Monday, April 7, 2008

Gossip and 17 Bar

We had a little outing on Saturday night and I have to admit, it was my first experience with Vietnamese clubbing. We started at 17 Bar, which was nice but strange. It's a cowboy themed bar and the live band starts around 9pm. The waitresses tried to push the whiskey, which seems apropos for a cowboy bar. I was hoping for some red wine, but failing that I tried the margarita, which was tiny, even by Vietnamese standards. Sadly I switched to beer after the attempt to be different. On the plus side, the waitresses were quite flirtatious, which amused my wife who was sitting next to me.

One of the best things about 17 is that they have decent free popcorn. This is a good move, as it keeps you drinking the beer. At one point they fired up a grill outside and were giving away grilled sugarcane shrimp. It was quite tasty. Like the popcorn, the shrimp was free.

At around 9pm the band started. The consensus around my table was that the female singers were lipsynching the Alanis songs. The male singer, who was obviously not lipsysncing, mutilated Hotel California. We decided it was time to leave.

We tried to go to another club (Mayhem?) which was closed. We ended up at Gossip. This place had a constant stream of clubers arriving when we got there. The cover was 120,000 VND which got you a free beer or soda on the inside. The dance music was so loud that it wasn't really possible to talk. Here the waitresses again were pushing the whiskey. About half the tables had a full bottle or two of something. Again, I was disappointed by the wine selection: none. I opted for my free soda: Pepsi, no Coke. After an hour or so of nodding our heads to pounding music we decided that we had had enough excitement for the night. We did sample the fried food selection. The calamari and shrimp wasn't bad, but I shouldn't be eating that crap anyway. I don't know what I was thinking.

One amusing note. I noticed that in the men's room, they have a selection of combs and even a toothbrush in case you want to primp. I couldn't resist taking a picture (see below). I would have to be pretty drunk to use a shared toothbrush.

My advice for going out, eat dinner first. Head out early if you want to actually talk. Don't forget the earplugs.