Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The PD Weekend Pt 1

When Tiesto decides to do an Asian Tour and stops by at Port Dickson for a 2 day concert, there is only three things every avid Trance devotee should do. Apply for leave, discard all prior plans (even if you have to change your wedding) and head up for two days of hedonistic raving.

Plans for this trip started over a month in advance. As soon as Tiesto released his schedule for the Asian leg of his tour, we started drafting proposals and plans to head up as an entire group. This included logistics planning of a magnitude that will make Chan Brothers pee in their pants.

Naturally, as the days got closer and work commitments and deadlines became more evident in the light of reality, people started dropping out from the plans and we soon broke off into separate groups, banding together on complimentary availabilities.

The main bulk of our group was heading up on Friday evening after serving their offices duties and keeping upper management happy. The other 7 of us, excluding CokeWhore who had a last minute cancellation of leave, became the advance party. We were the ones who believed that work was prioritized somewhere after raving, alcohol and a good afternoon’s nap.

And so it became 7. Muthu, Adrian, Faith, Tigerlily, Niner, Lin and me. And to say it was going to be a debaucherous weekend of induced intoxication and carnal delights was a gross understatement, much like calling comatose patients, lazy. So began, our trip to the psychedelic wonderland.

There weren’t many things we knew about Port Dickson to begin with. As the name suggested, we knew it was by the beach and we knew Louis Vuitton did not exist in that state. We also knew it was in excess of a 3 hour drive up. Where it was exactly or what was there to do there, we didn’t bother, but thank God we made a quick stop-over at City Square to get my shoes and change money, because PD was a city boy’s nightmare.

For one, PD was like a settlement. I couldn’t even call it a town because there was pretty much a lack of infrastructure. It was like turning off the NS highway away from KL and watching civilization distance itself so fast, that I wondered if we were going on some humanitarian aid trip to some massively syllabled indigenous tribe.

What made it worse was that I wasn’t even looking forward to our hotel. It all started because procrastination and initial conflict of schedules delayed our booking of hotel rooms, and by the time we actually decided to hit the panic button, we were left with the parson’s nose of leftovers. What we found came as recommendation from TheBody, and we jumped on it not because it had a fancy name and an impressive site, but largely because there wasn’t anything left to choose from.

It was called, Duta Hacienda Rivera. It sounded like some Babylon theme villa by the sea and had several coaxing pictures of spacious rooms and fittings. I was impressed, but when CW told me the rooms amounted to SGD120.00 for both nights, we both did a re-check on the deal. She called them up for confirmation and I re-checked the website.

Me: “Guys, don’t be expecting much about the hotel. I looked beyond the pictures and there were two user comments. One started with ‘Don’t even bother’ and the other had the words, ‘I’m never coming back to this place’.”

I thought that was pretty hilarious. No one else did.

We finally checked into the hotel at the Palms Springs Resort’s makeshift reception lobby, which was missing a front glass wall, and I quickly realized the predicament we were in.

For one, our hotel was situated 15mins from where the event was held, and this was 15mins of driving at a place where taxis were an endangered species and car rental was a concept entirely unheard of. To make it worse, we also learnt that there was about 15km of unlit road between us and the event venue which made walking entire impossible, unless of course we started walking now and pray to make it before next Christmas.

Hands up if you thought we were screwed. I know I did.

Niner and Lin had a separate lodging arrangement which saw the putting up at Avillon, which would set them 2 miles away from the rave zone. So we split for the day. The 5 of us to our apartment for 6 and the two of them coaxing the coach driver to make a detour to their hotel.

Having survived torrid living conditions in Taiwan, I was prepared for the worst, but the great thing was that the rooms turned out to be great. They were huge, came with a living room, connecting doors and great beds. We even had the canal view, which made the Singapore River look like it was good enough to drink out of.

Finding food was however, like finding Atlantis. The place was so deserted, the 7 of us would have qualified as a quarter of total population. You could throw a stone and not hit a shadow. There were no evident public transport around and we had to get by with single file walking along the roadside and had every other car that drove past us mock us with whistles. I hate PD.

Me: “This place blows. God created the World and he forgot about Port Dickson. Entirely.”

Me: “Check out the banner of our hotel, it says prime location. I will seriously hate to see what the suburbs look like.”

Niner on the other hand, had a beautiful room built on supported platforms that extended right out into the sea. The lobby was great, his room was cozy, had a kick ass bathroom and a perfect view of the opposite room, which constantly had three girls parading around in bikini. The best part of it was that there was a free shuttle bus service that plied between the event at the marina and his place. Life is unfair.

