In the dark and dingy basement, a scent of stale smoke and sweat hung in the air. The walls vibrated dangerously as the pumping beats bounced rapidly from corner to corner. Becky and I clutched on to one another as we carefully backed away from the Iranian weirdo who had just paid for us to gain entry into the nightclub.
Balding, with a selection of creepy tattoos that wouldn’t put him out of place at a dinner party with pirates, he had an odd mannerism that appeared to repel people like a bad smell. Infuriated at our less than subtle slinking off into the shadows, an ugly snarl crept across his scarred face.
“We need to hide!” shrieked Becky
Our not so subtle slinking broke into an even less subtle run as we turned and fled to the opposite end of the dance floor. Bright green and white strobe lights illuminated the Iranian as he searched high and low in an attempt to locate his missing drinks.
“Great idea coming here” I laughed sarcastically.
“You don’t turn down a free club entry and a free drink on our budget!”
She had a fair point.
I just hoped that this decision wouldn’t end with us being chopped up into little pieces and dumped down a back alley with the rubbish and the rats. Blending into the shadows, we took cover by hiding behind a large group of smiling boys in sunglasses who appeared slightly less capable of murder.
“WHERE YOU FROM?” yelled Becky, trying to befriend our unaware protectors.
“SOUTH KOREA” the boys shouted back in unison.
Suddenly, the whole vibe of the nightclub was transformed. The pounding English dance music was switched for a sound completely foreign to me. My eyebrows crinkled together as I attempted to work out what I was hearing.
“Ahhh haa” laughed a boy in a white t-shirt, who had possibly stolen a giant’s sunglasses, “K-POP”
The boys glanced at one another, nodded, and gave a knowing smile. They had somehow arranged themselves into a V shaped line and stood perfectly still…waiting…but for what?
The beat kicked in, and the boys kicked off with a rocking routine. Arms swung forwards and sideways in perfect synchronicity. Feet bounced wildly, box steps, side steps, spins, twists and kicks.
My jaw must have hit the floor as I stared on wide-eyed with amazement. This was truly something special.
“I LOVE THE KOREANS!!” I squealed loudly
“ME TOO!” shouted Becky, “THEY’RE SO COORDINATED!!”
Were they are boy band? Or were they just a bunch of ordinary boys who had a well-rehearsed dance routine especially for occasions such as this one? It didn’t matter. It was bloody brilliant. The two blonde English girls, try as they might to join in, were completely out-danced by the crazy Asian brilliance.
Seven months later, sitting in a cluttered living room of a dusty flat in London, I gazed on at the music channel as Psys ‘Gangnam Style’ popped up. And there it was. That mental dance routine again! Only this time it had gone global! In my own mind, I like to believe it originated back in that dingy Phuket nightclub with our Korean friends in the oversized sunglasses.