Lifestyle

The Truth About Partying In Singapore: We Stop At 25 Years Old

Zouk — You alight from the cab and start texting your friends frantically to let them know that you’ve arrived. Even if they already knew, you’ll be looking at your phone and pretending to be occupied, because who wants to be the earliest one to reach?

I’m on my way! Sorry for being late I was preparing to leave when my.. You know the lines by heart; you’ve heard it so many times before. You stroll mindlessly around the Zouk compound and wonder if you should use the washroom first just to kill time — after all, your friends won’t be here in the next 20-30 minutes. You think of getting a drink first at the bar because you are thirsty, but who buy drinks for themselves alone when everyone else is looking?

So you drag yourself to the entrance and pay for that S$33 Zouk entrance ticket, which comes with 2 drinks.

Well at least I get two drinks here. Good whiskeys nowadays already cost more than S$20. 

You get your entry stamp on your wrist, step inside Zouk and voila — the sound of the night gushes through your eardrums. It’s the bad R&B which every DJ plays nowadays. You hurry through the crowd that is starting to get bigger, but there’s still space for you to get around comfortably. The night is still so young, you mutter to yourself. Oh wow, there’s a cute girl over there, but she’s with her own group of friends. You think of buying her a drink, but the thought of her surprised and awkward look at you when you hand her the drink (with some cheesy pick-up lines, no less) turns you off. Maybe next time. You stand at the bar and wait for your friends while the club gets more and more crowded. At this point, you’re thinking to yourself that there are probably more good looking people here than one needs to see in a lifetime.

not sure if pretty or pretty from far

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Your phone buzzes and your friends text you to say that they’re queueing up at the entrance waiting to get their tickets. Thank God they’re here! You see them wave at you from the entrance, and you awkwardly try to wave back while holding your drinks in one hand and your phone in the other. Then you finally meet. How are you?, your friends ask. You say everything is awesome and that everyone should get the party rolling. What about the drinks? Should we share? Let’s open a bottle since there are 5 of us. Makes us look good as well. But that’s another S$50 per person. Add the S$33 for the entrance fee, make that S$83. Luckily the girls are cool to chip in for the bottle of McCallan.

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You try to bob around awkwardly, and secretly wish that no one is looking. Where is the alcohol? You shout at your friends, trying to make sense of what they are trying to tell you with the loud music in the background. You blurt out answers in response to their questions, as if you have forgotten how to socialize with friends. But of course you haven’t — it’s just that now you’re at the club, you have to shout really loudly, which takes a surprisingly significant amount of effort. Your friends try to bob next to you along with the beat of the music. When you try to dance along with them, it scares you how all of these have become so unfamiliar; the thought of your bed right now feels really good. Put your hands up in the air, the DJ spins. Really? Where’s the bottle of McCallan?

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And finally the drinks are here! You look around for the friend who’ll save everyone by paying with his card. When nobody does that and the waitress looks around at your whole group with the bill in her hand, you reluctantly draw out your wallet and pay for the drinks first. Your friends show looks of relief — which you catch — and promise to transfer the money to you tomorrow. If they’re not too hungover for that, you think. You pour and pass the drinks around, and everyone has one round of that burning whiskey down their throats. Your friend whips out her iPhone and snaps a photo of everyone in the club with the bottle of McCallan in it. Hashtag #yolo. All of us look cool tonight because we’re on Instagram and Facebook.

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The night gets louder and more crowded, and you hardly have any room to move around. Everyone struggles to finish the bottle thanks to some drinking games that used to be cool four years ago. You’re starting to get tipsy even though you’re pretty sure you had enough carbs for dinner to dilute the alcohol, and you’re positive the limit to your alcohol tolerance level will show itself in another 5-6 shots of tequila. Your friends start to dance with their hands all around one another. Intense.

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The dance floor is full of other (completely sober) guys, looking around for potential lone females to dance with. The guy to girl ratio? 5: 1 probably. You stick with your group of friends and try to dance along with them. The alcohol has worn off and everyone is sober now. You can feel the guy behind you dancing with his back sticking to yours. You try really hard not to lean backwards because who knows? — you might start a fight. You try equally hard not to lean forward either, so your valuable real estate on the dancefloor is not taken up by the sweaty guy behind you who’s also trying to get more space for himself. Why did I come here again?

Zouk Singapore
Image Credit: Asiarooms

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The screen of your iPhone shows that it’s 1:27am. Still early you think, but that also means there’s at least another hour before everyone thinks it’s a good idea to leave. Once in a while, the DJ drops one of the popular songs on the top charts — probably by Hardwell or Avicii — and sends everyone in a 2-3 minute rave. Then the DJ plays some other mixes that you have never heard of and you continue to dance mindlessly with your friends. Finally, someone blurts out, “Shall we go?” To your delight and surprise, everyone unanimously says yes to that. You hurry with your friends through the loud and now rowdy crowd out of the club.

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Your eardrums let out a sigh of relief when you exit the club. There are people sitting along the side curbs trying hard to fight the alcohol. You try hard to stand straight and stay sober. Boy now I feel the whiskey, you think to yourself. Who’s staying in the northwest? You share the cab with a friend and make your way home to your comfy bed. When you finally reach home, you struggle to open the door quietly, change out into a comfy t-shirt, and crash into bed. Forget the shower. 

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So you stay curled up in your bed the whole of Sunday, and Whatsapp your friends to check in on them and see if everyone is okay. You promise yourself that that will be the last bottle of whiskey you order, as you curl up under your blanket nursing your pounding head. Age must have taken its toll on you; you used to be able to consume way more alcohol, and have way better stamina to party late and still be able to go on a brunch date. And you realise you’re only 25. What’s going to happen in the next 50 years of your life?

This article is part of our Vulcan Post After Dark Series. Have a story that you think more people should know about? Drop us a note at team@vulcanpost.com. You will be kept anonymous.

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