Our determination to find fun nightlife diminishes with the realization that we haven’t chosen that sort of resort. We chose it because it seemed more relaxing, and that it was. We began to fall into the early to bed early to rise lifestyle.
“There seem to be fun clubs at the other resorts,” I mention.
“Yea, but we’d have to take the shuttle, and we might miss it, and. . .” says L. Really what she says is what we are both thinking: maybe restful is a nice change of pace. We can enjoy each other.
One evening a band actually shows up to play at 8:00. We get excited and order some shots–even a round of one of the famous aphrodisiac shots. This is a night to let loose. “Well, just when we decide not to party, a party comes to us,” I say.
Some couples get closer to the stage. Two people dance for about a second. The music is loud and pretty good. The rule is that at a resort, Americans and Canadians want to hear endless Bob Marley and Shaggy hits. I feel bad for all parts of the Indies that aren’t Jamaica.
Everyone keeps a polite distance. There is no energy mass. Still we hope and sort of dance for a moment by our table. Most of the dancing is done in brief spurts on the way to or from the bathroom, conveniently located behind the stage where the band is playing. Most of the dances form absurdist contrasts to the music played–an awkward wiggle here, a strut with hands way behind the back there. One woman begins to clog to a Peter Tosh reggae tune. We jammin.
It isn’t just us, though, that long for more. Anything more. One man who is shaped like a bowling pin, boasts that he is from New York (is there any other way people from New York explain where they are from?) and in most ways resembles Curly from the Three Stooges wants to get the party started. He is on fire. He approaches the stage, arms waving above his head like an angry ape. He rocks back and forth on his wide spread legs, waving arms, yelling “Let’s get this party started!”
Even that brave attempt fails. About fifteen minutes later, the band thanks the three people left in semi-attendance and leaves the stage. The bar shuts down. 9:00. Time for bed.
The greatest excitement we experience at the bar itself is one evening when we think we might be in the presence of a celebrity. One we don’t recognize, but a celebrity nonetheless. The overheard conversation goes like this:
Bartender (to a guy standing next to L): Are you a movie star?
Guy: . . .
Bartender: Come on. Are you?
Guy: Well. .
Bartender: What were you on?
Guy: Do you watch Netflix?
Guy: I’m on Arrested Development.
Bartender: No. I don’t know that.
By the end of the week L goes to the bar in pajamas, and I realize that I had never once been drunk. L hadn’t either. Except the day when I suffered from the ZikaVika, both of us drank from breakfast until bed. “You know how hard it is to get drunk when you drink all day,” L says.
“Yea, and the heat. Still, I think something is wrong.”
“Like there’s no alcohol in the drinks?”
“Exactly.” I had felt my heart relax a bit after a few breakfast vodkas and enjoyed a slight buzz in the afternoons when drinking the Piton beer, but never in the evenings when what drinks we could get were supplied primarily by the bar. Sure, the poor service kept us sober to a degree, but even the evening we had shots, the only thing that made me want to lie down was the lack of entertainment.
“There have been a couple people drunk at the bar. Remember that one guy?” L remembers.
Yes. There had been one nearly belligerent drunk, head down on the bar, talking too loud, doing all the things required of the amateur vacation drinker. But I have seen these people get drunk without drinking since childhood. The need to get stupid is all that is required. I’m certain they can be triggered by ice cubes. They see a straw and cocktail glass and begin slurring their words.
“We must experiment,” I declare. I take stock of what is left in our free room bar. We have ¾ of a bottle of vodka, a full bottle of rum, six beers, one bottle mystery wine, and a bottle of something they are calling whiskey. We have three cans of juice and four colas. We’re good to go.
The experiment continues throughout the day. If we are by the room, we drink neverending glasses of whatever is left, washing them down with our small beer supply. Drinks are poured with a backwards ratio of 3 to 1 alcohol. About two hours in, we begin doing shots between drinks to conserve the very little mixer on hand.
Fifteen ounces. Nothing. Twenty ounces. Nothing. We drink.
By the end of the afternoon, we begin to worry about getting sick–not from alcohol, but from the mixers. We aren’t even slightly drunk. I lose interest at 32 ounces of alcohol. Experiment completed. Besides the beer, we are convinced that the liquor is flavored water.
In retrospect, we were lucky. We could have been at one of those resorts where they spike drinks with rat poison and fermented urinal cakes to increase the buzz and stretch a dollar. Better not drunk than too drunk when in a foreign land. One’s own porch is the best place to drink, and the best parties spontaneously combust.
We end our trip remarkably relaxed, happy we had the experience, but completely convinced that “all-inclusive” isn’t for us. Having constant sales pitches, forced fun, and watery drinks excluded from our next vacation would suit us just fine.