It’s been a while since I hit the campus club back here in England. A year away had faded my memory of just what a uni night out in England looks like. However, walking across uni at, oh around 10pm the other evening, heading home with some nutrition-less supplies from the campus supermarket to fuel a late-night reading session, I was slapped in the eyes with the sight of what can only be described as rows of naked legs on stilts.
What I was seeing, of course, was several
young lasses out on the lash, tottering precariously on skyscraper talons, spilling out of their dresses, with their bare extremities exposed to the autumn evening chill, inching along to the club entrance. I even saw one trip and fall hard on the pavement. Naturally such a sight was not alien to me, but it had been quite a while since I had been exposed to this kind of garb and behaviour. In Lausanne there was never anything that even came close to it. People would make remarks at my sparkly handbag, god knows what they would have made of such livery…
It saddens me to see this, not because it is necessarily an unpleasant sight (hey some of them girls had bodies…but not all), but because it shows where some girls perceive their value to lie (the more you resemble Lady Gaga, the better, apparently). Not to mention the risk to their health; I mean, at least put on a coat! It all feels very exaggerated, unnecessary and try-hard. In Europe, I found the girls very beautiful, but they were for the most part simply made up, and quite casual, even on nights out, and I don’t think the surrounding boys found them any less attractive or interesting. I suppose because their primary concern lay not in how glam or overstated their appearance was, or how many vodka shots they would need to put away before their “beer jacket” would be thick enough to allow them not to feel the cold on their bare flesh…
“Drunk sluts” I believe was a quote used in my previous post, uttered to me by a student on ERASMUS here. It was not the first time I had heard similar sentiments expressed to me about how English girls are perceived abroad, and it saddens me. We’re not ALL like that! But it’s true there’s a general orientation toward blackout-aimed drinking. I remember a fellow English exchange student becoming extremely self-conscious about downing her drink one night in Lausanne, something she would not have hesitated one second to do back home: “I know it’s not what people do here…”
So much for the girls, the boys are hardly sparkling examples of gallant, gentlemanly valour, nor sobriety, themselves. I noticed that while out dancing in Lausanne I didn’t experience the same sordid come-ons I think most girls here are familiar with. I’ll never forget one fellow exchanger, who was certainly in possession of all the necessary trappings to make him a big hit with the ladies (I imagine he’d get clawed to death if he ever set foot in our club here), telling me that back home when he went out at night with his mates, it was indeed to meet girls, but just to talk to them. Flirt a bit, and maybe get a number, if they were lucky. Even kissing didn’t really enter the night’s objectives. Flabbergasted. Well, I don’t know, perhaps he was just a special one, but I always thought there were clear categories: guys out for the music, guys out just because their mates are, and guys out on the pull.
Naturally these are generalisations, but let’s face it, when don’t we generalise? In short, partying with the continentals felt markedly more chilled out and classy. Sure, people drank, and sometimes to excess, but it’s just….different. It’s difficult to describe if you haven’t experienced both; I’m sure my fellow ERASMI know what I’m getting at. Here in England, we have a very.. special way to faire la fête. Let’s just leave it at that.