So, living in London has been so incredible the past few weeks. It has been a journey and an adventure (do those mean the same? Because I’m not using them in the same way.) But, another thing that it has been is expensive.
Sometimes it blows my ind how pricey things can be here. I’m not talking your every day items for life, like food, water and toilet paper. I’m talking about actually living it up here. Going out for the night can easily cost £30-£40 for one night, between transportation, club or bar entrance fee, drinks on top of that and a pizza to end the night right. That’s about 60 US bucks. And when you go out three to six times a week, it starts to add up.
So I came up with this……. game, so to speak. It’s a game that helps you save money for the evening by cutting some of your own expenses, without missing out on anything. I call it; “The Jersey Hustle.”
So basically, to take part in the Jersey Hustle, it is important to be either a girl, an American (preferably from New Jersey) in a foreign place, or short. Luckily, I have 2 and a half out of three (I’m only kind of short, but not like midge (can I say that?) territory) in my favor. So, this is how it goes. First of all, unless you decide to stay relatively local, usually you have to pay your way to get to town, which, if you have a student oyster card (which I do) you can just hop on the tube since you’ve already fronted the money for this trip a few days ago, you can already mark that down as paid. But the next step, make friends with the bouncer (if it becomes a place that you frequent often), if that happens, he’ll probably let you in for free, especially if you do just enough hair flipping to not look spastic. If you can get into the place for free, well, you are already well on your way to saving big bucks (good for you).
The next step, you have to bite the bullet and buy at least one drink. Don’t go crazy, I’m not saying buy shots or some crazy cocktail, but a simple beer so that you can walk around holding something in your hand. You should try to get most of the way through the first drink while walking through the club/bar and be sure to be keeping an eye out for people to help with the next step.
Now, this is the step that is the true heart of the hustle. It takes wit and cunning and possibly an extra dash of lip gloss. This is the part where you find the most crowded location at the bar. Look for the place where there are usually a big group of tallish guys. Then, you need to stand on your tip toes and pretend like you can’t see the bar. If you do it right/enough, eventually one of the guys that you’re standing near will notice you. Do it for another second or two, to make sure he has really noticed you and then, BOOM, drop the accent bomb. Ask him if he has been waiting for long or something simple like that. Now you’ve started a conversation. Next, he’ll probably ask where you’re from. Now you’ve got some foundation here. Start chatting it up. Keep chatting while you wait on line.
Then, when you are finally about to get your turn to order, ask him what he’s having or what he thinks you should get.
This is the pivotal moment in the entire hustle, this is where it will either go your way, or you’ll have to wait twenty minutes and try again with someone else.
It is imperative that you smile and do the most subtle hair toss you could ever imagine. Not overtly flirty, but friendly, that you value what he is going to say. When he gives you the answer, you ask him how much that is and that is usually when his hand goes up and he says he’s got it. At which point, you must refuse and say that; “oh no, I couldn’t possibly accept.” Now, if you’ve done the hustle correctly, he won’t take no for an answer.
Since you are at the bar, you watched the drink be prepared. So, you should know that it is safe, because accepting random drinks from random people: not smart. The Jersey Hustle, as I said previously, requires wit. Let’s not be dumb people.
So, now, you have the drink in your hand, I recommend maybe having a few sips before continuing on. You are so close to being through with the hustle. You have a few options though.
You can either stick around, make friends with the guy, if he’s actually nice and see if he’ll get you another drink later. Or if he was obviously just buying you a drink because you’re a pretty girl and not actually interested in real conversation, well, feel free to use one of the following to complete the hustle:
- Pull the, “oh, my friends just texted, looking for me! I better go check in with them!”card. If he offers to come, say that’s fine, but say you need to run to the bathroom first and you’ll meet him in a few minutes. Then, b-line for your friends or a different part of the club. If he spots you later, say that you came back but couldn’t find him so you figured he left!
- Pull the, “I really want to go dance” card. Usually, if he’s like a proper dude’s dude with his buds, he’ll tell you no. But in the off chance that he offers to go with you. Allow him to, but the second you hit the dance floor get lost in the crowd. Again, if he catches up to you later, say that you thought he was right behind you the whole time, and then you couldn’t find him.
- Or, pull the, “Wow thank you, that was so nice of you to get me a drink, but you really shouldn’t have. It was nice to meet you, thanks again.” This should be the one that you use only right before you’re leaving. So, you down your drink and hit the road.
So, that, in a nutshell, is the Jersey Hustle. Depending on the night, you can probably get away with it 3-4 times in a night, depending on how long you’re out or how quick you can pull the hustle.
An alternative to the hustle, is, you know, just being nice. Just be friendly and see how far that gets you. Which also, usually works. It doesn’t take unnecessary flirting or low cut tops, usually people want to hear about where you’re from or what you have done or seen in the world. And just sometimes, you can make a friend from it. Sure, maybe you don’t get that booze buzz for free, but you can definitely come out of it with a friend or two, who you may not have met other wise. And honestly, it’s more than likely that if you make some friends, at some point down the line, they are going to hit you up with a drink or two, if that’s what you’re truly concerned about!
Well, as you read this, I’m trying out the Hustle or the Hustle alternative somewhere in Scotland. So, cheers to getting free drinks or making new friends. Either way, I’m happy. Cheers, XOXO. Maz.