Friday, September 28, 2012

You'll never believe this.

Ok, so I HAVE to tell you about the crazy experience that I had this past weekend...

So, I had heard about Zipper Nightclub from a friend of a friend, but what with unpacking, trying to understand the t-bana, getting a PhD, and realizing that I live WAY too far away from civilization, I didn't really have a chance to check it out.  But, this past weekend, I decided that it was time to start exploring.  So, I put on my best dancing shoes (which are apparently converse all-stars) and set out.

The club is a really nice 18+ spot situated at the corner of Sankt Eriksgatan and Alstromergatan.  It's easy to miss, but if you see spikily cropped hair and skinny jeans...wait, you might just be anywhere in Sweden...nevermind.  It's easy to miss if you don't know what you're looking for.  It is a little pricey to get in, and drinks are expensive, but the bartenders are nice and the music is good.  There is a pretty wide age range there, but, while it's not what I'm used to coming from the extremely age-segregated Boston theater district, it had a really nice vibe.  The dancing really started to pick up around midnight/one o'clock and it was FUN, just what I needed to start feeling a little bit more connected to this big, foreign city.  But, in the midst of all this sweat, adrenaline, and fist-pumping realness, I lost track of time...

I completely missed the last commuter train back to the 'burbs I (not so fondly) call home.  Luckily, the train station where I was stranded is close to my lab so my plan was to go to the lab for a few hours to nap and then catch the first train home in the morning.  I suppose I could have taken a cab, but cabs in this city are DUMB expensive, and honestly, where's the fun in that.

So I was walking to the lab, when out of nowhere I hear this beautiful voice coming from an apartment window about two stories above me.  Maybe it was the night air, or maybe it was just that moment, or maybe it was that cathartic feeling you get when you finally feel accepted by a new city, or maybe I'm just actually going crazy, but I stopped to listen.  

She really was amazing.  It was like she was just up late talking to the night through song.  I felt like this was one of those poignant moments people tell about when they are regaling loved ones with tales of their travels in Europe.  Like in the movies, when the main character is contemplatively strolling along, having just had some sort of life-changing experience and then comes across a stranger who puts everything into perspective.  It was like that. 

Then she stopped singing...

Maybe it was the night air, or maybe it was just that moment, or maybe it was that stupid catharsis, but I called up to her, "Don't stop!", at which she looked out her window and started to laugh. 

"What are you doing out here?"
"Well, I missed the last train home..."
"Where are you from?"
"The US."
"Oh yeah?  I lived in New York."
"Oh cool, where are you from"
"I'm from here, but my Mom's from New York and my Dad's British."
"Oh, yeah, you don't really have a Swedish accent."
"Yeah, I really don't...haha.  Well, what are you doing in Sweden?"
"I'm here getting my PhD."
"Oh yeah? In what?"
"Biomedical science."

(uncomfortable silence due to the fact that I'm creepily standing outside her window like a creeper)

"This is seriously the most surreal thing that's ever happened to me."
"Yeah, me too!  I'm like, just walking home from a club and hear this AMAZING voice and next thing you know I'm talking to a stranger in her window!"
"I know!  This is seriously crazy!  But...where are you going?"
"Well, my lab is pretty close so I was just gonna go there for a few hours until I can catch the first train home."
"This is really weird to say you want me to drive you home?"
"What?!  Would you really do that?"
"Well, I'm awake, and I have a car right around the corner..."
" know what? Yes.  Yeah, that would be really great."

So it turns out that it wasn't the night air or the catharsis.  I'm just crazy, but that is how I met Sarah Dawn Finer.  She came downstairs and we got into her car and she drove me all the way out to the middle of nowhere Sweden.  We chatted all the way and decided that we had to be friends.  I actually didn't find out who she was until I got home and looked her up.  As I was asking her stupid questions like "What do you do?" and "Oh, what kind of music do you sing?" she was trying to politely tell me that she's a famous singer/songwriter/actress, but I guess my feeble mind just couldn't grasp the concept... But, I guess, on the bright side, I wasn't starstruck until I got home. We had a few great laughs on the way, and she helped me find a good place to get my hair cut, and she was just a generally nice and positive person to have met.  It was a great end to an already great night.  It would be great if we could remain in contact, but...I don't know, she's famous and I'm...well...not, so you know how that goes.  I guess we'll see.  

In any case, thanks Stockholm, I owe you one.

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