Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Oceana Part I: Blacking Up

[What follows is an account of frankness and sincerity hitherto unseen in most posts of a personal nature by impressionable youths of today. Alcohol plays a part.]

It's weird being a coconut in Cardiff (for those wondering, coconut is a term many Indian and Middle-Eastern Asians that I know use to signify a person who's "brown on the outside, white on the in"; I'm neither Indian nor Middle-Eastern, but black people are actually categorically brown, so there). An acute case of classic jungle fever mixed with a distinct lack of innate dancing skills and effortless charm promised me by the cool black guys on TV, leads to a social black hole that I cannot escape, for it is I. Awkardness, thine name is Nash.

Oceana is the flagship club for all non-aggressive clubbers in Cardiff; it's full of assorted themed dance-rooms (the Disco and "Iceroom/Icehouse (depending on who you ask)" are the main ones, with a weirdly serene tropical themed place downstairs, and the seedy-as-hell Boudoir). They play clubbed-up Top 40 songs and various retro classics from yesteryear. As you can imagine, it's great for white folks.

The only black people I see are the invariably Nigerian (I've asked them all where they're from, always Nigeria) guys in the toilet, and the weird stalkers who follow Danni and Sarah around. Occasionally I see some brothers-from-various-mothers kicking it old-school (or something) in the Iceroom, but this is rare. Regardless, they stick together, like a predatory cloud. I shake hands with them, pretend to be cool, but they soon see me for the phony that I am.

I drunkenly sing along to Britney Spears and Queen, but don't know the words to songs by Jay-Z, Dizzee Rascal or Whale-without-the-"H". Evidently I need to black up a little.

I smile at others; white guys give me a smile back, hug me, shake my hand, dance with me, because being seen with black guys is awesome. Even I think I look cooler around black guys. Then I remember that, considering my condition, I'm always around a black guy. Great. White girls, however, always give me a certain look. It basically says "Oh shit, a black guy!", followed by a quick retreat to familiar territory. Crude of me to say it, but this is a bad situation to be in. "We like our own kind 'round these parts".

Any flak directed at my seemingly-non-PC remarks can be directed towards your nearest gal-pal.

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