Fuck Me I’m Famousby Dylan Muhlenberg / Images by Warren Talbot / 17.09.2013
I’m living the charmed life now and really starting to get a feel for it. Naturally, after a long and languorous lunch spent coming down at a beach bar, I’m being driven. This time to an open-air poolside disco, Ushuaia, where my name is on the list and the wristband that the beautiful door lady cuffs me with emblazoned with those three magic letters – V.I.P
Ushuaia is the hippest offering in Ibiza’s island idyll and boasts Damien Hirst-designed artwork, epilepsy-inducing LED lighting, pyrotechnics and confetti showers. This is where Leo DiCaprio parties when in Spain, and like Leo we don’t line up for drinks because lining up for drinks is boring. Instead our drinks are brought to us by a dexterous little drinks-jockey whose job it is to ensure that we never see our glass as half empty. It’s nice talking about the price of our drinks – a fifteen thousand rand Balthazar of vodka, specifically – because this is what the wealthy do.
There are no ugly people in Ibiza because they are all shot at birth. One can’t help but double take as an 8 pushes a mop across the floor of the airport, or a Glamazon hands out flyers in the street. And if this wasn’t enough the major import here are beautiful women. They are gorgeousness and gorgosity and flock here in a uniform of short shorts, which show off their cheeky bums, and skimpy tops that display sideboob, underboob, an aerial view of boob or some sort of fantastical combination of this. Exposed midriffs are tanned and toned and starved to perfection. Heels are towering and ankles look as if they’ve been turned on a lathe. The women’s attitudes could do with some adjusting, but that’s nothing a fistful of euro can’t fix.
Right now we’re throwing around money and shapes in a fifty-thousand rand cordoned off area that overlooks the dance pit. Outside of our V.I.P area is a couch, which is regularly filled with different groups of girls that our drinks-jockey invites for a casting of sorts. Those that we approve of are invited past the velvet rope and given a taste of the high life. This isn’t as vulgar as it sounds. The girls know how this works, they get the idea, and if they forget then there are ways of reminding them. Anyway, the Saudis in the V.I.P section neighboring ours are far better at objectifying women than we are.
Which is why they’re able to lure our girls over to their side, despite us being considerably younger and much more fun. Maybe it’s our attire of slops and shorts that just can’t compete with the Sheik’s showy wristwatch and high-end all black designer getup? Or perhaps it’s the South-Africaness that perspires from us as much as the booze does (earlier we’d passed the time on the beach by lobbing rocks at champagne flutes and running up behind girls and snapping photos of their cheeky bums and exposed breasts). Also, these girls aren’t completely stupid, they can see that we don’t really belong, that our pockets only go as deep as our benefactor Roberto’s company credit card. If these girls are going to survive the island then they’ll need to think long term.
Warren Talbot, this fine publication’s Olmeca Ibiza Nights prizewinner, does a walkabout amongst the hoi polloi. After being spotted dancing on the V.I.P deck he is greeted like royalty. War spins a story about being the staff photographer for Mix Mag and has girls lining up to have their picture taken – even though his camera only processes one out of every three shots and requires coaxing from his open palm. While War obliges the shoot-me-girls, people in the crowd snap pictures of us, after which they probably send them to the Rich Kids of Instagram account. Our level of consumption is off the scale. It’s party time for the seven deadly sins. We are Golden Gods.
The main stage comes to life and we move to a new V.I.P section that overlooks the regular V.I.P section. We are now V.V.I.Ps and have a king-sized canopied bed with the highest possible thread count of Egyptian cotton imaginable, our own personal magician, two drinks-jockeys running bottle service and bouncers who will remove any girl that we grow bored of.
A giant ant crowd surfs over ten thousand pumping fists before being sprayed with a blast of ersatz insecticide. There are fireworks, lazers and glitter competing for our attention in the sky. Jorius Voorn’s decks are flanked by leggy blondes in bondage gear. The sound is so big that you can feel the bass booming through you, however, the quality makes it possible to maneuver a conversation in broken English without even having to shout. We’ve missed our dinner reservation, but who cares? We’re drinking from the necks of thousand euro bottles of Champagne!
More bottles arrive, the cost of which would embarrass you, and to celebrate this fact flares are strapped to each bottle’s neck. Contrary to popular belief there aren’t just two types of people who wear sunglasses at night. There is a third – people whose drinks arrive with flares strapped to them. People very different from us, but whom we’re happy to impersonate. Anyway, never mind, we are here and we are pleased to be here. After all, there are two classes in Ibiza, the haves and the “have-yachts”, and it’s much, much more fun to play the latter.
