The red and gold shades of dawn were shining through our flight’s window, and all I could think about was my lost wallet. I did however take a few pictures.
Before I let my personal experience tarnish it, let me begin by saying that Ibiza is a beautiful island. Unfortunately for me it turned out to be a case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. How you feel about any place, especially when you’re tumbling from one European city to another in a matter of days, depends a lot on your state of mind.
After landing, I frantically searched for a sign of my wallet, but fruitlessly. No one helped me connect to the Barcelona airport, where I suspected having forgotten it during the security check. Fortunately, my dad had made sure I distribute my valuables well across my luggage, and all my wallet contained was my Forex Card and about twenty euros. Four thousand miles away, and still getting schooled by dad.
The apartment we had booked with Airbnb made us all feel like millionaires. From the bottle of wine left by the host, to the interiors, to the sheer size of the balcony and the hills it overlooked, we felt the classiness wash all over us. You’d expect celebrities to walk out of the cars that were parked there. Of course, only a few minutes after soaking in all this, my mind was like – “Hey you know what? Your wallet is still lost.” In the process of getting my card blocked, my bank blocked my India Debit card as well, since it was associated to the same phone number. Nice algorithm, ICICI. Telling my parents was hard, though the loss wasn’t substantial. Being parents, they consider it their moral responsibility to panic of course. And among all things, I felt I’d let down my Dad. That for me is the worst feeling I can feel – letting your parents down – and it affects me more than any other thought in the world. It was this thought that stopped me smoking, weeks into having started it.
Without any money, I was at the mercy of my friends, and their plan was to relax during the day, and head for a club in the evening. They upped my spirits literally and metaphorically, but oh wait let me get to the part where he get to the club, called ‘Space’. Whoa.
Since there isn’t any public transport in that terrain, cabs are the only way you can commute, and boy were they all amazing. The same classiness extended to the cabbies and the way they talked and drove their swanky SUVs.
Outside the club, some of my circle – which was now bigger, with others joining the party – were looking for drugs. As if their minds were read, a black man approached us and offered us Ecstasy. This was somewhat of a custom on those streets as we found out over the next couple of days. The seekers obliged, and I watched on, anxious to see what it was about Ibiza that made it the biggest party place on the planet.
The first thing that really hits you in the face about an Ibiza club is how underdressed visitors look, clad in shorts and slippers. The odd club will have a dress code, but usually no. It was around ten pm, and the place was nearly empty, because parties there heat up after midnight. We saved about twenty euros by going in early. Big whoop, because the second thing that hits you is when you go for a pint of beer. Twelve euros, please. It’s hard to sink in the fact that you are probably going to spend all night in a club without getting drunk. The teetotalers will disagree here, saying they’ve grooved all their life drinking Mirinda, but wait, there’s more! The price of 300 ml of water is ten euros. There are a very few places in Europe where you cannot drink tap water, and guess which place is one of them. Yep, Ibiza – which explains the water prices.
Now you have a dry couple of hours to kill, with nothing to drink/eat, with nobody to look at except your friends who’re trying to gauge whether the drugs are genuine. By quarter to midnight, the place started filling up. Now all your hopes, and I’m speaking for the sober folk, are pinned onto the club itself and the music. And that my friends is the actual suckerpunch. From 10 pm to 3 am, there are only two or three distinct sounds I heard in the music. They were all on infinite loop. Now some of you might by laughing, “Ha! What an EDM noob.” You got me. The likes of Avicii, David Guetta, Pitbull, Calvin Harris and songs like Lean On are as far as my interest goes. I would have preferred a million repetitions of the polyphonic ringtones on my old Nokia to whatever these guys played.
The drugs, as my friends described, help tolerate this music and make you Popeye for all night, with energy coming out of nowhere. So basically you have to take a special flight to this island, go to a special club, ingest a drug the side effects of which include clicking jaws and inability to pee – all in order to tolerate the night life in the hippest party place ever. Great plan. And I’m not even counting the money involved.
“Abe sab experience karna chahiye! (Translation: You have to experience everything!)” What kind of screwed up logic is that? Exactly who decided it is important to experience everything? Please go expensively defile yourself in whatever way you wish, but don’t rationalize it to others by saying that. In fact, there is no rationalization you owe to anyone for doing what you want. Live and let live.
I do think there were better alternatives for my night. My number one tip to like-minded anti-smoke/drug middle-class people is – get pre-drunk, as much as you can. And note that when an Artist like Carl Cox is scheduled to perform at a club, he won’t show up before 4 am. If the music is not a problem for you, the ambience is actually pretty awesome, and you might have a good time.
Considering the fact that I never liked clubs much, it is not a surprise I was disappointed. If you don’t like spinach, it won’t matter whether your mom is cooking or some seven star hotel’s chef. The fact will remain – you hate spinach.
The one silver lining from that night was quite unexpected. As I looked around in despair, I started talking with one of my friends from the group. And while the loud craziness swirled all around us, we both were discussing human psychology and why people do this. The joy of discovering a like-minded person is incredible, and his sanity that night went on to be a shining beacon in my life later on. I did not take a pill in Ibiza, and I was not alone.