We bumped into three girls while waiting for the shuttle service outside his hotel and I started a conversation with them. I knew they weren’t locals because they were dressed more for a club party then they did for an outdoor rave, but largely because they were conversing in Cantonese, had hair meticulously tied up with enough aerosols to puncture a hole in the ozone above PD and looked as confused as the rest of the non-natives.

Me: “Are you guys waiting for the shuttle bus?”

In honesty, I admittedly threw in a dash of slang just so that they would know I wasn’t part of this forsaken settlement.

Girl: “Yes, yes. To err Tiesto right?”
Me: “You girls from Hong Kong?”
Girl: “Yes! And you are from Xing-ga-por hai mai?”

They weren’t exactly the hottest people you would find, but the fact that they were from beyond the Peninsula made them by far the most attractive women on the island, but that was until we saw the rest of the crowd, and I started to gawk.

These girls missed the Tiesto set in Hong Kong in early April and decided he was too much of a god to pass off, so they specially flew here for him. I love them more suddenly.

Girl: “How many of you come here to party?”
Muthu: “At least another 8 more.”
Girl: “Wow, so good. Three of us only. So lonely.”

Tigerlily: “Ask them to party with us la!”
Me: “It’s okay, I’m only interested in the one in red. Then again, I have already done Hong Kong. I’ll hold out for Koreans.”

The red girl eventually said something to me just before they headed in. I don’t really understand Cantonese, she didn’t really speak English, and it wouldn’t make a difference if I got her to repeat, so I responded in the only logical way.

Me: “See you inside.”

And I said that not realizing I was never going to find them in the crowd of thousands. I amaze myself sometimes.

What surprised me were the security checks, which were comparatively more stringent than ZoukOut. They confiscated sweets, barred outside drinks, religiously frisked us and they even checked the wallets. It was a valiant but futile attempt to clamp down on the commercial consumption of drugs, which served more as time wastage than it did as deterrence.

By the time we got in, Ferry Corsten was already spinning. The lighting, the sound and the atmosphere was everything I had imagined. This was like ZoukOut all over again, except better. It was like every other typical rave. Women in bikini top, men in board shorts and hordes of people in sunglasses. Sweat, cigarettes and marijuana perfuming the air, while the thumping bass and pyrotechnics stirred up a euphoric frenzy of body mashing and lung bursting screams.

Welcome to the rave.

This was the Wonderland. The contagious concoction of hard bass, progressive beats, tireless shuffles, fireworks, drugs, booze and a visual parade of skin. This was the trance apteral, the congregation of an unadulterated infusion of vice and liberation, with the only censure to this chaos being that, we were after all in a Muslim country and had to thus abide by several regulations on dress codes.

This was the very reason why the crowds were missing in Zouk and MoS over the weekend. This was the reason commercial drug prices escalated over the last week. This was the reason more daughters will come home pregnant.

Niner and Adrian started going crazy with the beer. By the time Tiesto got up to spin at midnight, the group was already smashed. It was one of the only nights I was more sober than anyone else, which was a good thing, because as much as I enjoyed the event, the hilarity of the entire night revolved around the guys who were pissed high. And I was glad I was awake to sober enough to soak it all up and laugh at them.

12.30am: Niner, Adrian and Lin are still toasting away on beer. I know they are fucked, but they just don’t know it yet.
12.40am: Tigerlily can no longer stand, neither can she speak coherently but that does not deter her from talking incessantly.
12.45am: We still do not have a clue what Tigerlily is saying, but accommodate in her verbal diarrhea anyway.

1.00am: Faith has no idea what is going on, cannot dance to the beat and will probably lose to 7 year old spastic kids with brain tumor in chess.
1.05am: Niner laughs at them and declares his sobriety out loud.

1.15am: Tiesto spins ‘Lethal Industry’. The crowd goes wild, I start screaming, people are rushing forward. Everyone is ecstatic except for Tigerlily, who is still talking to Faith who has no idea what is happening.
1.30am: Tiesto does his anthem, ‘Traffic’. Fireworks go off, everyone starts dancing and in all the excitement, I nearly shit my pants.

By the time it came to 2am, I started to doubt if we were going to last the night. The casualty list was pilling up and I was taking the role of the matured friend by deciding not to drink and look out for the well-being of my other friends. This you have to understand is an unfamiliar role for me and not one that I welcome.

2.10am: Niner comes back and declares his fall from grace in the best way he could think of.

