I’m not a party person. I’m not the sort of girl who wants to get on stage and dance with the band. This is something I admit with a vague sense of sadness and regret, as though I am admitting that I don’t like kittens (I do!). Perhaps even harder to admit – I’m in my twenties and I don’t really drink. This admission is often met with confused nods and silence. My drinking amounts to a shandy (that’s right) or two every few months. And let’s be honest – that’s plenty. I’m giggling and snorting like a toddler in a bag of sugar (something I also try to avoid). If I drink much more, I’m going to insist the bartender come home to watch me sob and vomit in her hair. Some people are into that sort of thing.
The problem is that guidebooks don’t seem to think you can travel without beer. Men who don’t button their shirts all the way to the top write hip stories about getting lost in a Mecca of booze. You know, if you really want to get a feel for the place, head to the nearest bar and get to know the locals. Thanks for that, James. James, by the way, was the most pretentious name I could think of. I was going to say Rupert, but then I remembered I know a lovely chap called Rupert who is not at all pretentious or arrogant and probably buttons his shirts all the way to the top like a sensible person. Perhaps he even owns a bow-tie.
Get smashed with strangers. The first few times I travelled without my family, I invoked this strategy whole-heartedly. In Barcelona, I let a boy (his name was probably James) stick his tongue down my throat and attempted to barter my breasts for a Discman before a friend intervened. A friend spent three months drinking her way around Europe. I do believe she let various persons stick their tongues down her throat as well. Funny James, you never mentioned anything about getting to know the locals that well. Is it just me, or is being hung-over just not as fun without a familiar toilet to hug?
The urge to get drunk at last night’s Cambodian screamo/rock’n’roll gig was pretty strong. On the other hand, I now have fully formed memories of teenage Khmer boys with alternative lifestyle haircuts screaming into microphones. They had three guitars. Four, if you count the one made out of air that the lead singer kept wailing on (I do). While I’m not a party person, I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone else fling sweat and arms around under the guise of dancing/moshing (mancing? doshing?).
Have you ever tried to cross the road in Cambodia? I have, but only whilst desperately clinging to my father’s arm. I may or may not have closed my eyes and held my breath. Quite grown-up. He laughs every time, in a way that says oh dear; I think I have a mouse for a daughter. Ten years later and it has never gotten any easier. It is so terrifying that I am convinced that if you attempted to do it drunk, you would die. This might also be the case if you aren’t accompanied by a father. You can’t have mine though, so perhaps it’s best to stay sober.
So James, call me if you’re up for a vigorous game of scrabble. I’ll kick your drunk ass up and down the Mekong.
- rampages posted this