After the best six hours of our lives the bar tab comes in at a staggering 65K, which we take in our stride while making our way to the most legendary club on the island, the 40-year old Pacha. The other Olmeca Nights prize winner, Dave, has brought along a beautiful young Spaniard with her equally pretty posse in tow. It’s the girl’s 21st birthday and her Ushuaia experience, courtesy us, has been the highlight of her young life. We need long pants and closedshoes in order to get into Pacha and so we slip into these at the hotel while doing tequila shots until the bottle is empty. Don’t ask what else happens in those suites and I won’t tell any lies…
Pacha is a chaotic maze that once you enter you can never really leave. Unless you’re the guy being carried out on a stretcher with an oxygen mask connected to his face. He is just one of several casualties that we’ll see that night and a grim reminder that once inside Pacha’s labyrinthine innards you should splurge on as many 12 Euro bottles of water as you can afford. We don’t pay for drinks because taking out your wallet is boring. The V.I.P section is free and immediate and so we do shots that we chase with water while taking in a Dita Von Teese style burlesque show that isn’t even the weirdest spectacle in the room.
The previous night at Space I’d raved to Cassius, Brodinski and Felix Da Housecat until the sun came up. Tonight I’m doing the same, even though my body is weak, hands are palsied, legs are ossified, feet have been brutalized – I’ve actually lost a toenail on the big toe of each foot– my skin is burned, eyes are bloodshot, voice is hoarse, ears are ringing and heart is doing an impersonation of shopping carts crashing. Still the beat lures me and I dance a spastic march of exaggerated steps while waving my arms like an air-traffic controller.
Eventually I dance my way out of the club to birdsong and the sun coming up. I should be celebrating the new day, but I can’t with this black dog barking at my soul. I’m alone and need someone to tell me that everything is going to be okay. The double-glazed windows, heavy curtains and frosty air con of Warbot’s room is like an isolation tank, and I lay on the bed next to him for what must be a single blink. When I wake up – shoes still on my feet, beat still playing on – it’s time to go home. Fuck.
But first brunch, where I find myself dancing while waiting for the chef to make my omelet and hurry up with my damn croissant. I sit down with the other revelers, commiserate, swap stories, show off some photographs, ask if perhaps anyone’s seen an iPhone or pair of Wayfarers or backpack or camera or a wallet… Try to get some food in. Order a beer in a gravelly voice. Shoot a shot of ginseng. Leer at the model who has been employed by the Gran Hotel as decoration. Because this is Ibiza, and obviously the hotel that we’re staying at has a perpetual catwalk that is always being strutted by a pneumatic 10 in various states of undress.
At breakfast we see Thabiso wrapping up a muffin in a napkin.
“What youdoing, bru?”
“Eish my brother asked me to bring him something back from the island. I can’t go home with nothing…”
Olmeca Ibiza Nights prizewinner, Thabiso, is definitely not going home with nothing. Not only did he come right with a promotion girl at Space, and later he’ll come right at the airport while we wait to board our flight to Madrid, but at Pacha we’d spotted him sucking face with a woman who must be employed to walk the catwalk at a neighboring hotel. We press Thabs for details and he looks down at his eggs. He’d invited her up to his suite and she’d accepted, undressed, done a little dance, and then put out her hand and asked him for 300 Euro for the full package. There are jokes about haggling and lay-byes and installments and easy terms and “just going to find a cash-machine.”
And then the hell trip back home. The inbound trip wasn’t too bad because we were hopped up on the lounge bars and the service trolleys and had a nice buzz based on these things and the things to come. But now, now with the flight from Ibiza to Madrid to Istanbul to Joburg to Cape Town; now, now with our hangovers and battle scarred bodies, sweating booze, with a weird eye infection, tender gut, no toenails, shitting brown lazers, without a proper hard-on for days (despite plenty of reasons to), ahead still booming with bass and a soul suffering severe loser’s complex; now with all the things that come after a proper rave binge… Now? Now we are fucked.
Add to this smelling like yesterday while being seated next to people so overweight that they need seatbelt extenders, delayed flights, close encounters with missed connections, lengthy bus rides between terminals, and a system error where my boarding pass couldn’t be printed and so I had to maneuver through two international airports with nothing more than a hand-scrawled promissory note and you still couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face with a magnum of champagne.
Which is why while sitting on this flight home I just can’t bring myself to write to brief.
You see, after Montle – who was supposed to go on this trip – Facebooked his way out of it, Andy asked me to go, but with a caveat: the clear instruction that I trash the other bloggers in true Mahala style.
Which normally would’ve been my pleasure. After all, if you’ve got nothing nice to say, come sit next to me…
But I just couldn’t do it. Maybe because V.I.P areas force intimacy? Whatever you are doing, you are never further than a few inches from your neighbour, who could be anyone from decorative dancer to a magnum of Champagne but more often than not was my new band of blogging brothers.
You can see from my hairline that I’m not so young any more. I’m 31 this year, and for me the weekend was about rekindling the feeling I had at a club called Beetroot on the banks of the Buffalo River circa 1999. It’s here that I first lost myself in a beat, and started chasing a high I thought I’d never achieve again. Until now. Which is why I can’t say a bad word about these guys or the island or the trip. I’m just so damn happy, man! I blame all that Molly.
*All images © Warren Talbot.