Niner: “Bro, I am fucked. I am not okay. I am fucked.”
Niner: “Bro, this is not funny, I am fucked. We need to go soon.”

2.15am: Adrian comes back and lies beside Tigerlily, who is still talking about random stuff to Faith who still does not know what is going on.
2.30am: Against the backdrop of Tiesto hamming up the dance floor, we decide to leave for what will be the longest 200m walk out.

There wasn’t a crowd streaming out of the place but if you have had to lead and guide a group of pissed out people before, you will know that Terry Fox will cream their ass in a 100m foot race. And this were the random events that happened along the way out.

Faith eventually sobered up and realized that Tigerlily was talking to her all night and she did not understand a word of what she was saying.

Faith: “What is this girl saying? I know I am high, but at least I know what I am saying. This girl is talking rubbish!”
Tigerlily: “Don’t you have to work tomorrow?”
Me: “Nope, I invented Google, I don’t have to work.”

Faith then decided that she would cross the road to hail us a cab, when firstly, she was almost pissed gone and needed support for walking and secondly, there weren’t any cabs available to begin with. Raves, evidently lowers our IQ drastically.

Niner on the other hand decided to bargain with the vendors on the cost of the drinks, which went for RM5 for a bottle of mineral water. He was too high to stay on for Tiesto, knew the beers were doing him in, but obviously sober enough to decide that RM5 was an exorbitant sum to pay for water.

Me: “RM5 for a bottle? What water is that? From the Alps?”
Guy: “Bro, standard price la bro.”
Niner: “How about RM1 for a bottle?”

I turned away for a second to pass the guys the drinks and next thing I know, Niner was mouthing off illegalities to the other peddlers and I had to drag him away before we had to spend the remainder of the trip in the police lockup.

Niner: “Let’s go back to your place for the after party.”
Me: “Babe, the girls are fucked. Let’s call it a night.”
Niner: “No, listen. We will go back to your place for second round.”

If you have tried reasoning with anyone who has peed on sobriety and embraced the consequence of alcohol, you will know that nothing you say will matter, unless it has the words, ‘Okay’, ‘yes’ and ‘you are right’.

We finally managed to get the shuttle service back to The Regency where CokeWhore, who finally arrived at 3am along with the rest of my friends due to the massive jam at the causeway, would pick us up. And this was a bus ride I truly enjoyed.

Tigerlily was still talking randomly and it amused me to no end. She would say random things like,

Tigerlily: “Sometimes I will look into the mirror and see myself..” or,
Tigerlily: “You see the girl infront in blue?”

I turned to see where she pointed, then around the bus. There was one problem; there wasn’t anyone else there, so I said the first thing that came to my mind,

Me: “Yes?”
Tigerlily: “She’s my wife..”

I giggled so hard, the other people behind me probably thought I was having epileptic fit. When we finally got on CW’s coach, Niner who was babbling about second rounds only minutes ago had passed out, which set the stage for the punch line of the night.

As soon as we woke him up at our hotel, it became apparent that Niner had no idea what was going on or what he had been pitching all night about.

Niner: “Where are we?”
Me: “My hotel room.”
Niner: “What am I doing here?”

We all stared at him in disbelief. Faith had collapsed onto the bed as soon as she got up, Tigerlily had no idea of what was happening but clearly had no interest and Lin was pissed because she wanted to head home.

Me: “Why don’t you stay for the night? There is no way to get back to your place.”
Lin: “We’ll take a taxi.”
Me: “There is no taxi around here.”
Lin: “We’ll hitch-hike..”
Adrian:There isn’t even a single car around here..”
Niner: “Where am I?”
Me:We are in my room!”

He gestured, “I do not understand what you are saying.” Which is also the international sign for “I am fucked, big time.”

The ensuing debacle finally led to them insisting that they would hitch-hike back to their hotel, but I was certain they would get shot, ass-fucked, then robbed, in that order, if they ever attempted to hitch-hike. 10mins later, Adrian and I made the trip down to the road to do something I never imagined myself doing, hitch-hiking.

15 mins later, a car finally made a U-turn and agreed to give them both a ride back, for a fee.

Samaritan:How much you pay me?”
Niner: “RM10.”
Samaritan: “WHAT?!”

They finally agreed on the price and left. I quickly took down the license plate number and went back up to sleep. 20mins later, I gave Niner a courtesy call to check if he has been sodomized yet.

Me:Are you back yet?”
Niner: “No, the guy is finding the place. And he just took an E..”

Amazing things young people do these days.