Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Bar Hopping

“Where are you running to?”

The bouncer stopped us, and with his soft Polish accent, asked us again. “Where are you running to?”

The four of us were taken aback.

Edric moved a bit closer and said, “Um, we’re going to the bar. Isn’t it obvious?”

“You all are very much aware that it is a gay bar, right?”

Pow. I didn’t expect that. I thought we will all be relaxing and taking our time off at a straight bar in Soho. Yes, there are a couple of straight bars and pubs in Soho as well.

“Well, you look very young. Below 18, actually,” the bouncer said in his unmoving poker face. “Can I have a look of your identifications please.”

Even though his English will make someone from Katipunan laugh till God knows when, it’s not the right moment to even snicker. I don’t have my passport with me, but I have my Oyster card that says I am an 18+ student.

The three of us were through with our Oyster. Except for one. Edric. His laminated version of his school ID was not enough, and his Oyster card doesn’t say that he’s 18+ because he has the old version.

“But I’ve been here a couple of times and I haven’t been checked.” He reiterated.

“Sorry, rules are rules.” The ruthless bouncer just stood there triumphantly, having picked upon his preys for the night.

“Leave it, let’s just go somewhere else shall we?” He ushered.

Now, it would be ok if it all went perfectly. The problem is, we have two companions who are absolutely clueless with regard to Soho’s vibrant and colourful nightlife.

With us, were Gene, and Art.


After that trip to Oxford earlier that day, I’ve had enough. No one’s really right for me, maybe.

And since we’ve already finished visiting all the sights before 6pm, we decided to go back to London a bit earlier than our actual booked time. And I was sweating when the conductor checked our tickets. Good thing he didn’t check it very rigorously.

Upon returning to the bustling city, the gang kept on pressing me to go to the bar where I fuckin’ lost my phone and unwind there.

And I can’t tell them, because if I bring them to Village, then, hell will break loose.

So, there we were, looking for a bar that seems to have a kind bouncer on the entrance. Since when did kind and bouncer go hand in hand?

We managed to enter Bar Soho without the bouncer’s questioning, but alas, the bar was too noisy with its booming surround speaker system and was kind of cramped with no places to sit and have a nice chit-chat.

We had to go out and look for a quieter one. I was on the verge of spilling my secret out by leading them to Village (which had a 50% off on drinks on a Monday), but then, something caught my eye.

Glee night, on Ku Bar in Frith Street.

Yeah, even though Ku Bar is a gay one as well, the poster seemed to show that it’s a harmless bar that can welcome us, since I have straight companions with me. But um, how can we be sure about that?

I threw a smile on the bouncer, and it worked. He smiled back and let us all in.

After getting the drinks from that very cute bartender, we went up and sat on one of the couches. We drank, but at the same time, talked about the meaning of the rainbow flag plastered outside Ku Bar.

Art asked me to get some technology magazines, since he saw a couple of them by the stairs. I was about to get one when I secretly giggled.

They were not tech magazines. They’re gay ones, with all the topless hunks on its front cover.

I can’t risk it. I don’t fancy giving it to him and be shocked by the guys who ooze with sheer sexiness.


After a couple more shots of tequila, it was time to go, with the three of them ensuring that all of my gadgets were still with me.

My head’s hurting but I was still wary of the surroundings and what the three were talking.

I bade them farewell as they went down Tottenham Court Road station. I made an excuse that I’ll take the bus instead. Unknowingly to them, I decided to have a drink for a few more hours.

The tequila must’ve seeped into my rationale thinking when I decided to go back to Wardour Street, and enter Village again, for the second time this month.

Just for fun, I decided to check how high (or really low) my face value was, by checking if someone would approach me to have a chat as the night would pass by.

I looked like a fool after ordering that cider and sitting in one corner, eyeing all the cute guys passing by. At the front were a young Oriental talking (and going really chummy) with the 40-ish Caucasian. Sitting beside me were two young Caucasian guys kissing torridly on occasions. Sitting on my left were a bloke and a gal, drinking with their rose.

I got so embarrassed when the night went by without someone approaching me, and I felt even more humiliated when the girl sitting beside me asked, “Are you ok?”

I just have her thumbs up, and she replied, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

Oh dear. I must’ve looked awful. I quickly gulped my small bottle of cider and decided to call it a night to prevent further humiliation.

