My Norwegian colleagues were knocked out from massive eating and a need to sleep a bit before their early flight out today. So, they invited us for a nightcap at the Hilton, where they were staying.
It is an indicator of local tedium that people, locals and foreign bastards like me alike, will have business in the local Hilton at least once a year anyway, even in the absence of visitors: wedding receptions, parties, eating out in their restaurant and so on.
We parked; an awful squeal was filling the air: someone pretending to be singing. A teenager at the hotel entrance, dressed in a frock, was staring blankly in the distance. Bizarre. Ah, a function.
Then a black limo stopped and Boy George came out of it, instantly recognisable by his by now constant accessory: his hat. We children of the 80s all went ‘wow’, while Jod and LauraLaura became instantly restless. I was looking at the guy, remembering him being the butt of the creepiest homophobic jokes, and even attacks, back in the eighties, and I thought I would like to shake his hand. Then my customary shyness overcame me and I swiftly disappeared into the air-conditioned lobby. He has a very intense blue gaze.
Jod managed to whisper “welcome” to him and he smiled back sourly. He made a dash for the lift. I don’t blame him. I would also be thoroughly pissed off if I had had to do the dreadful awards ceremony he had just done.
We sat down at the pool bar, which was deserted. I got my martini, it tasted like an alcopop. The squealing and the noise from the function continued.
“What is that?” I asked, when more teenagers in suits and frocks appeared, making their way to the deckchairs by the pool. The squealing was replaced by groaning.
“Oh, a junior high school prom.”, Jod replied.
I choked on my olive, which tasted like nicked out of a Greek salad anyway. I could not conceptualise a prom night for 14-15 year olds, to mark, well, the continuation of their schooling… One of the Norwegians asked:
“Do they do a junior high graduation prom to celebrate their staying on with their parents?”
“Oh, but they stay with their parents until they turn 35.”, I said. Which is inaccurate: most women here just move upstairs to their parents after they get married.