My adventures in high school started innocently enough when my aunt asked if I’d take my cousins out once school was out for the summer. I said, “Are you sure you want me responsible for your boys? My mom cried when I was in high school.” (This is not a joke. She actually did cry because she was worried about my crazy shenanigans. This was despite the fact that I was in the top 10 percent of my class every year and graduated with the 15th highest GPA.) Being one of my many cool aunts, she said, “Yes! Of course. They’ll be fine.” In that instant, the lives of her first-born were in my hands…
I really wasn’t sure what teenagers like to do on The Island. I know they like to do the usual teenager things, but things are a bit more relaxed here—as in nobody really asks for ID, so there’s a good chance we could just go to bars instead of the standard house party. I suggested going for drinks at a bar by work, then heading to a techno concert headlined by Hed Kandi…yes, a techno concert. If that doesn’t scream “Carlo has been in
Friday comes along and they pick me up in front of my office. I get inside the car, look around, get introduced, and immediately feel very old. I’m in the presence of four 17-year-old boys and a 15-and-a-half-year-old girl. Why the “and-a-half” you ask? This will be explained later. They have not eaten dinner, so we proceed to the McDonald’s down the street to meet up with two more of their female friends who turn out to have surpassed the “15-and-a-half” mark and have actually made it to the age of 16. This, however, does nothing to make me feel less old.
After “dinner,” we walked to the bar and I notice that even my attire gives me away. I’m dressed in a long-sleeved button-down, and the others are dressed in various attire indicative of their high school age. It wasn’t that long ago you were in high school; you know what I’m talking about—Hollisteresque.
The waiter at the first bar we go to notices the young age of my companions and immediately says, “We check ID.” I probably should’ve said something after saying they wanted to drink at a wine bistro. Next, we try Ice: Vodka Lounge. Nice bar, nice music, and they let us in. So one of my cousins and I go up to the bar to order three Jack & Cokes. After the order, the bartender asks for an ID. As I’m reaching in my back pocket to grab my wallet, my cousin just turns around and bolts for the door. I almost busted out laughing as I handed the bartender my license. She actually thoroughly checked it before handing it back to me. Apparently, as long as one person is over 18, everyone can drink. What a great country. I wish this policy had been in effect in The Americas. The girls ordered drinks separately at the table and didn’t get carded. I guess the policy of letting girls drink no matter what is in effect all over the globe.
We receive our drinks, and I start asking people how they know each other and all your standard BS questions just to see how everyone here is connected. I also ask how old everyone is. The guys say they’re 17. Two of the girls say they’re 16. The girl in the car says, “I’m 15-and-a-half.” I guess those first 6 months of her 15th year are very important. I jokingly say, “Whoa! This is illegal! I’m old!” Then, 15-and-a-half says, “Not in this country.” At this point, I am afraid. I laugh it off and shift the conversation to the local sports franchise or something unawkward like that. I’m afraid she might do something bad to me like the lesbian secretary at our sister agency across the city—she groped me when I tried to shake her hand. It was very traumatizing.
It’s time to go the show, but before we go I have to buy their friends cigarettes. Yes sir, I bought a pack of Marlboro Lights for the young biscuits. We get to the show where they met more of their male friends. The music was really good, but drinks were somewhat expensive so I did not drink too much—I was also with teenagers, so I thought that getting wasted alone would be downright sad. Anyway, my cousins kept trying to get me to dance. I, however, was very aware of my surroundings…mainly the minors around me. Though I am huge fan of a show about a bunch of high schoolers—
We finally ended up leaving at 2:30. My cousins didn’t have a curfew that night since I was with them. They ended up having a good time and wanted me to come out again Saturday night so they could go see this band called Urbandub. Of course, I said yes. I remember the feeling of being able to escape curfew. I didn’t want to ruin their fun. Plus, this sounded more chill, less tiring, and devoid of 15-and-a-half-year-old girls. As an extra added bonus, Urbandub is actually a good band. Download First of Summer.
We went to Capone’s Bistro to meet up with two of their friends. It was a pretty intimate venue. It was probably only 1500 square feet. It’s roughly the size of a 2-3 bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen. The band lit the place up—one of the best performances I’ve seen and I only knew one of their songs.
After that, we met up with my unofficial social director, Marj. She was out and about and only lived a block away, so she decided she’d have a drink before heading home. By the way, Marj is 4 years older than me. This means she was born in 1979 and sharing drinks with boys nine years younger. When the boys got up from the table, she said to me, “Wow! They really are young.” I said “Yeah. They can't even grow facial hair yet. Now you know how I felt last night.” And laughter erupted from our souls.
That was Part I of my high school adventure. Part II involves me emceeing my cousin’s debut. What is a debut? Basically, it’s like a Sweet 16 except you celebrate it at 18, and only girls have it. If MTV Asia did a show in the
In any case, I co-emceed this party with two of my cousin’s close friends. I was really afraid to do this for some reason. But as soon as I started speaking on stage into the microphone, I didn’t want to stop. I felt at ease to the point where I wanted to get rid of my two co-emcees and just do the rest of the party myself. Oh well. Sharing is caring.
It was my first debut because I don’t associate with Filipinos in The Americas. I was very surprised. It was an awesome party. Her band was there. Everyone was giving toasts and speeches. Her friends were singing songs to her. The DJ was playing some good music. Everyone was into it. I don’t think I’m quite accurately reflecting the fun, but just trust me. It was fun. And there were high schoolers.
Fortunately, none of them were making weird awkward comments to me that night so I was able to enjoy the party to the fullest of my abilities. There was also some high school drama at the end of the night when one of her friends was crying because another friend was dancing with the boy they both liked…or something like that. It was awesome. Not for the girl that was crying. I felt bad for her. But I thought it was awesome. I don’t know what this makes me. Oh well.
Those were my high school adventures from Friday-Tuesday. For those of you wondering about pictures…I forgot my camera for the techno concert night and didn’t think it was worth bringing out for the Urbandub concert. I did think a birthday party qualified for pics, so check those out.
I’m coming back to The Americas on Monday.
Until next time…