11. The Hangover IV.

I’ve been frequenting a few bars over the time that I’ve been here. I’d like to confirm that obviously I only did so to really get a flavour for you fine people. I naturally had to sample a few of the local beers, cocktails, shots, chasers, the odd wine, a bit of Baijui… A few bits and pieces to really just to make sure all bases are covered- the basics. Quite keenly, as you can see from the photo above, Canon have invented a new camera setting, which is taken through the lenses of the photographer’s eyes… Neat stuff, eh? You can see this now, as authentically as I did!! As I’m sure you may have guessed, things are not as they perhaps are in some other bars I have seen around.
Firstly, the Chinese buy their beers by the… dozen doesn’t seem right, nor bucketload. It slightly difficult to give an accurate description of how to describe it. After much deliberation, I think the following picture gives a strong argument for table full. The Chinese buy their beers by the table full:
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Why? Answer: not sure. Best guess is that it is a marketing scheme which forces repeat custom. Although it is not obligatory, and beers bought and not drank are then retained on a credit system, meaning that the next time they can access their prepaid beer account once again. I suppose really, it is quite clever on the part of the bar owners.

A typical bar is usually set out with more exclusive sections, usually raised surrounding a central set of tables, which are arranged in a style befitting primary school canteens (imagine Harry Potter and Co for a better idea) and smaller dance floor. The bar in which I conducted my research at midnight a few days ago had a catwalk-style dance platform, I seem to vaguely remember. This segregated layout is a great example of the importance of Chinese hierarchy, although this becomes a much tighter knit mélange as the liquor flows! As it turns out, too, the dance floors are quite a formal affair, with seemingly territorial groups who take part of it for the evening… quite bizarre. Also, although I was luckily not witness to this type of behaviour, there are instances of aggression towards white males who speak to Chinese females, despite the fact that their intentions may be entirely innocent.  *SPOILER ALERT: THE NEXT SENTENCE KILLS THE MOOD.* Muscling in on another pack’s female population, as we see on the Discovery Channel is a huge no-no. In fact, one of my friends was hospitalised after a misunderstanding in a bar, requiring reconstructive surgery… His girlfriend was with him at the time.**

As a group of westerners, we are generally treated in the former, more exclusive bracket, as it is quite chic to have a group of white people in the bar- exotic if you will. Therefore, we had endless tables’ of beer as our disposal… and for some reason this fruit selection (let’s not bother with why. It’s evident that neither I nor anybody for that matter knows why people want fruit in a nightclub.)

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Nevertheless, it is a great opportunity to meet new people, and as you can see, it’s easy to be the local celebrity for the night. They are more than happy to have a chat in English, or even batter out a conversation even though they are in the full knowledge that I don’t understand a word- admittedly, it is quite enjoyable. The French call it ‘Yaourt’ or yoghurt- the sound of another language to an ear that doesn’t understand it… Which is ironic because a Korean couple were talking to me in Korean, and one of them gave me a Yakult. (The phrase “for some reason” could have come in 2 places in that sentence, oddly).

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Nevertheless, during the early hours it was time to go home. Hmm, rather it was time to collate my data from the evening’s boozing researching session. After another thoroughly insightful evening’s entertainment, I was left to contemplate one thing- how does Chinese beer give such a deathly sore head, even after 2 or so…???

Have a lovely week! See you soon!! I know Changbaishan awaits, I’m just cranking up the anticipation levels…. I bet you can’t wait!!

** Here marks the point in the post where the mood fell through a trap door. I’m so terribly sorry.

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