Thursday, December 23, 2010

ZoukOut 2010

As much as I have a disdain for numbers, I believe there are merits for its invention, like giving value to money, undermining my pay cheque, making hot women contactable and remembering milestones.

And when we are validating our holidays, lives and blog worthy material against the backdrop of that imaginary party calendar, then there isn’t one that is bigger than ZoukOut on our sunny island. And how best can I commemorate this momentous event that is helmed by a line up of trance acts that will give even eunuchs an erection, then putting it in statistics.

7 – is the total number of ZoukOuts that I’ve been to over the years. I can’t say that every one of it has been enjoyable or memorable, but I can’t complain much when I don’t even like the idea of dancing with sand between my toes to begin with.

The fact that I’ve continuously and religious subscribed to this dance festival is perhaps telling of my penchant for parties, or maybe this holy tripartite of booze, bikini and babes just supersedes any excuse not to party. It probably even makes having a fire rave party at a petrol station sound like a great idea.

$720 is what I spent on drinks that night - not even counting what the other guys bought -, so you should know that I had enough Red Bulls vodkas in me to give even ammonia in my pee a serious bout of insomnia. It’s unbelievable, if I peed on the sand enough, I probably had enough Red Bull in me to coax it into dancing as well.

1 is the number of cup(s) of beer I had. Let me recount, I started my day at 10am and I had every intention of partying till the break of dawn – and maybe beyond if my feet was blister free – so if my bar experiences served me right, while beer is great for explaining overweight issues, burping and getting ugly people laid, it is not going to help me survive the night.

2am is probably the time when I first got a drop of alcohol down my throat. I am not proud of this, but I’ve learnt that as we get older and brash ambitions, stamina and binge drinking capacities slowly divorces us, we need to learn to pace ourselves or risk an early surrender to fatigue and inebriation.

3 is the number of people I saw participated in a fight which started over spilled beer. If you put your drinks on the ground and expect people to not step on them at ZoukOut, is as optimistically moronic as collecting your feces on a Petri dish and hoping it blossoms into a rose garden. In any case, there were two topless men fighting and one brave woman trying to break up the fight - sounds like Jersey Shore to me.

4 is the number of unopened packets of cigarettes that I had with me on entry to ZoukOut as a favour. I think that is a record.

5 is the number of hours I spent at ZoukOut. This was enough because my only intention of being there was purposefully built around the fact that Tiesto was going to be spinning. This man is to Trance what Michael Jackson is to pop music or what KY jelly is to gays; an integral part of life.

The disappointing thing was that he was no where close to that deliverance of euphoric education that he had when I last went for his gig at Port Dickson. The music was as engaging as a deaf choir in a meat market and it was hardly the visual spectacular than I had envisaged.

I was expecting a carnage of fireworks that would have made National Day look like the musical fountain or an entrance with substantial grandeur that would make landing on the moon look like it was filmed in Disneyland. And the exit was.. hell I didn’t even know he ended. A spaceship to beam him away would have been a good finish if you asked me.

11 am was when RotiPrata finally answered my calls. He had gone missing all night and apparently, he woke up with his pants half down, lying on the grass patch in the middle of Ang Mo Kio, with no recollection of how he even got there – and he didn’t even have cash on him to begin with.

This story took the cake completely and our hypothesis remains that he was gang raped, then dumped out the car. It sounds way cooler than what actually happened anyway, so I will keep it as that.

For as much as ZoukOut has been a carnival of decadence over the years, I think I’ve hit a plateau for the corporeal feast of half naked bodies – well, half of them actually should be wearing more clothes because fats only looks good when you put nipples on them – because I am too pampered with plush sofas, air condition and excellent bar services to want to be squeezing through an army of sweaty bodies.

But I’ll never learn, or maybe I don’t want to because perhaps deep down in me, I know that surrendering an attendance at ZoukOut is sign of growing up. And I don’t want to. And in the words of some retro male singer minus your dumb mambo hand signs,

"I want to be forever young”

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

So That's Minimum Wage

The only thing that I took out of China over the last week, other than cup noodles and a tempted will to resist buying a fake iPhone 4, was respect for the majority of the population who are earning a wage than will make flipping burgers at Tampines look like Gisele's catwalk fee.

Okay, I have to be honest. I'd be lying if I said it was respect in entirety because it started with me laughing and telling them to stop joking about it, and then it escalated into amazement, then somewhere down the line when my conscience started warning me about karma, I decided that I would respect them instead. Only because I'm trying to be a better man.

But Butterfly, it's all about being relative to the cost of living index. I know all about these indexes because I invented them when I was drunk and peeing on one leg. And it is because I am measuring against a bevy of lifestyle costs, which I believe to be essential to life like toilet paper, milk and condoms.

In my measure of quality of life and necessities, I have included an irreplaceable list that otherwise absent in life, would prove detrimental to an adult psyche. This includes, beer, vodka, McDonald's and cost of handjobs, along a list of many others.

For the sake of those of you who have never taken economics, geography or sociology, I will explain in brief on how we ascertain cost of living. In simplicity's sake, you take your pay and you divide it against how many Big Macs you can buy and if that other persons pay yields about the same in their country then the cost of living is equal. This is the essentials, because I am asleep when lectures get technical.

I wouldn't say that Zhuhai - the part of China where we were in - was particularly cheap because it bordered Macau and as with the law of proximity, you fuck up everything that is around you. It was not as with some ASEAN countries where you know you can walk in with a USD100 bill and maybe come out with the property deed to a shopping mall.

The other day, we spent an entire afternoon at one of their popular massage centres and I decided to have a foot reflexology because at SGD$20 for an hour, it would have been blasphemous if I had given it a miss.

In general, I do not like making small talk when I am having my feet rubbed because I don't want my masseuse to get distracted and damage my kidneys from pressing the wrong nerve endings, and also because I am not proficient in Mandarin.

But this masseuse of mine kept going on and on about her life for some reason, I could have swore that she was a book about self perseverance in disguise. I had no interest in her ranting until we came onto the topic of salary.

Me: "How much do you earn?"
She: "RMB13 for every one hour foot massage."

I immediately did a quick mental calculation and discovered that she makes $2 per hour, and this is only if she does a session of foot massage. I thought it was a joke and I wanted to snap a picture of her and have all fast foods in Singapore pin it up on their staff board just so that people working there can feel good about themselves.

She: "Good days we get about 4-5 customers."

It's like cheering for mediocracy or giving the guy who came in 5th in the race a standing ovation and a one page interview. All I heard was $10 per day and this girl was beeming with delight that I was her fourth and she might just break her record for day earnings.

And at the same time, a part of me started to respect her because for alot less effort - dignity and clothes -, she could have sold her body and soul - debatetable - to the open arms of prostitution, but here she was, toiling for a months pay which she could have otherwise with alot of makeup and cleavage, gotten in a day.

I am by no means saying that I respect prostitutes any less because I genuinely belief that there are women who are in this trade simply because they love sex or having men push them around, as opposed to rubbing a fungus infected foot that has gone beyond the salvage of Dettol.

It was a lesson in frugality and thrift and you know that this girl had all the right qualifications to present the lecture because she had a tight budget that allowed her $2 on meals daily and a no alcohol or cigarettes policy.

She: "Sometimes customer will give us tips and that's where we earn more money from."

I pretended I couldn't read the English numbers on her tag after that.