How To Bypass Face Control
The Russian language is a very active one.
Just like American English is famous for adopting several words and phrases from the German idiom, among them the all-time favorites of “Kindergarten” and “Gesundheit” the Russian language has been doing pretty much the same for over 200 years now.
Care for an example? Here are two examples for starters: apart from Stalingrad-inspired “Hitler kaput” every Russian also knows the German expression of “das ist phantastisch“.
Das ist phantastisch
Used as an exclamation of joy translating as “this is fantastic” into English, the Russian use of “das ist phantastisch” sticks out for one reason: No German native speaker would ever give a rat’s ass about it. Nowhere in the German speaking world would anyone ever use “das ist phantastisch” as a genuine expression of excitement. Germans would freely say that something is “geil” – a unique German combination of “horny” and “super” meaning something like “awesome” with a more graphic touch – or they would use the term “krass” which is also is known by the English language. But “das ist phantastisch“? Not used at all.
The Russians did not adopt a well-established phrase to use it in their language, they just took whatever phrase they liked and turned it into one of theirs. And the German language is by far not the only source they made use of. Take, for instance, the Russian neologism of Face Control.
What is face control?
Face Control is when you are trying to get in into a nightclub in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, Kazakhstan or any other Russian speaking country — but are not let in. You were either too old, not posh enough or the massive guy guarding the door just didn’t like the color of your shirt. In short, the local door policy just did not apply to you, you got face controlled.
Whatever the reason for you getting face controlled the end result is that you have to declare defeat, pack your bags and look for another venue with a less rigid door policy — not really the most enticing way to start a big night out, if you ask me.
Another aspect of face control is that it could also be translated as race control. My friend The Traveling Bachelor is an easy-going guy who would never get flat-out drunk yet he has been rejected at more than one nightclub in Ukraine. His crime? He is an Asian-American. One has to understand that while all Russian speaking countries use iPhones and are plastered with franchises of McDonald’s and Burger King they are not westernized countries. And in the case of Russia they never will be. What in the West is called “minority rights” or “political correctness” in Russia or elsewhere in the far East of Eastern Europe no one really cares about — in comparison to the degree of political correctness as you will find it in the West, that is. Either you are in or you are out. Reasons for the judgement: utter arbitrariness.
The work-around to face control
There are, however, good ways to bypass face control.
First of all it is only a minority of nightclubs in Eastern Europe that run a rigid door policy. Management and bouncers of the majority of nightclubs are the same as in the West, in good and in bad. And like anywhere else it is not really an individual feature like the way you look or the country you are from that will keep you from getting in. It is the overall impression you make. Would you expect to be let in if you were drunk or aggressive?
The same basic rules apply anywhere in the world. As long as you are not drunk and dressed appropriately you will hardly face rejection, be that in Russia, England or Nigeria. But if you arrive with a crew of your beer-ridden “lads” that have “social awkwardness” written all over them then your chances to get face controlled will most naturally be skyrocketing.
Apply the one travel tip to bypass face control
If you fear to be rejected or if you have been rejected in the past then there is one work-around that will increase your odds of getting in.
All you have to do is order one of the “expensive” taxis in the city you are in and have them drop you off in front of the nightclub’s entrance. Don’t get off too close to the entrance so that you would rub yourself into people’s faces. But don’t do it too far away from the entrance, either. Preferably you will get out of your taxi in eyesight of the bouncers without making it all too clear that they are supposed to see you arrive. Then walk straight to the door and act as if this was the hundredth time you were entering the location.
This way you will distinguish yourself from the other guests who are getting there on foot and also by the other foreigners who give off a dull vibe as they stand around wondering whether they are at the right place or not. A “high class” taxi, foreign looks and a determine but friendly attitude will you make you arrive like a B-list celebrity to his favorite venue.
Why does it work?
Arriving with in this subtlely arranged manner will turn your “disadvantage” of being a foreiner into an advantage:Your foreign status is no longer something that will make you “stick out” or not fit on, but now is something that stands above the other commoners waiting in line. Bouncers will take notice and treat you accordingly.
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