And at that moment in time, as I sat on the upper deck on Bus N89, an epiphany had struck like lightning.

What the hell were Art and Gene thinking when Edric and I brought them to gay bars?

Am I already out?

And most importantly, since no one approached me it meant only one thing.

I don’t have any face value at all. 

Friday, 21 January 2011

Sick in Soho


Fuck. It was soooo damn embarrassing. It was my nth time to wreak havoc by regurgitating all that I’ve eaten on Bus N155 en route to Morden.

I know that I’ve been experiencing a lot of not so good things lately but I can’t imagine I let it get the best of me, by ignoring my friend’s remarks and insisting him to buy one more bottle of rose.

Migration. Job prospect. Homesickness. Art’s evasiveness. All of these meshed together and propelled me to do what God has told me, to venture into the gay bars of Soho.

Yes, you heard it right. Gay bars of Soho. It was in Village Bar in fact, nestled on the corner of Wardour Street and Old Compton Street, London’s LGBT hub. 

Never would I imagine that I would enter this place unprepared as I haven’t even stepped foot on the cheeky streets of Malate ever before. I was told that compared to the other bars on the street, Village is more friendly to first time goers like me.

Good thing I was with a Filipino I met in PR, so that gave me that extra mile to push that door that has the rainbow-coloured flag plastered on it.


About 4 hours before

“Why the hell are they eyeing us?” I asked nervously.

“It’s because we are an item in this part of the world,” the one who was accompanying me said.

Adam’s right. As soon as the bouncer let us in (damn I already look 21, since they can question you and ask for a proof of age if you look under 21), most eyes were on us. It was as if the bar held its breath as we made our way to find some seats.

“This is nothing,” Mike said as we finally found a seat and drank our Coke whisky. “Go to Kudos and we’ll see. Orientals normally don’t get out of there without getting laid." I looked really shocked but thank God he retracted the joke.

My heart and testosterone levels were fluttering as gays ranging from very cute to very hot pass by our table. Also noticeable were how some of the blokes were glancing ‘secretly’ on the both of us, to which I caught them in flagrante delicto. It was great, because finally, for the first time, I can be myself by saying “Oh that guy’s hot” without society controlling me like a puppet.

We talked about the not-so-clear future regarding our status in the UK, got to know a bit more about each other, and how the hell this gay thing works. Mike tried to teach me some tips regarding flirting, but I decided to try it at a later date. For now, observing from afar is enough.

As the night passed, more glasses were being emptied by my throat, and sure enough, the effects had started to kick in. My vision’s a bit blurred, but not enough to shy away from the very attractive guys I was seeing.

Mike then nudged me to talk to this very cute 20-ish White Briton on my right, since we noticed that he was alone drinking his glass of beer for the past hour. Well, I thought he was waiting for his boyfriend or something.

“Come on! He’s not my type, but it’s definitely yours!” He continued to nudge me.

“E, I can’t. I don’t have enough self-confidence.” Well, thanks for that good-for-nothing Sam.

Well, Fate finally unfolded itself as the cute Caucasian guy turned to us, and asked, “What time is it?”

With the effects of alcohol totally eliminating my inhibitions, I decided to give in and start an friendly conversation with him. And here’s what I got.

Damn, he has a boyfriend (as expected of a guy in this calibre). He’s a solicitor working at the Bank area, London’s financial district. He also has a flat in Holborn, which I know is God-knows-what because rents around the Central are exorbitantly priced. And, not to mention, he has another house with garden in Buckinghamshire, a county just 30 minutes away from the City.

Then, my memory has been tainted with the 20% alcohol content I just drank as I didn’t remember anything else apart from the fact that he left the bar afterwards, and we left the bar as well, with Mike helping me while I was limping, and puking around Old Compton Street.

I realised then that I wasn’t 100% drunk since I vividly remembered that one very cute Spanish guy walked towards us to ask if I was ok. And then, I puked some more around the corner.

I also remembered that Mike asked me to enter Caffé Nero since nearby Costa Coffee was already closed. And then, it all went black again except for the fact that the barista needed to usher us out as I regurgitated the hot chocolate I was drinking.

And then, we had to wait outside the bus stop near Trafalgar Square. Technically, the weather wasn’t that cold, but I was shivering. Seems the after-effects of alcohol are starting to circulate into my bloodstream.

