Bar at the bottom of the world

By Caitlyn Bishop

It’s 10pm on a Saturday night and I’m dancing with Antarctica’s only Polish radio operator. The song, ‘V Auche’ by Polish hip hop legend Sokoł pulses through the dance floor as Sylvia and I tear this place apart. In the corner, someone has stuck a colorful spinning light that brought a mood to the floor suggesting something along the lines of ‘junkie basement rave’.  I tried to concentrate more on what move I was about to break out with next and less on the fact that these lights were about to induce a seizure.

How far would you go for a drink?

Sitting adjacent to the rave-light sat the rest of the Polish research crew. They were mostly men and by this point, they were mostly drunk on vodka they’d distilled themselves in the back room of the station. They looked on with a certain amount of uncertainty and displeasure, suggesting this was more of a middle school dance and less of an Antarctic research station where adults lived. Who’d let this American into our station and why was she corrupting our radio operator with her bumps and grinds? I had traveled long and far to get here, and was not about to stop this freak train.

I had gotten to this place, the bar at the end of the world, by first being asked to study penguins. Our place of residence, located on the isolated beaches of King George Island had nary a washing machine nor shower in sight and in exchange for frozen meats and produce, the Polish allowed us to swing by every Saturday night to clean up and party down.

The spirits were always high, the company always warm and ridiculous outdated Polish music in no short supply. These were the best Saturday nights of my life and they were at the bottom of the world.

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