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The Halloween Cocktail Party

Soundtrack:"Roxanne" by the Police

The weekend of Halloween I was introduced to a fine Prince St. East tradition: the costume cocktail party. 10 pounds for all the alcohol you can drink. Theoretically. In reality, it's all the alcohol and mixers they can buy with that 10 pounds. So about ten hours worth of alcohol. Not "all" we can drink.

The party was, of course, a costume party with the specific theme, "come as your worst nightmare." I didn't have much for a costume--I've never put much effort into costumes, so I just dressed up in a shirt and tie and claimed I was an accountant. Which is true, that is one of my worst nightmares.

The Halloween party set the tempo for all the cocktail parties to come. Assemble in the dining room at 8:30 to get served punch out of plastic trashcans. Each individual glass is small, and the punch is fairly dilluted, which means you drink a lot. A lot.

It's pretty unstructured; the jukebox is free, so there's a diverse group of music to dance to, and by the time midnight rolls around, everyone was dancing. The two tables pushed up against the wall were covered by a swarm of people, rocking them back and forth. They were severely bowed in the middle, and didn't look like they could last much more of it. But that didn't stop even more people from getting up there.

The only structured event came around 1am when Reuben and Tom, two dreadlocked Antipodeans who arrived the day after me, decided to have everyone in the room play a drinking game. They put on the song, "Roxanne" by the Police, and divided the room into two groups. The "game" had very simple rules. The two teams alternated drinking a hearty swing of drink every time the Police sang the word, "Roxanne." Simple rules, but an insane amount of drinking. I went through three glasses of black russians over the course of the three minute long song. Drinking every time the Police sing "Roxanne" would be about the equivalent of me taking a drink every time I write a vowel. Which doesn't strike me as all that bad of an idea...

The cocktail party was also the first night I met a Kiwi by the name of Sarah. She was dressed as Britney Spears as her worst nightmare. (Specifically, Britney Spears from the "Baby One More Time" video. Oh, don't look at me like that! Everyone knows that outfit.) Sarah, I quickly discover, has the particular ability to get very drunk very quickly and then continue drinking for much longer than humanly possible. I, generally, get drunk slowly but steadily, and then hit a point where I need to either stop or go pass out.

I'd seen Sarah around the hostel, and around the cocktail party, but I was finally properly introduced to her around 2am, when I was just standing on the side of the dance floor, tired from doing the only impressive dance move I can actually do (Low Russian kicks. If you've ever seen me dance, you've seen it once or twice.), when I felt someone nibbling my ear, and then saying in a shout, "come out and dance!"

It was Sarah. I don't know if she thought I was someone else or was just that way, but after my ear stopped ringing, dance is exactly what I did. The party continued much longer than I expected it to. The crowd thinned out, and the music became more frenetic dance music. But the drink kept flowing, so I kept at it. I finally wound up stumbling off to bed at 6am, thinking that I'd managed fairly well.

When I woke up, a core group of people were still at it. Kiwi Paul, Fiona, Georgie, Christian, Keats, and Jessie. Drinking heavily and cooking our Sunday communal dinner.

I was a bit humbled, but I promised myself that I'd try harder next time.


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