Finally, it arrived, and after puking one more time inside Bus N155, Mike and I alighted at Elephant and Castle.

Damn it was so embarrassing indeed. I kept on apologising about how I made a fool of myself and most especially to him. After insisting nonstop that I can be ok from here, and he doesn’t need me to really accompany me to the door to my house, he finally gave in. First impressions are said to be the most important in ensuring a great friendship, and I just messed it all up.

I was about to alight the bus that would really take me home, when I was rummaging my pockets for something.

My phone.

I asked Mike to open my bag up for me to ransack its contents. No phone, nothing. Just some bottles of water and a couple of chocolate cookies.

Damn. After a few minutes, I decided to give up as we were both running late. It was five past three AM.

I literally slipped inside the bus (as I didn’t hold on to the railings properly), I finally sat down, half –conscious. Wow, for once, that constant puking really helped me by being sober. Now, I will just have to await the dreaded hangover that will greet me the next day.

It seemed to take forever, but finally, I managed to get off the bus properly, open the door, and tiptoed quietly to my room. I don’t want to wake my roomies up with that horrible stench of vomit. I didn’t even bother to change my clothes as I snuggled beneath my duvet.

Inebriation. What a vile thing. Now, I have to face the repercussions to my carelessness and imbecility.

I didn’t get to hit some more guys up. Kidding aside, I just became 170 quid poorer, humiliated myself and a friend, and I left a not-so-good memory of my first ever trip to a gay bar.

Good thing Art didn’t see me at that state, but then again, it can be great thing if he would to take good care of me while I was knocked out.

After all this, I just have one thing in mind… up my alcohol tolerance by a notch.

And with the ultimatum that Britain has placed on students like me, it’s time to frequent Soho and Vauxhall.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Letter to Sam

For those wondering, Sam is my only guy best friend.

Dear Sam,

I just want to thank you for stepping on my self-esteem for the past 10 years like some dried up leaves that just fell from a maple tree.

Since grade school, you kept on pushing me to the front because we had to arrange ourselves according to height. Turn to high school, you kept on pointing out my acnes like they were some abnormal skin disease I contracted from Mars. Not to mention, you kept on whispering to Joana, Stacey, and Sarah about the irregular growth of my nose hairs.

And hell my face went red when you were telling everyone about my balbon-ish skin and face. Actually, I still don’t know where I got the genes from. Both Mum, Dad, and sis have flawless skin. Do I need to apologise to you because God bestowed a rugged facial feature to a Filipino-Chinese?

Because of you, I actually felt I was the ugliest person on earth by the time I entered college. Ron, my course blockmate, even worsened the situation when he humiliated me in Math class because I entered the room all sweaty from the commute.

“Use a perfume, and wipe off your sweat, will ya?” he said it very audibly, so that all of our blockmates can hear. The class just snickered in unison.

I then remembered you during that time. With all the cute mestizos and Chinitos walking around our hallways and cafeteria, it just comes to show that I am at the bottom of the hierarchy when it comes to face value.

There…. Four years in college whisked away. I was holding on to my four-clover leaf, hoping that someday, someone will like me based on my inner beauty, not on what’s seen by the naked eye.

However, the world doesn’t work that way innit? I do want ask you about the times you spent in the gym, perfecting your 6-pack abs, and toning your pectoral muscles. Of course, physical attraction comes first, then that’s where it starts to become deeper. I’m not saying that there has to be a physical connection, but it’s rare for two people to go straight to delving each other’s inner selves.

So, my college life just arrived and left with no guy (or even girl) fancying me, save for one guy back in freshman year. I was still in denial stage at that time, so the relationship didn’t really materialise.

And the path to an all-time low didn’t stop there. By the time I had to go to Europe for my exchange studies in 2008, I had to swallow my pride as Caucasian blokes flooded the streets with their sharp features, bluish grey eyes, messed up blonde hair, and lean slender bodies.

During my 19th birthday, I actually wished that my mum would marry a Caucasian, so that I can strut freely with all the girls and guys being swooned by my celebrity-like appearance. How despicable of me, you reckon.

It’s because of you my dear friend.

And now, fast forward to 2010.

It all took some persuasion from by college best buds Trix and Nica to actually say that I don’t look that horrible at all. I still remember what Nica told me while we were on Trix’s car en route to Manila.

