233. The Best Soundsystem In Europe

The largest speakers, or loudest, or best soundsystem, I forget which one, are supposedly found at a nightclub called Flex, on the riverside in central Vienna. The most hilarious thing is that the club itself is actually pretty small! I tell you, those bad boys are really loud. Well out of proportion there!

We went in search of this place, with some dubious google maps directions and an even more dubious cabby, and at last we were thrown out of the cab “Pretty sure its down there” and pointed toward some stairs leading down below a bridge, not seeing or hearing much partying at all. We saw a few people headed that way, and thought “seems legit” and followed. At the bottom of the stairs was what looked like a large beergarden, minus the garden. So really a whole bunch of people at picnic tables, and a bar opening out. This can’t be right, we thought, its really quiet. Eventually we spotted the door, with the glittering “Flex” over the top and realised that upstairs must be the pre-game area. Once we got downstairs our suspicions were confirmed – the drinks were significantly more expensive downstairs than up.

Inside, it was loud, like don’t even try to shout at eachother loud. To get a drink you had to point and gesture wildly and then drink whatever the bartender gave you because it was just too difficult to try to tell them it wasn’t what you wanted. The order of the day was some particularly grimy dubstep, and you definitely need to be a tad inebriated to enjoy a night of that at serious decibels! Many, of course, had taken that to whole new levels, and there were definitely a few crackpots on multiple combinations of not so legal stimulants. One of which came up to me and tried to bite my shoulder. It was weird. Mum and Dad you’ll be pleased to know those self defence skills came in handy!

There were a couple of weird, old guys, pulling out some nutty dance moves. This one was my favourite.

Wait no, that was Rob. This guy:

He was cutting shapes so intensely I couldn’t even get a decent photo.

A further observation, as is common with drum n bass/dubstep gigs, was the male:female ratio was well off. Uncomfortably so. I’m usually not bothered by that sort of thing, but I was very close to requesting an escort to the bathroom to make sure I got back again OK! On that note, some pretty nifty bathroom decorations.

All in all though, a fun night and definitely worth a visit. And for anyone keen to check it out but nervous about the volume, get some free earplugs while you are getting your cheaper drink upstairs!

142. Ping Pong Bar

Also known as Shen Mao, the Ping Pong bar in Aarhus has quickly become our local. It is a truly novel and amazing concept – a tiny little hole in the wall with great music, cheap drinks, and a ping pong table.

The rules are simple, and make for a fun challenge rather than the usual drink/dance combo most bars employ. You can get a paddle for 20kr from the bar, and then at the start of the game anyone can join, and is signalled over by prospective players banging their paddles on the table. When everyone is ready the first person serves, then each person is allowed to hit the ball once, and must very quickly move on afterwards so the next person can have their turn. If you miss, you are out. Eventually the game wittles down to two players, who keep playing until one person is 2 points ahead (according to normal table tennis rules). When it gets below 6 players, people are literally running in circles around the table so they don’t miss a shot! There’s no prize, just the glory/satisfaction, but it is still a whole lot of fun!

They also have some pretty sweet cocktail deals, and I have sinced learned that optimal playing ability is somewhere between cider and Long Island Ice Tea. Or ‘Loong Island Is Tee’ as they call it, with the engrish theme.