30). We looked the crowd up and down, decided there was little chance Madonna was inside, and so went looking for somewhere else to have a drink.
We looked at two further bars, both of which had a cover charge in the price range of 150-200kr ($30-40), but neither of which looked exciting enough to justify money which could otherwise be spent on drinking.
The coup de grace was the Irish pub which was charging 100kr (about $20) on the door. To my eyes it looked like any other Irish bar anywhere in the world, possibly full of Australian expats and backpackers. “They should be paying us to enter an Irish pub”, we both agreed.
Tonight there were no cover charges to worry about.
We met at The Dolphin at about 7.30 and had a drink before heading off to dinner at Agave, the newish Mexican place on Crown Street, until it all got too noisy.
We spent most of the night chatting and drinking at The White Horse.
It was there we got into an interesting discussion, albeit it a pointless one, with a drunkish woman sitting next to us. I won’t go into the detail of her argument, but in essence, she was arguing that Sydney wasn’t a particularly friendly place.
She was responding to the admission that Edward and I had met each other in Stockholm, whereas we may not have met each other in Sydney. We both agreed that was true. But we disagreed about Sydney being an unfriendly place. “We met in Stockholm because when you travel your mind is open to new things, and you’re more likely to chat to people and get to know them”, we argued with her.
Aside from that brief interlude, it was just us together having a bit of a chat about our lives. I really like him as a bloke, but there are still some things I don’t feel like I really know about him. I guess, like me, he’s a little secretive, a little reserved.