I can’t wait for you to have a girlfriend, because I know that she will be very lucky gal under your tender loving care and gentlemanly values.

Damn, even though I am not easily moved by touching words, what she said just pierced into my heart made of stone. However powerful her remarks may seem, your 10-year instillation was so effective that it stuck in my mind like a barnacle. Sad to say, it has already left an indelible scar that won’t disappear until I die.

As people would say, the tree would not stop growing unless you uproot it. You’ve planted the seed deeper than usual. That is why it would be hard, if not impossible, to weed it out.

As an occasional sadist, imagine the delight I experienced when 10 humongous acnes sprouted out from your oily forehead like mushrooms. Joana and I were quietly snickering whilst you were shopping for Panoxyl in Watson’s.

Returning to the present, your constant complaint on how I look made me suffer even more because of the repercussions that come with it regarding prospect-searching on the other side of the norm. You must know that gays in general are more inclined to judge the person based on his/her physical attributes, which makes the less blessed ones worse off.

Well, one can actually apply the social inequality quote here…. “The rich become richer, and the poor become poorer.”

I should ask you this Sam… Am I enough for this cute guy on the Tube? Is my face value sufficient for Olya, Akhal, or more importantly… Art?

Well, Art is a different case. I have to protect him from you Sam, because if ever you see him, you might scrutinise every part of his face like the way you did to me for all these years.

Art doesn’t look like the typical boy-next-door type. But you do know the notion of “it grows on you” right? Well, his features are epitomised by that quote.

Yes, this letter seems to stem from pure sheer hatred I’ve kept for 10 years, but not to worry. The good things we’ve shared outweighed all that. You were almost always there when I needed help, just like how real camaraderie works. I just hoped you were a better best friend to me.

So with that, I have to thank you Sam, for everything you’ve taught me.

P.S. This will never be received by the other party. And unless my gaydar is really messed up (which I think it is, really), I think you are one of us as well.

Oh, and happy 22nd birthday by the way. Wish I was in Mall of Asia right now celebrating with you lot.


Wednesday, 12 January 2011


June 2, 2010

Hey there. How is your name related to the British entry in the Eurovision Contest?

It was the first ever instant message I got from someone in Manila Gay Guy. I just joined 2 days ago after finally accepting the inevitable truth.

That I was gay.

Within those two days, I did nothing but to peruse the blog for Dear Migs letters. Also, being the Europe freak, I downloaded and watched the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 as well, only to find out that Germany won with Lena’s Satellite. During this time, I was still waiting for updates regarding my application in a university in London.

Wow, you actually googled my name. After hitting Enter, I just put on a smug.

Before signing up to MGG, I was thinking what pseudonym I can use. Thinking about United Kingdom’s representative for Eurovision, together with the thought and prospect of going to Britain in the near future, I decided to take his name as my temporary nickname.

No, I didn’t. I actually watched the Eurovision as well.

My heart skipped a beat. A Filipino PLU, also a Eurovision fan? This is… one in a million.

With my shaky hands, I decided to type commentaries regarding the performances like there’s no tomorrow.

And that’s how the name stuck. And I don’t effing care if Josh placed last in the contest. His humility’s too hard to resist.


Ok then, so you might know by now, that Josh Dubovie is not my real name. It’s just my pseudonym.

And for those who tried to google ‘me’, you will actually be directed to a real person.

And this, my friends, is the real Josh Dubovie, my first ever British crush.

Actually, now I am thinking, it’s not really creative of me to get another person’s (and an artist at that) name, for a lot of reasons.

One, who knows, his peers or agency might sue me for plagiarism.

Two, readers might imagine and fantasize that I am as cute as him. Sorry my friends, he is as cute as a button. I, on the other hand, am as cute as a scarecrow.

Is Mr. Dubovie too foreign? Should I Filipinize my surname? 

But it already stuck with my cyberfriends, and I can’t change it anymore, I guess. Furthermore, using his name can be a reminder of the time I finally accepted who I really was.

Besides, Josh Dubovie sounds good to me.

Monday, 10 January 2011


“In third place, is Mr. Dubovie.”

I can hear a pin drop. We were having classes regarding information security when someone entered, saying that he was there to award the top three merit students in our batch.

I quivered as I was standing up to get recognised by the whole class. I limped a bit as I was going out to reach for the certificate.

