Saturday, September 22, 2012
My roommate and I set out with some friends–three girls from the U.K. and a fellow American bloke–to Nanluoguxiang Ancient Alley. It was basically a long stretch of adorable coffee shops, food stands, and trinket stores within a hutong. We spent the afternoon sipping coffee on a rooftop coffee shop exploring our own cultural distinctions. We Americans learned correct usage of British phrases such as “bloke” and “proper” and we, in turn, taught the girls how to properly use the word “legit.”
As the sun began to set, we ventured toward Houhai where the restaurants bordering the lake were glowing with a mixture of Christmas lights and Chinese lanterns. While we were enjoying drinks on an outdoor patio, a little Chinese girl started took interest in us. Somehow Keith got the child’s parents to cheers with everyone, and the parents handed a beverage to the 2-year-old so she could clink glasses with us! An infant cheersed us with an adult beverage; something that I can’t imagine happening too often in the U.S.
After corrupting the youth of China, we ended up at a venue filled with acoustic sounds of John Mayer. Once the Chinese singer/guitarist finished his set, he took a great liking to me and I found out that he was from Shanghai and he was fabulous at applying liquid eyeliner. After I tried octopus on a stick, swung around in a hammock strung over a table in the bar, and we all danced on stage a bit, we called it a night. I decided if all nights in Beijing were this randomly awesome, I just might love it here.