Step 1: Preparation is key – eat.
This is pretty standard for any night out, but it’s pretty important to eat a carby meal before drinking copious amounts of gin. We had a huge bowl of pasta at around 7 to prepare us for the night ahead.
Step 2: Preparation is key – nap!
I was encouraged by my Spanish flatmate that in order to survive a night out in Barcelona, you must have a nap. Preferably at around 9pm. I don’t know if you have ever attempted a ‘nap’ at 9pm but it is extremely bizarre. So I climbed into bed, set an alarm for 1 hour, and woke up at 10pm in my dark room, disorientated and groggy. I splashed my face with water and hastily got ready, before meeting in the kitchen at 11pm to start drinking.
Step 3: Drink!
Now let’s be clear, I’m a hockey girl, I’ve drunk my fair share of alcohol before. However, nothing prepared me for how weird it is to start drinking at 11pm. In Southampton at 11pm we’re usually stumbling out of the door, phone cash and keys in hand, ready for a night at Jesters. In Barca however we were all sat sober in the kitchen, attempting to find a drinking game (other than never have I ever – which I hate) that we all knew. It was very funny seeing how a Spanish person spelt my name in one of the games (Jumaima, never had that before!). Over the course of the evening the combination of alcohol and how late it was seemed to make me feel more drunk and tired than normal.
Step 4: Taxi time.
In Spain, its normal for people to arrive to the clubs at 2am, whereas in Southampton, 9/10 times I would be happily munching my chips on the walk home, ready for bed. But we’re not in Southampton anymore. My phone, travel card, and door key were carefully zipped into a bumbag hidden underneath my top. Jemima + alcohol = no awareness of pickpockets, so I was extra careful of where my things were. It’s also strange leaving for a club that you’ve never been to before, and no idea where it is. It’s not like the 5 minute walk to jesters from my cosy 2nd year house. We bundled into an uber and let the cab take us to our destination.
Step 5: The Spanish club.
The music: I don’t know if you have ever listened to Reggaeton before, but it is a specific genre of music that the people in Spain LOVE. They have rooms dedicated to it in the clubs, where gorgeous Spanish girls sing along in excitement to their favourite songs. None of these songs are in English, and everyone looks at you strangely for not knowing the words. It’s like being the only one in the club who doesn’t know the words to Mr Brightside.
The drinks: Drinks in Spain are DANGEROUS. I ordered a gin and tonic, and watched the bartender free-pour the gin into the glass, stopping at over half full. Depending on whether the bartender fancies you or not, you could get between half a glass and a whole glass of vodka, with a splash of mixer for colour. I only had one drink in the club before my friend kindly took it away from me (I really did not need another drink).
The exit: Picture the scene, two English girls, 5am in the morning, exhausted and drunk, half dancing to songs we don’t know the words to, surrounded by Spanish people having the time of their life with no inclination of stopping. We did what we do best, a swift French exit. We mumbled something about going to the toilet, then merrily ran down the road to walk back to our accommodation. (side note – we like walking, and never get cabs after nights out. This is NOT advisable in a foreign country when you’re not quite sure where u are, and google maps says it will take an hour and a half to get home.) At 6am we stumbled into our kitchen, sun rising on the horizon, gobbled up some toast and collapsed into bed.
Step 6: The morning after…
Going to sleep at 6 in the morning really messes with your sleep schedule, I think I woke up around 1pm, confused and hungover. This was probably the worst hangover I’ve ever had, as a result of the ridiculously late night and not knowing exactly how much I was drinking. My flatmate brought me crisps and water to my door so I never had to leave my room.
As much as I did enjoy my evening, I don’t think I will ever enjoy seeing commuters off to work as I’m stumbling home from a night out.