2007年8月16日 星期四

A foreign Taipei: Luxy

Monday, Silvia, my exchange student mentioned they were going out on Wednesday, and asked if I would join them. "Yeah, sure, I think so." "That's a promise!"

At 10pm we departed from 景福會館, a whole bunch of people. There was Silvia and Lain from Spain, Maria and Betty(who was at 國防) from Hungary, Rebeka from Croatia, Leszek from Poland, Andreas from Austria, and also 朱彥儒。Later on we were joined by Grzegorz from Poland and Vicky from Portugal. We sat down to get some food at a pizza bar first, I had no idea the $70 pizzas were so petit. Lain had 5, no kidding.

I had heard of Luxy before, but have never actually been there. I've been wanting to go to a night club, just to see what it's like, if nothing else. This is the perfect opportunity! I get to dance around tall and imported goods. After all, it's part of their living, so it'd be much less awkward for me compared to going alone.

Ground level before the entrance, people are queueing up like crazy. The line was actually 20m long I think, although turned out it didn't take long for us to get in. A guard stopped me and asked, "Do you have a reservation?" I said I was with them, pointing to my well-dressed, chic, and obviously from out-of-country friends. Hey, is that what it takes to get in these days? Judging by the ratio of foreigners to Taiwanese, I pondered the possibility that there is a discrimination somehow...

600NT, ouch. Lady's night, ladies get in for free. How unfair! If one day I could get in for free, maybe I'd try this more often.

It was SO crowded. People everywhere! We could barely move around. The DJ in front was supposed to be someone famous I think, though I have no idea who it was. Dancing was not really possible at that spot, people were squeezing through just to get in and out. Ah, the lucrative market of Taipei! Just to think of all these people that all paid 600 for their way in. What a business!

Back at the dorm, Leszek had asked me how to say 「你的眼睛很漂亮」, and carefully wrote it down in his palm. Sure enough, he was tapping a girl on the shoulders and induced a giggle out of her. Foreigners with profound features and great body (see Lain) are charming enough, even more so when they're trying to speak Chinese, I guess. I really started to consider the possibility of pretending I don't speak Chinese.

After a while I started to wander around. It was amazing to see the constant stream of people pouring in! All the girls were dressed attractive while maintaining a low mass of clothes on them (Gee, I wonder the correlation between that). And the boys...well I guess I sort of neglected them, as I had forgot. Lots of people were smoking, but I lost track of the scent after an hour or so in there.

In the back, lots of people had a bored look on their face. I wondered what they were here for? Obviously they weren't here the first time, otherwise they'd be poking their head everywhere like me. Do they come to dance? Do they come so they could meet new people? Are they waiting for someone? Or waiting for a stranger to say hello first? There were spaces along the sides, and one in the middle, but once you sit down you lose sight of the stage.

What drives people to this place? Do they have too much energy that must be expelled by dancing? Is it a place friends hang out? For meeting new friends? Or is it just because they have nowhere better to go? (Even more unlikely, in my opinion, for the music?) I haven't got it figured out quite yet.

其實嗨只有一種,就是自嗨。Even in a "high" place like this, with the music booming and a thousand people twisting their body around you, doesn't automatically make you dancing. One has to deliberately make that decision to loosen up and join in. The way I see it, it's no different than dancing to music in your own room or anywhere else, albeit with lower barriers maybe.

The bar show was great! The host was actually taking all the attention front stage, where the Flatland Shadows or something was going to perform. I was making my way around the bar when the guards appeared and asked us (and shoving us) out of the way to a safe distance. I've never seen a bar show like this before! Fire-lit liquor bottles were flying high and low in the bartender's hands, and rhythms to this insanely fast music. He seemed if he could command the bottle where to go, although once or twice the bottle fell out of his hands. The show ended with a giant flame torching (OK, not really torching) the stack of liquor in the middle, created by the bartender breathing fire. It was awesome!

The Flatland Shadows weren't so great, mostly because I didn't even see them. Front row at the bar show, I was way far from the stage. I gave up, and so did all the girls who were obviously much shorter than me. Wandering a little more, I found another room where it was actually possible to dance. With my admittance there was a voucher for a drink, but my quest for the drink didn't go to well. 「這個是在這裡換嗎?」「甚麼?」「這個是在這裡換嗎?」「甚麼?我聽不到!」「…」「你要換什麼?」I had no idea what to choose from! Obviously we had trouble communicating, even in Chinese, so I settled for a Heineken.

After a while everyone came over to this room. They had met a couple people from 東吳, who were hosting a few Japanese guests, although the guests were enjoying themselves elsewhere in the room. Again, I failed to make new friends but for my foreign buddies...

I can see how alcohol fits into this formula. Blasting music with ultra bass, I could even feel my arms vibrating; Constantly flashing lights making everything look staccato, and probably triggers epilepsy; A room where nobody knows who you are, and your face is just plain not visible in the dark. Sounds like a carefully planned setting to demolish your own identity. So while you're at it, why not add a little alcohol to distort your mind more? At its best, you'll be shaking your head up and down in a lot of strangers who don't know or care who you are, and what troubles you might have. Neither would you care, hopefully. That's the point of it all, isn't it?

At 4am the folks decided to call it a night and head home. They had to be up and alert tomorrow at the hospital! Fortunately I had a empty day before me to sleep through. I don't know whatever happened to the plan to take a taxi, but we decided to walk home. It's not really that far, but a whole night out can make you tired. As I waved them adios at 善導寺站, the sky was already brightening up. We concluded the day(night?) by watching the sunrise on the rooftop of the dorm, before going to sleep at 6. All in all, a worthy experience no doubt!