“Come on now, do not be shy! I am the one getting embarrassed here,” said the award giver.

Seriously, it was so sudden that words couldn’t escape my mouth at all. My vision and hearing were still blurry because of the claps and cheers I can see and hear. I can’t see Art and Tina, but somewhere amongst the crowd, it seemed that I can hear their jeers and woohoos as well.

After shaking hands, I zoomed back to my seat to prevent further discomfiture. I’m really not that great when it comes to public events, especially when I am the one being placed in the hot seat. Calling my attention is not one of my strong points, and I hate being recognised for doing something exemplary.

My face went red as my seatmate patted me coupled with a greeting of congratulations. The Filipinos at the front mouthed ‘congrats’ while waving at me. I can’t take the humiliation anymore. Haha.

After the break, as I was about to sigh and take a quick nap, someone hugged me from behind. I turned to see who it was.

With his wide smile and cute dimples, it was Art. Oh ‘twas a long time since I last saw him. I still have some questions regarding his two failed invites during the festive break.

He kept on muttering words of kudos, but my head just filtered all the sound resonating in the classroom. All I can feel were his arms as he patted me like a father congratulating his son of a job well done. My heart was still beating a bit faster a couple of seconds after he let go of me.

“Josh, libre, libre!” He chanted. Tina joined him, and it was really embarrassing. I wanted to evaporate on the spot.

Oh, and they didn’t even stop as we made our way to the common room to buy some snacks from the vendo. Gene arrived as well and warbled with those two as they continued to mortify and haunt me.

As soon as break’s over, I ushered Art and Tina to transfer beside me because there’re two vacant seats beside me.

Yawn. Lecture was getting a bit boring even though the lecturer had impeccable British accent. I was mouthing and repeating what he’s saying every now and then.

“What’s obfuscation?” Tina whispered unexpectedly.

I was wondering where the hell she got that word. I checked the lecturer’s PowerPoint, and it was there.

After checking it on my mobile, finally enlightened me. It meant confused, difficult to understand.

“You’re obfuscating me,” I addressed to the both of them, while snickering. For all they know, I was trying to send mixed signals as well.

“You’re obfuscating me,” I said again, while my eyes were just on Art. He was just laughing, apparently unaware of what the hell I was trying to address. I didn’t need to worry, because it seemed that it was too subtle to be even picked up.

You are really obfuscating me. Some of my mates were already discouraging me from continuing to pursue this ‘roundabout relationship.’ The car cannot go on circles forever, you know.

That is why, I will try to convey a couple more hints starting from today. It’s now or never.
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Friday, 7 January 2011

Scurrilous Swiss

May 13, 2010.

Domodossola. Only a few minutes before we get to the Swiss border.

A few hours ago, my mum, sis, and I bade farewell to Dad, as he was left behind in Turin to prepare some stuff to take with us back home. We were to go back to Manila after two days.

The train’s chugging along the hilly landscape from Milan, all the way to Geneva, our destination. I was watching an episode of American Idol on my iPod nano. Sis was eating some chips, while Mum was just there, sleeping. She must be tired from this 5-hour trip.

I looked outside the window. There’s a lake on my right. Its beauty allured me to think about the arguments I had with Dad a couple of days ago.

He did not approve of us going to Switzerland, because for one, the Spain-Portugal trip was already proved to be pricey because we didn’t get Eurail passes, and the lack of rest due to country hopping proved costly in terms of our health.

We have to go to Switzerland, I muttered. I mean, this Eurotrip will not be complete without the taste of the Swiss chocolates and the tour around the exquisite lakes and the affluent houses situated on top of the hills, overlooking the crystal clear waters of Lake Geneva. Not to mention, some of my mates have been there, while I haven’t. It’s the competitive spirit that drives me to take this last sightseeing trip of the month.

I got disturbed from my pondering when the train stopped at Domodossola station. A group of Asians got off with their heavy backpacks, while talking amongst themselves very loudly in what might seemed to be Korean. Behind me, a couple of young Caucasian girls were laughing very loudly at the sight of the lost Koreans as they were standing on the platform.

They kept on pointing at them and muttering/snickering in French. For all I know, they are so racist and rude.

It was already 9 in the evening, and the sun was just setting. We already passed by Montreux, so it means that Geneva will be the next stop.

