Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Best Bar in Zhanjiang

I am looking forward to Zhuhai next year, but in the meantime I've sure been having a great time here in Zhanjiang. For one thing, we started having parties on the roof at the Normal College. Let me explain...

The opening of the rooftop bar represents the end of a 6-month quest for a decent Zhanjiang bar. Our original criteria for "decent" were simple: somewhere with good music and mixed drinks. Consider the typical bar scene in Zhanjiang:

Chinese techno music is pounding so loud you can't hear someone yelling right into your ear. Within seconds of walking into a bar we are surrounded by Chinese eagerly toasting us with "baijiu," a foul Chinese grain alcohol. There are no mixed drinks available, only baijiu or beer. Of course, our new friends must share our table and shout at us in broken English... WHERE ARE YOU FROM? DO YOU LIKE CHINESE FOOD? YOU ARE VERY TALL. YOU ARE VERY BEAUTIFUL. etc, etc. After the bar closes, we wander around in vain looking for somewhere to go after hours. We finally admit defeat and stumble home.

REPEAT: each weekend.

ENTER: excellent idea.

The Normal College foreign teachers' apartments are all together in one building, and the top is graced by a level, spacious roof accessible through a trap door on the fifth floor. A few weeks ago, we bought a ladder and hauled it up there. Gradually, Jamie, Lindsay, Scott and I have stocked the roof with various amusing articles until it reached its current status as the best bar in town. Jamie rigged up some bamboo poles and decorated them with Christmas lights. We brought up beach mats, speakers, chairs, and pretty much enough liquor for a full bar. Just in case sitting around listening to music and chatting gets boring (which it hasn't so far), we also have Super Soakers, a dart board, a kite, and a toy bowling set. It's pretty much really awesome to sit outside on a nice spring evening, listen to relaxing music, and sip a margarita/ tequila sunrise/ whatever.

I'll be up there tomorrow night... and probably most other weekends I'm in town!

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