dimanche 5 avril 2009

The B.G.O.

Saturday was a Big Gay Out. Kind of like a Big Day Out, but with showtunes.

Really, it was camper than christmas and gayer than the front row at a Liza gig.

The day started with the traditional gay Saturday morning ritual. Clutching head, simultaneously dying because of hangover (due to too many fancy cocktails the night before) and worrying about what to wear. A day at a lovely art museum was planned, but cycling would be involved. Trust me, it's difficult to decide what to wear when it's cold outside and all you've packed is a sailor sweater and capri pants.

Well, my wardrobe wasn't that limited to be honest, but it was suffering due to a thirty minute packing window and the fact that I was on the telephone whilst packing. Never a good idea.

Having selected suitable attire, the three of us bundle into the car and head northwards. Well, Eastwards. Well, towards the German border at least.

We have two i-pods to choose from and decide that we'd play from one on the way out and the other on the return journey. Suffice to say, neither was butch. And my Dutch Irish Friend did manage to pick out tracks by La Garland, Doris Day and Baccarat. He also managed to sneak in a couple of Eurovision tracks and a Bananarama classic too. As I say, not butch, not ever.

So we stroll around the museum, paying particular attention to the van Gogh's, the Seurat's and the lovely arms that one of the fellow visitors is displaying at the end of his lovely strong shoulders. Alas, they only sold postcards of the first two.

Having done the art, we then headed out to cycle around the national park in which the museum is situated. And rather than cycle the 2km back to the car (the direction we came in), we turned around twice, got giddy and got lost. We ended up cycling nearly 10km away from the car before we found a map. the fact that there were three car parks and three entrances to the park didn't help - especially as we had no idea which one we were parked at.

Bewitched, bothered and bedraggled, we found the car and found our way back to the Hague. Arriving home in time to gulp down a lovely bottle of Meursault and some champagne (I did say it was a big gay out), we neck our goats cheese salads and head out on the town.

Now the Hague and gay nightlife. Not really two words you'd put together, but you'd be surprised at how many gay bars there are in town. And you'd be surprised at how much they all look alike. I hope that the eggs, hoops, lambs and bunnies are all out for easter - if not, they have a funny idea of interior deco here.

We judged each of the bars (seven, count 'em, seven) out of ten, based on the quality of the deco, the quality of the patrons, the beer, the price and the general gayness. Nowhere really got above a five. Apart from one bar that got a six, but that was largely because Dennis was there.

At the bar where the old man kept staring at us, I was accosted on the way to the toilet by a handsome (in a beaten up, Rocky Balboa kind of way) guy called Marco. He wanted to know who I was, where I was from, did I like the bar, did I like the Hague. Pretty much chatting me up, I'd have said. But then he said "I'm not gay".

So he's not gay but he's in the worst of gay bars, where the only thing that could possibly make someone want to go in there would be the possibility of meeting other gay men. Hmm? Go figure.

"I'm not gay," he said "but I do like the gay men".

"Why's that?" said I.

"They buy me beers" he answered. Well I guess he's honest. 'Gay for pay' never really does it for me though, and so we moved on.

Having picked up a couple of hanger-onners along the way, we end up as a six-some leaving 'Stairs' at 2am. This is the only gay bar that is still open at this time, so we have to move on to somewhere that is - shock, horror - mixed. I know what this means.

Mixed never means bright young things, getting down to the latest choons. It never means cutting edge fashions and fabulous cocktails.

As I stood back and looked at the crowd of middle-aged men and women, dancing badly to really awful 'house' music, and necking beer after beer, I got a little wistful.

Sure, those gay bars had been pretty ropey. Sure, they had all been decorated by my grandmother. Sure, there were some dodgy characters in them.

But at that moment, I'd have quite happily swapped. Give me a seedy bar with showtunes over this lot any day.

That is, any seedy Den Haag gay bar except the one that smelled like a deep fat fryer.

That one, you could keep. No deal.

19 commentaires:

Henry North London a dit…

Sounds like a fun time... But yes Mixed is dire

Pure Poser a dit…

i'd love to go to a gay club, even though i'm straight. sounds like fun.

btw, who is more shaggable, enrique iglesias or samir nasri? answer on my blog, i value your opinion on this darlin!

12ontheinside a dit…

Something decidedly fishy about a guy who goes to gay bars just to get other men to buy him drinks.

A Lewis a dit…

1982. That's the last time I was in Den Haag.

Victor a dit…

Capri pants! you screamer you...

aims a dit…

Gosh Honey - you're bringing back memories of gay bars and dances in Ontario!

I'm not even thinking of the leather bar my brother took me to - ooh-la-la! (am I saying that a lot in your comment section?)

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Henry, a great time, truly. Mixed is never good, even though it should be, right?

Poser, I'll drop by and give you my opinion properly, but I'd say that Nasri looks about 12 years old and Enrique is a nuisance who used to have a mole. SO I'm going for Mark Ruffalo.

12oti - decidedly fishy. In a 'actually I am gay' kind of way. He had his hand on my arse at one point.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Lewis, to celebrate you 3rd birthday dear?

Victor, I kid...but that's about as useful as my wardrobe was!

Aims the very thought of you in a leather bar tickles me. Hope you enjoyed it...

conortje a dit…

It was just what the doctor ordered!Come back soon and we'll take the BGO on tour to another Dutch city, and we'll surely get a score over 6.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Big C - let's face it, we'd find the only gay bar in Kabul and still have fun...(imagine all the soldiers, he he)

Thanks for lovely weekend x

Brett a dit…

Still sounds like the weekend was a winner.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Brett - it was an absolute winner...

cb a dit…

Even with hangovers, long bikerides, poor packing, and tragic gay bars-- it beats the hell out of mine.

I mostly sat about and did nothing.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

CB - so that'd be sat around, did nothing and didn't answer the phone when people called from Paris...huh?

Daryl a dit…

Well at least the early part of the evening was fun ...

Pure Poser a dit…

thanks for letting me know.

keep in mind though, that i am an adolescent myself. were you hinting to go for nasri?

travelling, but not in love a dit…

D, the whole of the weekend was fun. loads of fun. Shame everyone lives so far away really...

Poser, if I were you, I'd go for Nasri....steer clear of the iglesias boy!

Ben a dit…

Ha! I know exactly what you mean. I had the same thought when I went on a limited exploration of Den Haag's pinker nightlife with a sort-of-ex I went to visit years back.

I remember walking into each one not really sure what to think - whether I should remind myself I was actually in another country or just not in London anymore. In the end I decided that gay bars are the same the world over - drinks, decor and, more often than not, the people you meet in them.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey Ben,

it's pretty much true - the gay bars of the world are all pretty similar, just varying degrees of sophistication....

But always the same mix of people and the pretty much the same soundtrack!