We were prepping up to get off, when my mom’s mobile rang. She answered the phone and talked in Tagalog. Then, I heard the Caucasian Swiss girls behind us giggling again, and tried to mimic my mom’s tone and speech.

My sis looked at me, and she seemed disgusted. I felt the same way. I was so tempted to tell them off, but how can I do that? It’s their land, and we’re just visiting. Plus, their status seemed to be better off than ours because they have the money to shop in Milan’s high streets (based from their Prada and Gucci shopping bags with them).

Yes, I know that you guys have a better quality of lives than me and my family, but how dare you guys have the audacity to look down on other nationalities.

Finally, after what seemed to be forever, the train finally stopped at Gare du Cornavin in Geneva. I ushered my mom and sis to get off quickly, before we were to be further scrutinized by those teenage girls.

We were heading to the exit when I saw the girls again, from my peripheral. They were being picked up by a 40-year old lady, also Caucasian. It must be one of the girls’ mum, I thought. And there was this man on a chauffeur uniform getting the 20 shopping bags they were all bringing.

I told my sis what I saw and she said, “Oh those stupid rich bad asses.”

I laughed at the end and told her that, we will also be like that someday, just shopping until our wallets can bleed no more, minus that rotten attitude.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Hidden Under a Cloak


The cold wind tried to make me shiver as I stepped out of Bus 343 at Elephant and Castle station. The weather was bitterly cold on the second day of the year. It’s a bank holiday the next day, so that might explain why this place was unusually quiet.

I checked my watch. It was 9:40PM. Work will begin in 20 minutes.

I tried to look for the Coronet Theatre. Good thing it was just beside the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre. The bouncers at the entrance greeted me with their usual tight and stern expressions. After a bag check and an explanation about my evening job, I was finally allowed to enter the theatre.

Or should I say bar. The Coronet is technically a theatre, but it can be transformed to a dance bar for parties of all sorts. I was there to do cloakroom for the event. The cloakroom guys will be the ones who will safe keep the guests' coats by giving them number tags so that they can pick them up later after the party.

I entered the cloakroom. Hell it was cold as it was located outside the theatre. Seems that I won’t be taking my coat off anytime soon. How ironic, as I'll be working in a cloakroom.

Since I was the first one there, the coordinators were ‘kind’ enough to ask me to put number tags on about 400 hangers. I was working on my 186th hanger when someone tapped my shoulder.

“Hey! Long time no see!”

It was Olya and his same red parka from the last event we catered about 3 weeks ago.

“Hey! How’ve you been?” We shook hands. My hands were again, cold, like last time. I gave him some number tags, so that I can do some catching up with him while getting the job done.

“I’m fine, thanks. How’s your Christmas and New Year?” he asked, while concentrating on his hangers.

“Not too bad myself. I got a bit fat due to my uncle’s constant feeding. Haha! How about yours?” I was already on my 257th.

“Not good… I was alone the whole week. My friends went back home to celebrate. I watched the countdown in Westminster by myself actually,” he said half-heartedly.

During that time, I just wanted to hug him, but then again… I had to finish these before the coordinator comes back, not to mention he might punch me in the face if I did hug him.

Thank God three more people arrived, and we managed to finish preparing about 600 hangers before the coordinators returned. One of them asked us to huddle around her so that she can brief us about the event. As expected as it can be, the surprises just kept on coming.

“Tonight’s event is just straightforward. Just get the coats from the guests, and give them a number tag. Each coat and bag will cost them 2 pounds each.”

Wow. 2 pounds just for keeping their coats? That is insanely costly. Oh well, since they are partygoers, they’ll sure have a lot of money.

“Oh, by the way, tonight’s event is a gay party. So it will be loads of fun!” the coordinator said impishly.

Oh. Dear. Lord.

“I worked at a gay event before. They tip big, seriously… don’t worry!” said one of my colleagues, who was trying her best to pacify my other male cloakroomers. It was only 10:20, and the doors will not open until 11, so we have time to rest and prep up.

“We have to be careful when going to the toilet!” Olya commented while patting my shoulder. Wow, his comment just ticked me off a bit. It seemed to have a small trace of homophobia.

At that moment, I was still speechless. The surprises just kept on coming. First, Alexandra Burke’s mini concert, and how this? If only this catering party pays well, I will seriously do a full time work rota here.

