The title of this post seems to be the most common phrase uttered from the mouths of youths everywhere in Chile. It means "Are you going out tonight?" and the answer had better be yes.
Yesterday was the last day of my intensive language class, so we wanted to celebrate the start of our winter vacation (Winter in July? Sounds strange, I know)
My friend's host sister offered to take us out to a discoteca and since she a) has a car and b) is familiar with clubbing in this country, we couldn't pass up the offer. She took us to a club located about halfway up Cerro San Cristobal, we swerved around winding roads for about fifteen minutes until we finally arrived at what appeared to be a mansion. At this point, she informed us that the club was for people 25 years+ (She's 27). However, it became apparent that this was a rather loose rule since the bouncers welcomed us in with open arms sans ID check. Kind of like in the US?
The late night hours:
Let me just say, the club was absolutely gorgeous and HUGE. When we arrived, we were faced with a huge marble dance floor with a flowing fountain in the middle and two bars, equally flowing with alcohol. But the place was completely empty! It was midnight (I thought this was late) and there were probably twenty people there total, including the DJs and bartenders. For those of you who are unaware of my going out habits, I usually go out a) one night per weekend, b) arrive at approximately 11:30 to a party which starts at 10pm, so there is a decent crowd and c) am in my bed asleep by 2:30am. Now, however, this seems like a pipe dream because the club wasn't hoppin' until roughly 2am! We were among the first to leave at approximately 3:15am and I got into bed just past 4am, the latest I have EVER gone to sleep after a night out
After arriving, we bought drinks and sat down and chilled for about an hour. At first the music was pretty iffy but once I heard synchronized voices of the backstreet boys, I knew that we had picked an excellent establishment. After singing every word of "Everybody (Backstreet's Back) our ears were also graced with "If you wanna be my lover" by the Spice Girls. (At this point, my friend's sister and her pololo (boyfriend) asked us how old we were when this song came out. Answer: 8 years old, this was my first CD!) Clearly we were all pleased with the song choice and as the night continued, we were accompanied by Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyonce and "Paper Planes" by MIA. However, when we all began to do the "shooting dance" to the latter, our company thought we were insane and looked embarrassed to be seen with us.
When more people arrived we ventured forth to the dance floor. Let me reiterate that is is WINTER here, so we all were wearing jackets, scarfs, gloves, etc. Rather than using a coat check, it seems the normal thing to do is to put your coats in a pile on the floor next to you while dancing, everyone encircling the pile in rhythm, as though it is some sort of tribal ritual (credit to Karen Perille for this reference, absolutely spot on). Yet after a whole night of people "accidentally" stepping on our coats and putting out their cigarette butts on the marble floor, today I readily put my fleece in the laundry for a much needing washing.
While they played a lot of American music (we were dead give aways as extranjeros (foreigners) since we sang along LOUDLY to all of these songs in ENGLISH) there was also a fair amount latin-flavored music, such as salsa and meringue. At this point, none of us had any idea as to what to do with our bodies, so we just kind of stiffly walked forward and backward to the beat. (Thankfully, sunday we are going to a salsa club to take lessons so next time we won't be so awkward. ) Some 80's pop wove in and out through out the night and as we were leaving, Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" was blasting from the speakers with the crowd singing along, but in slurred/hummed/murmurred/drunken English.
At times during the night, we just stopped dancing and looked around at our fellow clubbers. Let me just say that much of the style here stems from 80's fabulous, complete with acid wash jeans, leotards and most importantly MULLETS (business in the front, party in the back?). Besides the slight flair for 80's fashion, the appearance and comportment of the gente (people) was similar to that of an American club/party. People meet, drink, dance, drink, make out, regret, drink, etc. One main difference though was that it was abundantly clear that men are the seekers of women and NEVER the other way around. It seemed kind of like a prey-predator process, many of the men stood in groups surrounding the dance floor on an elevated platform, clearly better for staking out the best meat. When they spot their target, they leap forth, stealthfully slinking through the crowd until they capture their intended prey.
Yet overall, a very positive experience, it was fun to go out and just dance and let loose a bit at the start of our long weekend! Monday we have an orientation for the university during the day and then at night, we are hopping on a plane and heading to Buenos Aires for the week! I couldn't be more excited, expect a long and picture-narrated post upon my return!
Shout-out goes to Jess Woll, who I'll be seeing during my trip to Argentina, can't wait to see you and welcome you to life on this southern continent!