A few things you’ll notice going out at night in Sydney

It’s a whole different city out there after dark!

(Editor’s note: For the sake of this social experiment, I purposely remained sober throughout my outings, having only two alcoholic beverages maximum per outing and, of course, no drugs whatsoever because I have never done any of those and I never will. Moving on.)

Being a new person in a new city — or a city that you used to live in but haven’t even visited for over 20 years! — can be quite daunting. However it also provides you with some unique opportunities to explore: explore the culture, the sights, the landmarks and of course, the people. See how they behave when compared to their counterparts from other places around the world. Because, yes, we may be heading for a multicultural society but each location still maintains its own distinct identity.

And there’s no better place to gather this type of information than a bar or a pub. Especially in Sydney, where music isn’t permitted to be played too loud outdoors which provides the ideal setting for people to speak to another at their own leisure.

So after going out a few times, here are some common behaviors I noticed in Sydneysiders that can only be seen once the sun goes down and the drinks start coming in:

  1. You are going to meet someone who you don’t know — and never see them again!

Whether you go out alone, or you’re with a friend or even a whole group, you’re going to start speaking to people that you’ve never met before. Inevitably, at some point of the evening and without even making an attempt to do so, you’ll find yourself speaking to random people and hearing about their troubled backstories or where they come from or where they work yadda yadda and need to pretend to care about it.

The funny thing is, you might even find yourself having so many things in common with a few of them! They could be your neighbors or you might be from the same country of origin or you could know the same people. It’s funny how things play out. Sydney may seem like a big city but really, it’s true what they say: it’s such a small world.

Eventually you may even find yourself leaving the area with some of these people, heading back to some other, unknown destination. It’s okay, they won’t try to harvest your organs — 99% of the time at least! You’ll probably just continue the party somewhere else where you can be more drunk, loud and obnoxious.

Just don’t expect any of these people to remember who you are the day after. You’re not here to make any lifetime friends, just spend the night. The term “one night stand” doesn’t just apply to sex anymore, it can also be used for casual friendships, people who have no one to hang out with and simply find anyone they can and just chill with them.

It’s kind of sad really, but it works.

2. Males can be overprotective of their “prey” and really stupid when they’re in a group

As a male myself, it’s a bit “shooting-myself-in-the-leg” to write this, but God are we dumb sometimes!

It’s like we’re a special breed, you can spot them as soon as they walk in to any Aussie bar, they wear their Hawaiian shirts, shorts and white sneakers, even if it’s -10 degrees and raining buckets outside. I mean, you have to put them pecks and that surfer’s tan on display, right?

These people walk around, drink in hand, looking for their prey of the night and when they find it (her), then don’t try and get too close because they need to seal the deal! And they ain’t gonna stop till they get her back to their place.

Some of these guys can become aggressive and even pick trouble if they see you talking to their girl, even if that girl happens to be the one that opens a conversation with you. They become very hands-on, they talk in a low-key, strict tone and they generally make you not want to be around them.

And then there’s the early 20-year-old’s. The ones that have no “luck” for the night, have too much to drink and just go batshit crazy. You can usually find them being everyone’s friend, throwing high-fives and fist-bumps all over the place until they pull some crazy stunt that’ll eventually get them thrown out on the street by security. They’ll go out screaming “…but I didn’t do anything!” as everyone else watches on in shock and awe.

3. It’s really hard and expensive to get drunk

Sydney laws regarding alcohol consumption are some of the strictest in the entire world — and considering the people consuming it, I’d say it’s for good reason! You need to carry ID with you and show it to security before you enter any establishment that serves alcohol and then there are limits to how much can be served with every drink.

For example, in Greece you could just go up, ask for a glass of whiskey and they would serve it to you, no questions asked. That’s not the case in Sydney though. It’s not allowed. They can only serve it combined with some other beverage. So if you want to have whiskey or vodka, you will need to go with a whiskey-coke or vodka-oj. Extra calories, but better for the kidneys I suppose.

And then there’s the price issue. While each of these drinks costs round about as much as you would pay for your average drink anywhere else in the world, it doesn’t last nearly as long, nor does it really do much for you. I mean, a whiskey-coke is something I would consume when I was 20-years-old, not now. So if you actually want to feel the alcohol, you’re going to have to spend a good fortune.

Yet another great initiative by the New South Wales government in order to keep people as sober as possible!

4. Drugs… drugs everywhere!

But while the alcohol issue seems to be fairly under control in “Oz”, the drug problem is getting more and more out of hand.

It seems almost every single person that goes out at night is on something: pot, weed, LSD, ecstasy, crack, heroin, you name it, they’re probably doing it!

For most people it’s not that obvious, but for others you can definitely see it in their behavior or even if you take a quick look in their eyes. And it’s creepy.

This might actually be the reason as to why people tend to behave so friendly when they go out. The drugs make them drop their prohibitions. Most likely because they have very little sense of who they are or what they’re doing.

It’s so sad that all these people have learned from such a young age that the only way to have fun and let all that pressure of the daily routine go is by taking some pill or smoking some rolly-polly or doing something like that. As if it’s natural.

Why didn’t I ever learn it? Why was I taught that those things are horrible and can ruin your life if you even go near them? I grew up in Greece yet even there when we were in school it was a huge deal to even light up a tobacco cigarette. And we’re supposed to be the uneducated ones!

I agree on Australia’s hardass stance against alcohol. But they should take drugs as even more of a threat.

And those are a few things you’ll pick up if you go out at night in Sydney. So you’ll make lots of new friends, you’ll more than likely stay sober and you’ll have an overall enjoyable experience! Something to keep in mind for when those restrictions finally ease.

Media graduate, professional journalist and self-proclaimed Final Fantasy fanboy. Interests (and die-hard passions) include gaming and sports (mainly football).

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