Sunday, March 19, 2006

Incidentally, when I said 'appropriate' in the last somewhat strange post I wasn't implying that there were any inappropriate goings on, merely that three in the morning didn't seem to be the best time to expound on the drinks policies of the slightly surreal Beijing bar scene.

Saturday night was a reunion with people I hadn't seen for several weeks and the location turned out to be an unusual canal-side set of bars, all slightly out of the way of the normal throng of party-goers. Most of these clubs have an all you can drink policy for some disproportionately small sum, including the one we went to. I was expecting that this meant that all drinks would be watered down and in fact an evening of drinking only marginally alcoholic drinks rather appealed. It was only the day after that I realised the disparity between price and ridiculous strength of drinks. A city of 14 million people is hard to monitor in every way and one of the many dirty dealings that slips through the net is the sale of illegal alcohol. It turns out that either the drinks we were having were illegally brewed or, worse, were cut with methanol, apparently a common practice. I'm pleased to say that I didn't have enough to decide which of the two options we'd consumed but I'm going to be a lot more careful in the future when going to less commercial bars.

Though it was a fun night with friends around, the bar was exactly the sort that I despise the most. With a heavy air of solicitous intention in the atmosphere, most people seem to have a far narrower agenda than simply having a good time. I love to dance and I enjoy a good time with friends but the strange ambiance of everyone being there for one reason just doesn't gel with me. Doc Shock should lighten up perhaps but I spent too much time feeling awkward in such places at a younger age to be able to shift this particular chip on my shoulder.


It's now Sunday evening and fingers crossed that I'm up to the final few stages in the process of writing a paper that I spoke of before. Will provide news when the situation is clarified.

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