Gay party? It will be actually my first time going into one! And the best of all, I won’t be a partygoer, but I will be the one serving them. So imagine the delight I had when I heard what the event’s gonna be. PLUs from all nationalities will gather at this dance party that will celebrate the onset of the New Year.

And they will have to pass through me (and my colleagues) if they want to ensure that their coats are in safe hands.

Back in my mind, I felt a bit sorry for myself, because I can’t mingle with them. But I couldn’t afford to get laid at the start of the year. Lol.

“Thank you very much sir,” I said as I took the coat from him. The cute Caucasian bloke gave me a pound as tip, winked at me, and then went inside the bar.

It was already 12 midnight. I kept my composure as gays on top of the hotness meter just kept on coming. They came in various forms… butch, drag, athletic, twink, bear, etc. (Just tell me if I used some of the terms incorrectly). Damn, if I only I always get assigned to parties like these, I might fish a prospect sooner than I thought.

I kind of struggled, partly because of the European goodies I was seeing, but it’s mainly because of their coats. They’re hardcore expensive, to the point that each coat can equate to a month’s expense. I have to take care of their Prada parkas or Burberry trench coats. And wow, the tips just kept on coming as well. The tip box just went past the 10 pound mark, and we were only hanging about 200 coats.

I was about to give the number tag to this another cute guy I was serving when he asked me, “Do you sell fags?”

Even though I knew that he meant cigarettes, I still froze. It was amusing, well, in that context.

“No, we don’t. The other cloakroom sells them.”

“Can you come with me please? Oh pretty please?” He grabbed my arm as I was about go to the back and get his change. That was a bit shocking but amusing at the same time. Before I can react, my girl colleague talked to him and said that she can show him the way to the other cloakroom. He agreed and let go of my hand, and winked at me.

Second wink of the night. Either I am that cute and they’re hitting on me, or they’re just being uber friendly. I’d go for the latter one then.

Finally, after about two hours of the constant routine of getting the coats and giving the tags and change, I was tired… and nature’s calling me. The other cloakroomers bade me good luck as I went out and headed for the toilet.

Since the toilets were inside the premises, I had to pass by the dance floor before reaching my destination. It was hot and stuffy, literally and figuratively. I can’t see much because of the mist emitted from the smoke machines. The pink, blue, and yellow neon lights just illuminated the dance floor, with hundreds of men dancing to the tune of a techno song being played by the DJ with his sound mixer.

The place was kind of cramped, so I have to squeeze myself and just push myself to get to the toilets, as they would also not hear me if I say excuse me. Most of them are in their tank tops, while some are just… shirtless. Imagine the horror/delight I was feeling back then.

Finally, toilets. I double checked to see if it was the men’s or the women’s because apparently, the guys were all lining up to the cubicles… no one’s peeing on the urinals. And they were just there, chatting amongst themselves in the toilets.

I think I know the reason why they’re lining up. I’ll just have to double check with my friends as soon as I get home, I think. I just took a quick pee on the urinals (while double checking if someone's prying me or not), then went straight back to the cloakroom after a couple of more pushing and making way.

Nothing much happened after I returned to the cloakroom. It was considered to be the ‘quiet time’ when all the guests have arrived and were having the time of their lives inside. Apart from the couple kissing passionately a few metres from the cloakroom (which I kept on giving quick hidden glances at them), I just sat there, chugging on my Red Bull, and waiting for people to start going home.

A few minutes after half 2, and the coordinator finally asked me and another person to call it a night. Our services weren’t needed anymore; thus, I can have a good night’s rest back home.

So technically, I can… join the party. But the 4-pound tip I got after dividing the tip box’s contents evenly was just enough to by me a pint of lager worth 3.50. Rather than spending it, I just decided to really call it a night and headed off to the nearest bus stop.

As soon as I took a seat on the upper deck of Bus N171, I had to comprehend the things that just happened.

First and foremost, I forgot to say goodbye to Olya. Anyway, it was really a gratifying experience, serving the LGBT community. I mean, compared to the customers I was serving at the bakeshop, they’re totally more friendly and courteous, and not to mention they initiate small talks, which I totally fancy. They’re really fun to be with I guess.

it was as if it struck me hard. God seems to be giving me a message. Being exposed to a gay party at the start of the year? Hmmm.
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