Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The 16-year-old clubber

Shouldn't you at least be 18 for this? Or am I an old fart?

Last week I went to a Christmas/mingle/glögg-wine/networking event (take your pick!) and brushed shoulders with a lot of nice people. Since it was Christmas on the theme a lot of people had brought their kids and families. One woman was walking around with her 2 sons: 12 and 16 years old, that politely shook hands with all the guests. I was standing in a group of middle-aged men when the two teenagers came up to us and introduced themselves.

After some small talk it became clear that one of the men I was talking to had a son who went to the same school as Mr 16-year old. In an effort to figure out if they knew each other or not (not by name anyway), the middle-aged man suddenly went:

-Well, OK, maybe you guys are party buddies if nothing else? What clubs do you normally go to?

-Well.. for clubbing I go to Mural. And then sometimes….

-Eh… excuse me,
I said. How old are you again?

-Just turned 16.

-And you go… CLUBBING?

-Yeah, of course! Mural’s has the best free flow of booze!

-Eh… right.

I was looking at my fellow group of grown-ups, looking for some kind of moral support. Nothing. They were all busy giving encouraging smiles to the 16-year-old that just admitted he enjoys a free flow of booze on the wknds.

Not until later that night did one man come up to me, put a hand on my shoulder and said:

-Yeah, they grow up faster over here.

-No kidding.

Silence, until I said:

-We weren’t like that when we were sixteen?

-Weren’t we?

-Well I sure did not go clubbing anyway?! And I never experienced anything like “free flow” before I came to China?! As a teenager you don’t know how to handle things like that?!

Polite smiles and silence, until he went:

-Got any kids yourself?




Johan said...

Well, at sixteen, I'd agree you don't go clubbing in Sweden. However, it's hardly unusual to drink large amounts of cheap alcohol under far less controlled circumstances instead.


Bagman and Butler said...

I think kids are growing up faster everywhere.

Tinsku said...

:D Ohh haha. I went to my first club when I was 16 and that was like a year and a half ago. It was just out of curiosity and the mature connotation it carried. Yeah, kids do grow up really fast in our current society, especially with all the media bombardment we receive that depict clubs as really alluring places... But the booze part wasn't my thing but in Finland teenagers are known to drink A LOT. D:

Anonymous said...

As a mother of a seventeen year old, I find that rather sad. I guess I try to run a tight ship to avoid putting my child in such situations. I do this out of love and just the responsibility of being a parent and protecting them until they are of age!

Jonna Wibelius said...

Johan -fair enough. But u r not discussing your drinking habits with grown-ups and parents, that's for sure! (although actually, what's best?!)

Bagman -yes... and I'm getting old.

Tinsku -They sure do. And yes, finns (and Scandinavians) drink a lot. It has to do w the climate I believe... There's not much to do during winter.

anonymous -same as I would do. But it's probably quite hard.

WoAi said...

I think it's pretty universal that everything starts earlier as time moves. Even in the UK kids are having sex much earlier than before for instance (I mean with each other rather than with dirty old men).

And in the US you often see kids outside liquor stores asking an adult to buy some alcohol for them.

Kevin J said...

Seeing that in China you don't really get IDed when going to clubs or buying alcohol I can see how it is readily avaliable to kids 18 and younger. Most kids however are too busy with school to be able to go partying every weekend.