Shattering the American Dream earlier on: It’s Not That Lit Pt. I.
Not to worry, though. Some things you see on TV and in movies are still true. The party scene isn’t wildly different from the party scene in Malaysia with some minor differences.
Clubbing dominates the party scene in Malaysia whereas house parties dominate the party scene in America, for those who are underage, at least.
It’s only because they can’t drink anywhere else.
Cops do make the occasional appearance at bars that are known for underage drinking. They also show up at parties. I think I spent most of my time running away from cops more than I did at the actual party.
Rule of thumb: when it’s fun, know that the cops are right around the corner to bust it up.
My many experiences include hiding in a laundry room in an apartment building where there was a rooftop party, climbing a fence in Reno, and hiding in backyards.
Another thing I was “fascinated” by in America was how short the parties were.
Sure, people start arriving around 11pm but the party really starts around 12am which is normal, but it ends at around 2am. Maybe I’m used to slightly longer nights in KL, but that’s generally the lifespan of a house party here.
This is largely because parties get shut down by the cops.
Yes, cops do come and crash parties. Neighbors wake up in the middle of the night and call the cops. Tis true.
My friends and I once had to leave a party early when the host randomly shouted “EVERYBODY GET THE FUCK OUT. THE COPS ARE COMING.”
As we were walking down the street, the neighbor across the street came outside her front door and literally started yelling at us “kids” to shut the hell up. When we made our way to the end of the street, a cop car drove past us.
At another party, we arrived and managed to stay for only 10 minutes because the cops literally walked into the backyard where the party was and started waving their flashlights. One of them asked my friend “Are you 21?” as we were making our way out and he said, “Well, you better get out of here.”
I hate to admit it but getting chased out of a party by cops is both very potong steam-ing and exciting.
In Malaysia, if cops came by, you know shit went down and somebody got hurt or worse. In America, this is a typical Friday or Saturday night. Poor American cops, having to deal with drunk, yet “underage” college kids every weekend.
At a particular kickback turned rager, everyone had to pee out in the yard because someone was holed up in the sole bathroom of the house.
I still remember how I was sitting on a sofa with two of my friends as we munched on nachos, talking about the ethics and authenticity of Taco Bell (worse and worst). All of a sudden, another friend comes charging out of the bathroom looking absolutely horrified.
He was waving his arms up and down, yelling at everyone to GTFO, because the ambulance and police were coming.
As the people around me got up synchronously, I was more worried than anything about the fact that an ambulance was coming. After asking, I found out that two of my friends had alcohol poisoning.
At this point, I started freaking out.
One of my closer friends on campus, Paul, came to me nonchalantly and reassured me that my two friends will be okay but “we might not be if we don’t get out now.”
It felt like something out of a movie.
I picture a montage of me and Paul trying to collect our two belligerently drunk friends along with their stuff. Then us running out of the house as we started hearing the ambulance sirens. All of us sitting silently in the car as the ambulance parks right behind us.
I drove us to IHOP afterward.
Damn, that sounds intense. Alcohol poisoning does occur often, though.
It’s because the kids here don’t know how to drink. Drinking is such a huge deal and a taboo that they don’t know any better.
Back home, we would sip wine or beer with our parents during Chinese New Year or at weddings. To us, it’s nothing special because we know better.
I should also mention that when you go to a house party here, be prepared to spend a huge part of the night Uber-ing from one place to another, possibly going to 3 locations.
Sometimes, things don’t work out and you go home at the end of the night without actually going anywhere, which felt super anti-climatic to me. Parties get shut down earlier than expected or maybe your friend sent you the wrong address. That’s another thing that was new to me.
Plans for a Friday/Saturday night depend solely on whether or not you get a text message of a random person’s address from your friend.
It’s not even a party of someone you know directly.
It could be your friend’s cousin’s college roommate’s boyfriend’s brother’s place and you’ll just be there, partying. So if you get super wasted and puke anywhere in their house, I guarantee that you’ll get away with it because they don’t know you. This is also reason 101 why I won’t ever have a party if I have my own apartment here.
SO TRUE! This happens A LOT.
Someone will text come thru it’s lit, but sometimes when we get there, it’s busted. Or it was a scam – an invitation to a boring party.
The most “lit” party that I went to wasn’t even fun because 1) they were literally at capacity. You couldn’t walk into the house because there were people EVERYWHERE. They stood on any available surface, think sofas, coffee tables. If I were to enter the same place the next day, I wouldn’t know it. 2) when it’s that packed, how do you even dance or talk to someone. You’re literally facing their ass. The music was too loud. So what do you do? Dance in that one tight spot you’re stuck in? You couldn’t even lift your hand without elbowing someone.
Here’s an unpopular opinion a lot of people I personally know will disagree with me about.
Malaysians listen to TOO MUCH EDM when we party in the club.
It’s as if EDM is the only damn genre which exists in the clubbing universe. Of course sometimes, the DJs will spin some R’n’B and hip hop but they’ll always switch back to EDM again. In America, the majority of music blasting in a house party is rap, hip-hop, R’n’B or grinding music. Personally, I prefer this kind of music when I’m at a party because it’s something I can actually dance to.
And no, jumping while you move your hands up and down to the beautiful sounds of EDM is not dancing. Fight me all you want but it’s not.
Grinding isn’t exactly dancing too but at least there’s more movement involved. It’s my preferred choice of music when I’m partying up until some random guy comes to me and starts to grind me, or “try” to, then it’s not anymore.
YES! I prefer that kind of music too. I’m a minority too in that regard as I cannot stand EDM at all.
Someone told me once I needed to drink alcohol and get myself in a ‘pumped out’ crowd to really enjoy the music and maybe that could be true. But yes, in America, I dig the music they play at house parties.
I’m more of a kickback girl, though, where you and your friends make a Spotify playlist and just listen to that. I have a particularly sweet memory of a boy putting his arm around me and us belting out the lyrics to Frank Ocean’s Pink Matter.
Singalong sessions at kickbacks are my fave.
I’ll also address the elephant in the room.
Yes, there are lots of people randomly making out in public. At a particularly “eye-opening” party I went to, there was a couple who were making out so vigorously that the way the guy had his hands all over the girl or the way their bodies and heads moved almost looked choreographed like some sort of erotic performance art. This same couple was later in the middle of the dance floor, still drunkenly making out which isn’t a problem at all.
Their choreographed erotic performance had intensified, they were swaying around in big circles which pushed everyone around them.
It was an extremely crowded party so watching two completely drunk and oblivious people fully engrossed in the passionate act of kissing, while they push people around on the dance floor was something. At that same party, in the basement, this time, there was a DJ spinning and a super dark and dodgy looking dance floor. I saw a threesome make-out on the dance floor between a white girl, a white gay guy, possibly trans, and a black guy.
That’s one of the most diverse combination of people you can think of.
Just like that, racism, transphobia, and homophobia were gone. I joke, obviously. Those 3 things are unfortunately still alive and well in every corner of the world. You know if people made out that openly in the clubs back in Malaysia, everyone will be staring. Don’t lie, you know you would stare too.
The party scene here is definitely WAY different than it is back home.
If you like being super wasted and being surrounded by random strangers, you’re in good hands here.
However, if you rather be surrounded by people you know by name and can have a good time without alcohol or drugs, you’re honestly not missing out on much.
Feel free to ask the KUL Team about their experiences as college students in the States. From the Chipotle hype to Tinder stories, we can provide them all. Tweet us at @thisiskul.
Film photos by Adrienne Yap.