I don’t know if it was because of the champagne, or if it was the red wine we had… or the white wine… or the rose…

It started off as Thanksgiving dinner, and afterward, there was a group of us standing outside in the light rain being really Parisian, smoking cigarettes and trying to decide where to go. “What about Footsies?” someone suggested, and we all concurred that it was a great idea. A couple people raised ciggies to their lips, and Josefine* raised a bottle of rose. It made me laugh.

Footsies is a stock market-themed bar where the prices of the drinks go up and down according to the stock market… even though it’s 1 a.m. It’s not a particularly fantastic bar. It has a veritable cocktail of people – some creepy, some cool – as well as overpriced cocktails. The music is loud and techno-y. The atmosphere is smoky and B.O.-y. But Footsies always ended up our bar of choice.

The first time we went there, all the screens were broken. The second time at Footsies was quite interesting. We were sitting on black leather couches in the attic-cum-lounge area when Lucky* says, “Who wants to play 10 fingers?” Immediately, everyone there shouted, “I’m down!!!” until five minutes later when they said, “Shit… I probably shouldn’t be playing this game while I’m drunk.” Or my personal favorite: “I’ve had sex, in a dark alley… and that’s just the beginning.” The second funniest quote was probably when Lucky said, “One time I was making pasta, until I realized that I had no spaghetti sauce. There were no seasonings of any kind… until I see my jar of Nutella. I think to myself, ‘Pasta is made from wheat. Bread is made from wheat. Therefore, pasta is kind of like bread.’ And let me tell you guys, Nutella on pasta wasn’t all that bad.”

That night, another “drinking game” came out at Footsies: The Bets. It started when Lucky pointed out, “Danica and Eric are getting a little close. I’ll bet that something will happen tonight!” We were not a gossipy group per se, but since that night, as soon as a pair walked off you’d hear, “At their metro stop, 1:45 a.m., third base,” or, “The doorstep of the bar, 1:03, nothing happens.” We were always wrong though. It was the people we didn’t bet on that ended up sneaking off and hooking up.

After Thanksgiving dinner, we arrived at Footsies and headed upstairs. I don’t know if it was because of the champagne, the red wine, the white wine, the rose wine or the drinks at the bar, but something got all of us talking about traveling. It seems that everyone who goes abroad catches travel fever. It’s ironic because it seems the more of the world you see, the smaller you feel, and the more you feel that there’s something still left to be seen. My favorite travel conversation in Footsies was with this girl, Aura*, in our program.

Aura: “…I’ve lived almost everywhere, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia.”
Me: “I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and New Zealand!”
Aura: “You should, it’s beautiful! You should just go. Just do it. Do it and don’t even think about it. I’m so afraid of stagnating. It’s good to get all this traveling done now because when you get a job, you’ll have to stay in one place. So get out there. Sometimes you just have to go for it.”

*Names have been changed.