“This is America…”


Let’s be honest: Everyone else has more fun on New Year’s Eve than you do. Or at least that’s what you think. Personally, I think it’s a conspiracy. The people on TV in Times Square look like they’re having an awesome time, after all, they’re in New York and they’re all cheering. But they’re probably wondering why they’re not warm and why they’ve been standing in the cold for 7 hours. And the rest of us are at parties or celebrations staring at a clock, counting down from 11:59:50 and turning to hug family, friends and strangers. We then put away the stale chips and straggle off to bed thinking, “What a lame New Year’s Eve, I bet if we had been in _______(location), we’d have had way more fun like ______(“fun” friends).”

So this year, determined to have the most fun of anyone we knew, Varun and I decided to spend New Year’s in New York City with Varun’s sister, V, and cousin, K. Our plan was this: eat dinner, have V and K’s Indian friends over to celebrate the New Year and, after midnight, head downtown to a club (the prices drop dramatically after midnight).

My favorite part of the pre-midnight celebration was dancing with K’s Indian friends. Bhangra, as you may or may not know, is a more traditional form of Indian dance. So, being a Bhangra expert, I was able to quickly adapt my moves to fit in with Hindi pop music. Or not. Luckily, K’s friends were incredibly forgiving of my white girl rhythm and were mostly impressed that I knew even two words in Hindi. Did I mention that they all, boys and girls included, were awesome dancers? (Sigh).

At midnight, we toasted the New Year, hugged and looked at each other awkwardly thinking, “Someone must be having more fun….”. We then piled into taxis and headed to a club in Manhattan.

I didn’t count, but I think there were about 10 of us. All of whom, excluding myself, were Indian. We stood in line and everyone used their Indian driver’s licenses as I.D. For some reason, the bouncer decided that V’s was fake (it isn’t). So, after everyone had filed inside except Varun, V and myself, we stood in the cold debating.

Bouncer: We don’t take copies.
V: What? It’s not a copy. Here’s my school I.D., same name, same face.
Bouncer: No.
Varun: Look, I have a Canadian driver’s license and an Indian one, you can confirm hers.
Bouncer: This is America, go get your passport.

Yes, he actually said that. Yes, of course I laughed. No, we didn’t get in.

What we did was pile into the cab and rode back through New Year’s traffic to get the I.D. while our friends danced away. $50 and 90 minutes later, we returned to the club with V’s passport.

Bouncer: Sorry, the club is full.
Me: Sorry, what?!
Bouncer: It’s full. We’ve reached capacity.
Me: Seriously? We went all the way back to Brooklyn to get her I.D. because you said–
Bouncer: Sorry.

At this point, it was about 3 am and everything seemed hilarious and tragic at the same time. We waited for K’s friends and got to know the rather depressed Bouncer. After waiting 45 minutes for a train that didn’t come, we decided to hail a cab. Most drivers wouldn’t take us to Brooklyn as it’s too far. It was late (or early, depending on whether you were heading to bed or waking up), and we were getting desperate…

Me: Can you take us to Brooklyn?
Cabbie: No. Too far.
Me: But we’ll pay you! That’s part of the deal. We give you money.
Cabbie: (Glares at me)
Varun: (In his thickest Indian accent) Please help us, we’re new immigrants to America (here he points to himself, V and Kh)
Cabbie: Okay, get in. I’m from Bangladesh!

Needless to say, by the time we got home you were probably eating breakfast. To me, it was a hilarious night and totally memorable. Tiring and slightly circuitous, yes. But next year, when I’m sitting on the couch watching the ball drop and thinking about people partying, I’ll know that no matter how hard I try, someone probably is having more fun than I am on New Year’s.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vibhuti
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 12:58:17

    as always….. i just loved reading it..!!!

    Reply

  2. Mindy
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 13:20:03

    Heehee! Oh Meels, you have the greatest adventures ever. Love how Varun used his Indian-ness to score a ride home for you all :)

    Reply

  3. Vicki
    Jan 19, 2011 @ 17:04:08

    This is too funny. You guys are awesome. I’m impressed by your optimism, Amelia!!

    Reply

  4. Jill
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 01:33:29

    HILARIOUS. Especially the part about Varun putting on his thickest Indian accent. Hahaha. And I can’t believe the bouncer dude. “This is America; go get your passport”?!?!

    Reply

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