This week I’ve moved into a new house-share. I imagine I might write a few posts about that (*looks at the two draft ones he’s already started*).
I’m sharing currently with two Hungarian guys, and one Frenchman. There’s another room just been agreed by a girl (British, white), and when she moves in – that will be the house full. The Hungarian guys have been here a week, enjoyed a few days of unseasonably-glorious sunshine, and are now a bit bored/freezing as the cold weather has returned, and their National Insurance numbers haven’t turned up yet, to allow them to try and find work.
The Hungarians have hit upon the idea of going to a “discothèque” this weekend, and as the only ‘local’ in the house, they’ve asked me where a good one is. They also want me to go with them. I’ve told them immediately I hate clubs, dancing, and don’t drink. I couldn’t be less interested if they’d invited me to a live assassination, or a vegan restaurant (come on – there is NOTHING that doesn’t taste better with a bit of butter or honey rubbed all over it).
Thus far, I’ve been pleading ignorance on where such a venue might exist. And I’m not just being a dick. I really don’t know. I guess there are some on the harbourside, probably – if they haven’t all shut down in the many years since I last went. Maybe some off Park Street somewhere? Whether they’re “good” or not, depends on how you measure them I suppose. I quizzed what sort of music they might like to listen to, but as their reply wasn’t “the sort of stuff Nation/Xfm/Absolute Radio play”, I’m still at a loss as to where to recommend for the sort of shite you might hear on a typical commercial radio station.
There’s nothing that appeals to me about mainstream clubs. It’s the sort of music I wouldn’t listen to if it was on the radio for free – let alone pay £10 entry to listen to someone else play. I only dance when I’m drunk, but it has to be the right sort of drunk. I’ve a rather awkward relationship with alcohol.
Three facts you should know about me and alcohol:
- I don’t like beer, or lager. On taste alone, I only like the things deemed to be gay or very feminine, like Archers and lemonade or Malibu. I will manage half a cider (not Blackthorn..eugh…something nice like Thatchers). Very, very slowly.
- I hate pints. Of anything. “Pint of orange juice sir?” No – of course not. What sort of twat wants a pint of orange juice? Why not just drink it in normal quantities?
- I’m drunk enough after one drink. I don’t get any drunker in a good way.
Half way down the first drink, I feel a bit merry. Towards the end of that drink, I don’t want to finish it, and if I have to have a second, I will sip it a record-breakingly-slow speed, to make it last the rest of the night.
I’ve never been a ‘good’ drinker. At college, as soon as I drank enough that I was sick, I never wanted to do that again. When I was about 22, a friend of mine from college won two tickets on a Club 18-30 holiday to Corfu. As he was single, and it was being booked at short notice, he invited me – as I was available.
I was a little uneasy about this from the offset. He had won it in a competition he swore blind he didn’t remember ever entering. What if this was a really elaborate practical joke? (It wasn’t.)
Also…me?… on a Club 18-30 holiday? I guess I thought I might get laid (everyone does on Club 18-30 holidays, right?), and I could take a week off from the boring job in a call centre I had at the time. And who would turn down a free holiday?
The actual holiday started with me upsetting a Club 18-30 rep by telling her I wouldn’t be buying many of the overpriced excursions she was selling, because I didn’t have that sort of money (I didn’t put it quite as crudely as that, but I probably did point out the fact they’d plied everyone with alcohol before they took bookings). Due to this, I successfully got out of paying for (and attending) the ‘booze cruise’ (which could just as well have been renamed “a whole ship full of drunken arseholes”) and a couple of the other alcohol-fueled trips.
While I didn’t fit in AT ALL, my friend didn’t fit in much better. On the first morning we were there, we went to the hotel bar and queued up. People in front of us bought Budweiser (at like 10am? Bit early for that, isn’t it?), my friend orders “a coffee”. The hotel barman is delighted he gets to do something more interesting than opening a bottle, and starts working on the most elaborate Cappuccino he can muster. He takes my order too “a cup of tea?” and starts something equally elaborate, lemon-infused (I don’t really like lemon tea, but he was going to a lot of effort). This takes quite a long time, and by the time me and my friend have got our drinks, there’s now a queue of about 10 angry people stood behind us, money in hand, ready to get their Budweiser. We bought a kettle for our room, that afternoon. Sadly, this meant that the only people ordering from the barman for the rest of the week were narrow-minded dicks complaining about how little English the barman spoke, and a bevy of ropey chavvy girls throwing themselves at him. Poor bloke.
On some of the days I got drunk and made a twat of myself. A side I don’t wish to see again. I spent a week in Corfu and saw nothing outside the road our hotel was on, except for a waterpark on the penultimate day (one of the few excursions I accepted) which I rather enjoyed. There were other holidaymakers (British and other) there, who were there to enjoy themselves and ride rubber rings down some slides. It was slightly marred by the people from our coach playing stupid games on the way there, and drinking on sun loungers the whole time we were there. Some didn’t even get in the pool. We passed some very picturesque places on the way there (and again on the way back), but didn’t stop – obviously.
On the last proper night, determined to avoid the wankers and do something romantic like watch the sunrise, I went and sat on the beach and did it on my fucking own. Quite a sombre end to a beach holiday really. A security guard from one of the nicer hotels came out and checked if I was alright, and wasn’t planning on drowning myself.
It didn’t end on a high either. Our hotel checkout time was noon. We paid extra to keep the room til 6pm. The coach to the airport wasn’t going to turn up til 2am, so we had 8 hours of carrying all our luggage, lest I not be able to answer “no” to the question of if my luggage had been unattended at any time. About midnight, now very bored, I walked across a yellowy/brown tiled floor in the hotel reception, and slipped on the pool of invisible liquid that was currently sitting there. Upon seeing it had come from the bathroom, I instantly assumed that I was now lying in a pool of other people’s piss, and started an expletive-filled rant that I’m sure all of reception and half the rest of the hotel must have heard. (Upon closer inspection, it was actually just a tap left on, on a blocked handbasin. I apologised to several people for my outburst.)
Despite all this, one thing Corfu has going for it (especially when I went in May), was that the club/bar owners want you in, to drink and spend money. They’re all open-plan so you can move away from the noise – you’re not hemmed in (you can also walk from one to another still holding a drink). One of the most depressing moments of my drinking life, was watching a friend of mine try and convince a Bristol doorman to let us into a shit club that I didn’t want to go to in the first place, so that I might pay £8 entry, and £5 for a copycat brand of Smirnoff Ice, to enjoy this activity even less.
In the years in between, I’ve got my drinking down to a fine art. One drink = half merry. Next bit, bit bored – I should go now. More = depressed, convinced everyone is having a better time than I am, wishing I hadn’t come out at all.
I don’t drink, don’t dance, and won’t like the music. They’ve asked me several times about this “discothèque” situation, and they seem convinced that if they keep asking me, I’ll go eventually. It won’t happen obviously, but should I find them somewhere to go without me and advise them of the appropriate buses, or just plead general ignorance, and hope they realise I’m as boring as the persona I try and sustain? (Which to many people is probably true.)