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The Islamic Nightclub
It is Some Years!
It is some years since I regularly used nightclubs. Looking back, why did I use them?
I enjoyed being with people having a good time away from the constraints of working life. We were fairly self selecting in staying out after the pubs had closed. We were generally speaking young, solvent and single. There was an ambience of relaxation and good music. There was the opposite sex. There was an atnosphere of strange and interesting smells that if I struggle with my memory might well have been cannabis. It was a pleasant experience.
However, once I formed my current relationship my interests changed, and I could no longer be bothered to stay up so late to buy expensive alcoholic beverages in a dark smoky hole.
The Islamic Nightclub
A former student met up with me, and we wanted to go somewhere for a long chat. Where to go? We both drove. He is a practicing Muslim and I will not drink anything if I am to drive, so although we could go to a pub and drink coffee or soft drinks it was not really appropriate, and not very private. The last thing we wanted was for some drunk to intrude into our discussion. Most of the pubs around were not comfortable for the discussions we wished to have.
Cafes and restaurants like you to eat, and we had both recently eaten.
Much to my surprise he suggested we go to a nightclub. I must confess that 3pm on a Thursday had never been my nightclub time. He said it would be open, so off we went.
The club was in an area where there used to be lots of factories and warehouses, and which gave the impression of being an employment desert. On the positive side there was no resident population to be upset by the nightclub users, and parking was easy. It was less than 15 minutes drive from the city centre. We entered a brick building that clearly had once been a factory.
The two story building had a false ceiling at about half way up the second floor. The building was dark, as one would expect in a nightclub. The floor level subdued lighting was adequate. There were about 30 booths in three lines. Two lines were either side of a corridor and the third line was the other side of a low partition. This row was slightly lower, had its own corridor, and was fitted out for smoking shishka. These were like the hubble bubble pipes of Arabia, with various flavoured tobaccos on sale at the "bar".
On the other side of this corridor was a high stone wall with interesting indentations and protusions, and water running down the entire wall - at least 30 foot long. This was complimented by coloured spotlights which changed on a slow cycle. The coolness generated by the running water and the pond in which the wall stood were amazing. I knew of the cooling effect of fountains but this was very strong - necessary in a crowded nightclub. The water noise made a good background, drowning out conversations.
The bar sold a number of soft drinks, and would crush you about half a dozen fruits in various combinations. I had seen elsewhere the dried ice and drink containers they used. The dried ice keeps the fruit drinks cold, and the smoky effect made the drink exotic. They also sold coffee. I am writing another Hub about the coffee which was really wonderful. Later in the day the bar would serve food, but we were too early.
At the far end of the corridors were the toilets which were well lit and scrupulously clean.
There was no cover charge at that time of day. I was surprised to see a bouncer even at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon, but I assume it is just a sensible anti-lowlife precaution.
As we sat and chatted I saw seven young women, very attractive, occupy a booth together. Later a waiter arrived with a tray of smoking fruit drinks. There were other groups from offices, young couples and foursomes. A few shishka smokers started up in their area. The music was turned up as the population grew.
I realised that if you are a young or young at heart Muslim your recreational needs are not met. Traditional pubs and clubs involve mixing with drunks and the establishment revolves around the sale of alcohol. There are always possible racist issues that can arise, particularly if drink is having its frequent effect. Here young mainly twentyish folk were looking good and flirting and having a good time with no need for alcohol at all.
We had a good lengthy conversation and parted to go our ways. An excellent experience.