Gonna Party Like It’s Nineteen-Twenty  

, , , | Working | September 9, 2019

(In Norway, the legal drinking age is 18 years for alcohol up to 21%, and 20 years for higher. Different bars have different age admittances based on what age groups they want and are set up for. When my best friend, roommate, and I are 18 we start frequenting this bar that is conveniently located for us, because they happen to have our favorite beer on tap, which is unusual to come by. We usually come in and have a few calm beers a couple of times a month. I even celebrate my 19th birthday party there, with fifteen friends about the same age. We are never a rowdy crowd. We stop going there because we move. A year later, on my best friend’s 20th birthday — my birthday is a month after hers — we decide to go back there for good old times’ sake. The following conversation ensues with a new bartender.)

Me: “I would like a [beer], please.”

Bartender: “Let me see some ID.”

(My best friend and I both give him our cards.)

Bartender: *turns to my best friend* “You are old enough.” *turns to me* “But you are not, so I have to ask you to leave.”

Me: “What?! Your age limit is 20?”

Bartender: “Yes.”

Me: “When did that happen?”

Bartender: “It’s been 20 since it opened.”

Me: “Are you kidding? This was our favorite bar for over a year! I celebrated my 19th birthday here.”

Bartender: “Please leave.”

(I have never gone back there. I can’t believe we never knew… or that they never carded us before. It’s been ten years and it still baffles me.)

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