When I was in my first two years of uni, I used to go out clubbing quite a bit, I guess. Though I’ve never really been “into” it, I just went along with what was expected of me and what my friends were doing.
But when I was in Japan, the nearest club was a 40 min car ride away, meaning that I would have to rely on someone else and that someone would probably be driving back after drinking (as if often the case in rural Japan) and also I wouldn’t be able to just leave when I’ve had enough (probably way before anyone else). Despite this, I did miss having the chance to just get dressed up and go out. So, coming to Frankfurt, I was quite excited to go out and have some fun here.
.. but it hasn’t really turned out that way. I never seem to get round to sorting things, and fear of the music being… well, German -lots of noise and beats as opposed to things you can sing along to- has sort of hindered me.
One of the tallest buildings in Frankfurt is the Japan centre, and at the top, every month there is a party. We’ve been saying for ages that we’d like to see what it’s like up there and we finally made it last month, as a girls’ night out. We knew beforehand that they are a little picky on the doors, so we scouted out photos on their website to see what kind of things we needed to wear. Also, it’s always better to go in smaller groups to these things so we split off into smaller groups. As my friend and I joined the queue, it wasn’t so long and we only had to wait a matter of minutes before we were at the front. There were two boys – one Indian guy and one Chinese guy. The bouncer looked them up and down, said “Nope. Sorry” and jerked his thumb to the street to make them get out of the way. This was quite shocking to us… as we were next. I had started to wonder if I really wanted to go into this club at all now. But since we were meeting everyone inside, I went with it.We got in ok, though the guy wanted to know where we are from and wanted to check my friend’s age.
The party itself was ok… up until 11pm it wasn’t overly crowded, the drinks were nicely priced, and the view was breathtaking. However, as I had feared, it was 99% white middle class German 20-somethings. There was one well dressed East Asian guy, and one smart black guy. That was it. We got up to dance but the music was actually German beats-and-noise, up until midnight when they put the lights down low, said “this is when tonight’s entertainment begins!” and then started playing some chart music. But by that time, it was overly packed, people were bashing into myself and my friend and it was pretty unpleasant. By 1am I had had enough, and luckily my friends thought so too so I could go home without looking like a spoil sport.
The experience really made me wonder if I’m just too old and grumpy for this… I really hate having people bash into me – but isn’t that what clubbing is about? I spend half my time positioning myself so that when a certain person continues to knock me, they’ll get a nice sharp dig of my elbow instead.
I didn’t want to give up though. Around the Zoo and Bornheim area there were posters for a “we <3 the 90s” night. Perfect. We DO love the 90s! So we decided to go.
We were a group of 7 – myself and my friend from the Japan Centre party, her boyfriend, and 4 Nintendo employee friends. At the door, we were initially turned away – the bouncer saying that they had a dress code to stick to. What. I mean, I wasn’t in heals (purple flats), the boys were all in shirts .. though they did have trainers on – nice ones though… we weren’t any more casual than the people being let it. After being made to stand in a circle of shame for 5 mins or so, we were told we could go in. As we walked by a comment was made in German apparently not impressed at our lack of German skills. Whatever.
The night was a blast. They played really awesome music, we danced, sang, had oodles of fun. HOWEVER. The people around us were really Debbie Downers. They wouldn’t jump around and have fun like us – when the Macarena came one, we were the ONLY people dancing in the whole place. They did, however dance like idiots and keep bashing into us, so I had my elbowing technique at the ready again. For us, it was like a school disco. Most of the other people were about 10 years older than us, so I guess it wasn’t the same for them. But it was quite shocking how uptight they all were.
When I lived in Japan, I would have taken experiences like this and then make sweeping generalisations about the Japanese people. I won’t do that this time. German people just like different music, and like to stay a little more sane on the dance floor. It is a shame that they pack the clubs way too much – the 90s party had the same problem. It makes it so that it’s impossible to enjoy yourself because you keep getting hurt.
We’re off to the 90s party again next month… let’s hope it’s even better next time!