The door to the bar burst open. Blaring noise pored out onto the parking lot, as we stumbled out of our car. Holding our ears we entered the sweaty room.
The bar was at one end, the band along side. About 200 people packed the tables. An aisle snaked through the crowded tables forming an irregular “U” through to the back of the room before it returned to the dance floor in front of the band.
The waitresses, holding trays of beer and ouzo at shoulder height, passed among the dancers swaying as they stepped.
The band was a bunch of bald headed guys in tight white shirts, buttons straining. Three instruments that looked like guitars but sounded high pitched and feverish, an accordion and a bass. Their red faces bursting out some Balkan love song.
The dancers, oh the dancers …
At the start of a song people would bounce up from their seats, form a long line that snaked through the aisles then back to the dance floor, around and around. Hand in hand, a hop, a back step then three steps forward.
The leaders were always men. A large white kerchief held the leader from flying into the crowd as he showed his machismo steps almost falling only to leap up again. The second in line then had his turn in front. Hoopa, Hoopa the crowd called out.
It was too much. We had to join. Hop, back step, a pause then three steps forward …