Sunday, January 23, 2011

Awkward night out

A friend of mine, A. and I went out in Oslo last night. First we had dinner and then decided to go out for drinks. Wanting to try something international we headed to an African bar. Good music, but it was a bit on the quiet side. We had a beer, danced a bit and then A. went for a smoke. Me and my friend realized that people around were staring at us more when A. left, but did not think much more of it. A. comes back with a Norwegian guy, he blabbers a bit about Brazil being all about Copacabana and girls in thong bikinis and about French girls being very liberal (my friend is French). After a while he excuses himself by saying: "Ok then, nice to meet you, have to take care of my prostitute." All 3 of us were a bit shocked at how candid he was about the situation (and A. about how liberal they are here). And we soon started to look around the bar and surely there were lot's of couples of old white guys that came in by themselves and were now being entertained by young African girls. The Norwegian confirmed that most women at the bar were prostitutes. He left and said to A.: "good luck with them!" (looking at me and my friend). Weird! We left shortly after.

We then headed to another bar, more upscale, younger crowd. We sat at the more silent part of the bar sipping some water while A. went to get some drinks. Soon a young blond (and seemingly very drunk) guy approaches us, sits right next to me and starts speaking Norwegian to us (which neither of us understands). He continues in Norwegian... Then asks my friend where she's from while sitting much closer to me now. She replies and he attempts some French (very slurry). He finally seems to understand that the way to go is English and asks "Prostitutes, yes?" and points at us. What?????? Sorry but we're both too overeducated for the profession...

Considering that neither of us was using revealing clothes and had no makeup on it begs the question: what makes 2 women out at a bar in Oslo seem like prostitutes? Are women never going out by themselves? Or did we not look enough like locals to indicate that we might have been there for other reasons than to have a drink?


  1. Oh my goodness! That is disturbing. That's one of those situations in which you wish you had a snappy comeback. What did A. say?

    I was once mistaken for a prostitute by a West African man. I was waiting for the bus dressed to go to an art museum (knee-length khaki skirt, white blouse, comfortable shoes, tote-bag) and this guy came up to me and started telling me about his wife and kids and how his wife didn't like him anymore. After I advised him to go see a counselor or a priest, he said he "needed something more" and said I should get in his car with him. Yuck! I just kept looking for the bus to come, but it never did, so I retreated back to the apartment and never went to the museum.

    It's scenes like this that make you frightened to try out new places.

  2. Hi BBBB,
    Nice to see you here ;)
    I wish I could say we had a smart answer but mostly we just could not believe what we were hearing until it was too late. A. tried to go after the guy at the second bar when I told him what he'd said but I refused to point the guy out (after all he was pitch drunk).
    Geez, your experience sounds terrible too. But I hope these random incidents with weird people don't keep you from discovering new places. From experience even locals would find these stories weird.

  3. Most of my friends in Dubai have a prostitute tale to tell sadly. I was once waiting for a friend outside a shopping mall in a residential area and was asked "how much". As it was winter I was wearing jeans, shirt and jumper (sweater) - the only parts of me visible were my hands and face. Dumbfounded to say the least.