Let me start by saying this: The nightlife in Europe is nothing like the nightlife in the United States. Nothing. In the U.S., a typical night out looks like this:
We don’t go hard. At all. In Europe, a typical night out looks like this:
Europeans make Americans look like babies when it comes to going out. Namely, Barcelona, Spain…but this isn’t about Spain. That’s another post for another time. This is about my experience in Samos, Greece. It was my first experience with partying in another country and definitely one of the most memorable.
We were an odd group. It was the circumstances that brought us together and the experiences that brought us even closer. It was a Friday night, our first night out in Greece, and we weren’t sure what to expect. We were told there was a big pregame party at a nearby hotel pool. So we got dressed, had a few mixed drinks, and went out into the night. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we were ready for whatever came our way.
Turns out, there was no pregame. All that hype for nothing. To our disappointment, when we got to the hotel, the lights were out and there was not a drink in sight. Okay, so on to the next part.
The early bird gets the…awkward stares
So after the non-existent pregame, we decided to walk down the beach to the bars. We walked up to the first rooftop beach bar we saw. To our dismay, there was nobody there except the bartenders. “Was it actually Friday?” we questioned ourselves. They were so confused as to why we were there so early…it was roughly 11 PM. If you refer back to my infographic, you will see that nobody goes out that “early.” Oops.
Hitting on teenagers (it’s not what you think…okay it’s exactly what you think)
A couple hours, drinks, and conversations later…people finally started showing up to the bars. Since we were sitting near the edge of the rooftop, we were able to look down at all the people in front of the bar. Mind you, it was dark and a long way down. We saw a group of girls laughing by the bar entrance. Justin and I decided to go down to them and invite them up to the bar.
When we approached them, we soon realized that only 1 of the 5 spoke English, and they all seemed to be about 18 or 19. We were about to invite them up to the bar to hangout with our group and learn about their culture when something happened. We asked their ages. Take a guess. Okay, do you have your guess in mind? Now subtract about 100 years. They were 15 years old! Justin and I nearly fell on the ground laughing. I instantly felt bad for the men in the world…girls these days look way older than they actually are. I felt like a pedophile even having a conversation with them.
Real Life “Alice in Wonderland”
After containing our laughter and pulling ourselves together, we told the girls we were headed back to the bar, and we high-tailed it out of there. We ran up the stairs to the bar…and BAM. I felt like Alice in Wonderland. There were glimmering CD’s covering the walls, pink lights flashing everywhere and music filling my ears. This was not the bar we had just come out of. We were so confused because we thought we ran up the right staircase, but we decided to just go with it. We each ordered a shot of tequila and cheers’d. Our bartender, “Delicious,” gave us a good deal on the shots, so we kept slamming them back. After about 15-20 min, the girls found us and led us over to the bar we were originally at. Yes, the 15 yo’s were in the bar. Yes, that’s legal there. Yikes.
Dancing is, apparently, not universal
In said first bar, we met back up with Karlee and Athan. Karlee and I began dancing the night away and then noticed everyone staring at us. When I finally asked a guy why everyone was staring, he said “we pay girls to dance like that.” Oh God. Their dancing was so different, so modest, that our American way of dancing was something they “pay” for.
Stop looking at me with those disapproving eyes. You know you dance like an American too. Anyway, I ended up meeting some Greek girls and they started teaching me how to Greek dance. Now, to this day, I do an awkward mix of American/Greek dancing… As if my normal dancing wasn’t bad enough. Thanks, Greece.
No, you can’t buy my shirt
Alongside all of the previously named differences between American and Greek bars, there was something else I will never forget. I was dancing when a Greek girl came up to me. She asked me where I got my shirt.
“I love your shirt! Where did you get it?” she asked.
“I actually don’t remember. Some store in America.” I replied.
To that, which she said, “Oh. Can I buy it off of you?”
My initial thought was, what would I wear home?? I get nudity isn’t a big deal in Europe, but come on.
What are your European bar experiences? Share in the comments below!