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About living one year in the sharing economy…

Day 128: Two drunk rugby players

Yes, I got the haircut. At the first selfie I took I thought I looked a bit like a suntanned nice troll. But it's not that bad actually. It's at least a lot shorter than before. This surfer hairdresser asked me four times if I was sure before he cut as much as I wanted. And then he told me all about his favourite surf spots and good apps to use.

And I got a place to stay. I got no answers from any couchsurfers and all the non-expensive hotels were booked because of ascension day - there are so many French tourists here now. And most Airbnb places were booked too. But finally Mr Jean Serge said I could rent a room in his and his wife's apartment, but only for two days. So I accepted it. I think 80 Euros per night, including cleaning fee, is a bit steep. Ok, it's a very nice apartment. And breakfast is included. But it's further away from the sea than the last place, where I paid 20 Euros. But Mr Jean Serge is trying to convince me why this is a better deal. "You don't have to sleep in the kitchen". Yeah, sure. "And see, there are blinders for the windows here." Ok, yes. "And breakfast is included." Well, thanks, but still... "And it's not a long walk to the beach. Hmm. 

He was very kind though and picked me up yesterday with all my luggage. Then showed me around in the apartment. And his Harley Davidson. And the blinds, that are operated with a remote. It's all very hi-tech.

So after all this it was pretty late when I finally got out to have dinner at Bar Jean, one of the most popular bars by les Halles. At ten o'clock on a Friday evening, during a popular holiday, it's packed with more or less drunk people eating, drinking sangria, and then later in the evening dancing in the bar.

I asked one of the head waiters if they had a table for one. "You'll have to wait!" So I had a beer and a couple of tapas in the bar. Where two big guys started making sign language and stuff to me. If you see a big guy here, it's a pretty good guess it's a rugby player. And sure, they were, two former rugby players from Toulouse. It turned out they had played on the national rugby team of France. Especially one of them was talking to me, but honestly I understood less than half of what he was saying. But he seems to think we get along well and asks me if I want to have dinner with them.

And since I realized it was perhaps my best chance of getting a table I decided to say yes. So it was me, the two rugby players and a woman who was probably the girlfriend of one of them. But he was flirting with other women all the time. It was actually painful to see in her eyes how angry and sad it made her. And then there were a pair of other women who came too, some friends of them from Toulouse.

So there we are, four women and these two rugby players who were drunk enough to try and sing every song they could think of about 'Maria' and spoon feeding us big chunks of millefeuille and other desserts. It was pretty ridiculous the whole thing. But whatever it takes to get a table at the most popular bar in town. 

I guess my reputation among the waiters as "that quiet woman who always comes here alone" has now changed to "that woman who hangs out with drunk rugby players".

Anyway, after eating the morue Bar Jean (cod) and a tarte au citron meringuée (lemon meringue pie) I wanted to pay my share of the bill. It was never my intention to get a free dinner. But they insisted to. "No, no, we'll pay. You can pay the next round of drinks in the bar."

And since I'm from Sweden, where gender equality is important, I really wanted to do at least that. But after going to the bathroom someone has already paid for the first round of drinks. And before I even finish half of it for the next one. And same thing next time. By now this place is crazy. It's people drinking sangria, eating tapas, or grilled lobster or some fish. And people dancing like crazy to, what I gather is, old French hit music. In all ages from 20 to 70. To even get to the bar seems impossible. So after three rounds of rum and coke I give in and go home. There is no way I'll be able to pay for this. And I don't even like rum and coke. What can I say... thanks a lot French rugby for the dinner. I may pay a little more for the accomodation, but if you include dinner and drinks 80 Euros is not that bad for a night.

Here's a video from when I was having some tapas at first. You can see the two rugby players doing a high five.