Friday, March 12, 2010

Warehouse dancing

I don't normally expect for my nights to turn out the way they do. I never anticipate my nights escalating toward outrageousness so quickly. At home when I want to get wild I make a plan. I call up my friends and we let each other know what parties are happening or what places there are to be. We spend our day trying to score alcohol because we're all still too young to buy it ourselves. We call more friends and let them know where we're going to be so that everyone we want to participate, will participate. We set a time. We find each other rides. Its all part of a system, a process if you will, that gears me up to a night filled with revelry or gears me up for a total dud. I find myself caught off guard here by the rowdiness and recklessness I engage in. I don't plan it out. I don't call my friends and make sure they know the plan. It just happens. I find that often after nights that have just happened I wake up saying "What the fuck?" After recovering from a slight disorient I remember the details and I laugh. I walk into my kitchen and sit down, Selvaggia walks into the kitchen and sits down, and together the two of us crack up. I had a night that seemed to happen exactly this way last night.

"Gabby! Gabby!" Selvaggia is calling from the kitchen. "Girl you better be ready to go out tonight. Fresco found this awesome place about twenty minutes out of Florence. I think its live DJ's and house music. 5 euro." By this time it was already ten at night and I was thinking to myself that going to some random club in a town outside Florence twenty minutes away by car probably wasn't a good idea. "Okay, I'm in". House music and live DJ's sounded like my kind of night. A short few minutes later I was with Selvaggia, one of my apartment friends who I'm naming Minuscola, Fresco, one of the guys whose name will now be known as Tic,and Carino, pre-gaming at the boys. Fresco comes out of his room after looking up the directions and laid down our route. "Okay guys so heres the deal. We gotta get on one bus at 11:40 around the corner, the 17, which is gonna take us to another bus, the twenty-something, thats gonna get us to the venue. Well, its gets off a couple blocks away or something and then we'll have to walk from there. Place is open til 6 a.m. and the travel time should take about an hour, so figure we'll have five hours in the place. 5 hours of partying for 5 Euro? Pretty good". The rational part of my brain heard this and stuttered with itself trying to figure out how to get out of going. I'll admit, it sounded a little scary. I was thinking we honestly had no clue where the fuck we were going. I was weighing the odds of three girls and three guys' chances of survival if we found ourselves in SAW. I kept thinking of that movie Midnight Meat Train with Bradley Cooper (not a porno, I swear) and how awful it would be if we wound up on the bus-version in Florence. I was intimidated. But, I went anyway.

We wound up getting on the first bus no problem. And the second bus. My hesitation was fading. I was ready to listen to sweet house music and it was exciting to explore somewhere new outside of the city. Our bus stop finally came after almost exactly fourty minutes of travel time and when we got off my anxiety kicked in again full-swing. We were standing outside the Conad Superstore (Conad is an Italian supermarket) in the middle of nowhere and we had no idea which direction the place was in. We also knew that asking the passerby's where the place was would be useless; apparently the venue was inside a warehouse. Tic and Fresco went into a little bar and twenty minutes later we were in a cab. Headed in the wrong direction. Fresco took the lead in trying to explain to our driver where we needed to go but we wound up driving quite a ways before having to turn around. We all paid a few more euro for the trip, but the point is we got there. We made it, thank God, and I felt even sketchier and more nervous than when I got off the bus.

We were literally at a warehouse. Picture a warehouse, reader, just for a second. I showed up for a night of dancing to a big metal box, circled by broken glass and busted rubber tires. A gigantic Ethiopian body guard let me through their wire gate and another let me through their tin front door. There was a folding table set up as desk in the entrance and directly behind it was the first DJ and dance floor. It was super empty. "If this place is empty I'm going home," Carino said, walking up to another set of Ethiopian guards, gesticulating furiously hoping they would understand his questions. We bought tickets anyway and I am now a member of my second club: ASCI in a town called Sesto Fiorentino. It wound up being 10 Euro, and it was fucking awesome. It wound up crowded, too.

Let me tell you something about going to a warehouse rave. They leave gum and candies out on platters for people to take at their discretion; probably drugs. They have speakers set in locations for optimum sound and bass. They have light shows. They have makeshift bars and shady people working them. There are Ital stoner kids dancing the right way-that is to say there are people dancing in their own spaces, not grinding up on each other and knocking into the people in their radius'. There were no sweaty, greasy, smelly people brushing up against you. They wear regular clothes: sneakers, sweatshirts, t-shirts. The main DJ's are up on a stage, spinning fantastic shit and rocking out to it. And the music is LOUD! The people there were all a little shifty; you could tell most of them were on some drug or another. It was okay, though, because my comfort level in this back-alley warehouse was much higher than in any other club I've been to so far on this trip. I knew no one was going to be stealing from me, I could wear my coat comfortably and not have to worry about coat-check, the people were all friendly enough, and everyone was having a great time. I had a free drink, some super strong Italian spice drink made of Campari, Gin, and other things whose mixed result was absolute grossness. This is what it was like all night :

We all danced our fucking hearts out. We got really into the music. By the end of the night my eardrums felt like sticks of dynamite had blown up in them. We got as close to the speakers as we could and we danced for hours. We met some fun people, including an older guy, clearly drugged out, wearing all white. This man was a fucking trip. He would get into all our faces and just dance and smile, say "si si si si si si si" while patting us on the back, all sorts of weird shit. Some other people I wound up dancing around with told me I'd stumbled on the coolest place to hang in around Florence. I made it to where the real Florentine younger crowd hangs out. Insider report. I even spoke with one of the body guards for twenty minutes or so who told me I absolutely had to go to Africa. Apparently, Africa is the greatest place in the world. I'm going to have to go there and put the place to the test, I think. He was really nice and I enjoyed the fact that as intimidating as those body guards are, they can have a good time at the functions their working. I think I speak for all of us who went when I say that this night ranked among the best we've had since we've been here. If I can't speak for it, though, this video can:

Clearly, all of us were having a great time. The lights were on at this point and it was around 5 a.m. Time to go, but we just kept on dancing. For about a half an hour after the lights came on we all just stayed and danced. When the music stopped we shouted for more. It didn't happen, but I realized how much fun I was having because I was out of breath with how much screaming for more I was doing. We walked out of the building with the sun coming up. "You guys wanna get a cab?" Fresco asked. "Nah," was all of our reply. We walked about a mile and half before we found a bus stop. The walk was alot of fun, actually. We all talked about how awesome the night was, naturally, and joked around about hot dogs. We'd seen a hot dog stand opened which we found immensely funny. When we got to the stop we joked about this male modeling add for a clothing store here called Yamamay. The add featured two shaven, tan guys in speedos swinging from tree-branches in the jungle. We joked about their rugged beards and shaved arms in Australian accents, Selvaggia whacking the add with a stick and Fresco and I cracking mom jokes since Yamamay sounds like Your Mommy. We got on the bus at 6 a.m. and were home by 6:40. Impulsiveness = fucking awesomeness.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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