I mentioned before how difficult it was to make friends here when I moved to the Netherlands. Although Leiden’s nightlife includes a decent range of bars and a newly refurbished venue that regularly hosts music nights, there are few social activities that aren’t family oriented or reserved for students. After countless Saturday nights sitting at home with pizza and a DVD, I decided to bite the bullet: I went out dancing by myself. Here’s 5 things I learned after my night out flying solo.
1. Everyone looks so young.
Just before I left my flat I debated taking my ID with me. I’m nearing 30 and I’d like to think all those years of sleeping with my mascara on have counted for something. Apparently not. I didn’t even get a foot through the door before being asked to prove my age and upon entering the venue, I saw why. I didn’t actually think it was possible that I could be compared to these foetuses in heels but I’ll take a compliment where I can, thank you.
2. Drinks are still the same.
Nothing has changed in the 10 years I have been drinking. Vodka, check. Rum, check. Whisky, check. How are we still getting drunk off liquids? Why hasn’t anyone invented something made of air yet?
3. Photos are out, videos are in.
When I was at university, photos were a good way to find out if someone had a better night than you did. But now that one time shot of your dance floor hoedown on Facebook has become 15 seconds of excruciating humiliation on Instagram. Twerk at your own risk.
4. Smoking is still a popular way to meet people.
Despite the public smoking ban, bars and clubs have found a way to accommodate those unable to function without their routine puff of nicotine. (No judgement here, we all have our vices). See that small room with poor ventilation, where people dripping with sweat are so closely huddled together they could collectively inhale each other’s smoke? There’s some serious solidarity going on in there. Hands down they’re having more fun then some of you lot just standing there on the dance floor.
5. Nobody cares that you’re by yourself. Seriously.
Nobody is looking at you. Nobody is watching you dance funny. We’re all too preoccupied with our own shit. So get your dancing shoes on, wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care and every other outdated phrase relevant to this sentence. HAVE FUN!