City wanderings - and a pilgrimage to some of the best eating and drinking spots in Brussels. Or maybe not eating or drinking - ah, oh well.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Le Corbeau

I've missed you, blog.  For whatever I have been doing these last couple of weeks hasn't been nearly as fun as wandering, bar visiting and eating.  This morning I went for a run.  Blogging is like running, I thought, as I ran round in circles: the longer you stay away from it the harder it is to begin again.  But carrying on is much better than slipping backwards!  Coming soon: some articles on bars in Saint-Gilles.
I  have Professor Nakanba to thank for the theme of today's article.  I came home to find him there, neatly cut to size in my letter box.  "Whatever your problem, contact the Grand Voyant Medium Astrologue", said the note.  I read on, intrigued.  Now what, I thought, is a maladie inconnue?  I thought a bit longer, and then I came up with one!

Several weeks ago we were planning to go out of an evening.  This "we" is myself and some girlfriends.  We sent emails and text messages and might even have deployed facebook.  So far, so normal.  Or was it?  Fixing up this one evening took two weeks of hesitations and negotiations, and when finally the long-awaited day came around a month later I felt deflated, cheated, I wasn't even sure I wanted to go. 

Right.  But I did go, and when everyone turned up we ate and drank and I could almost forget the amount of effort it had taken to organise.  And then one of my friends said; "we're going to Le Corbeau, wanna come?"  Yes, I said, almost without thinking at all.

You see, past the grey frontage and the bulky black-suited hulk guarding the entrance this is a bar where we are - or for a couple of hours can at least pretend to be - spontaneous.  Because on a Friday or Saturday at a quarter to Midnight people get up on the tables and dance on them, without apparently agreeing anything amongst themselves at all.  No emails, no text messages, no facebook.  Just one look, and they clamber up and dance, pretty un - self-consciously.  You can almost pretend that you're that first group of people climbing on to the table podium for the first time, waving arms and shunting bottoms and making amused eye contact with all around, conscious of doing something a little out of the ordinary!  Yes, I'm here, so what, the raven is unperturbed.  No matter that this is now replayed every week in Le Corbeau, and the bar is doing very nicely out of it thank you very much, with men expected to grease the palm of the doorman on the way out (or so I'm told).  We can all shuffle a bit one way on tables, the music egging us on, making us believe that we can also do it, we can be spontaneous! 

So come to Le Corbeau, please.  Take a friend, a jacket, twenty euros, no more.  Come of a night where you feel flat and need a lift.  Drink just enough to avoid a squeeze through to the toilet (singular).  Call more friends; give them a couple of hours to get here.  If you're at a stage in life where partners need to be consulted, a babysitter arranged and dinner prepared before you can even think about it, then you've either arrived or something - that S word again - has been left behind.

As for me, I'm not prepared to give up hope of spontaneity.  Not yet!  Dancing on tables is not just for students.  

Spontaneity on tap.  Every Friday and Saturday like clockwork it comes back.

18, rue St. Michel
1000 Brussels
02 219 52 46

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