I still haven’t been out late to see any of the Chinese nightlife. Whether it be shopping at the late night markets, dancing at the local pubs in Jinhua, or clubbing in Shanghai, I have been a grandma thus far and haven’t gone out. Last night, however, was the night.
It was a Tuesday, a school night, and the girl’s asked if I wanted to join them to go to this bar/club Traveler’s and I was like, “Why not? I haven’t been out and experienced that part of China yet and I only have one class tomorrow, so I should go.”
So after my nightly routine run with Gosia, I rushed to shower and get ready; I didn’t wash my hair to conserve time, besides it would get even grosser at the bar. Let me tell you I am an expert at pulling off the rushed look, in my own opinion of course. Nastia and I rode our bikes to meet up with the rest of the girl’s in Beimen who were enjoying BBQ for a late dinner.
From there we took two cabs to this Traveler’s place. Nastia and her two Korean friends were in the cab with me and Dore, Aleks, and Zuzana were in the other. By the way the cabs in China drive like lunatics. I have no convincing way to describe to you how they drive in China. It is not only the taxis, it is everyone in China: the trucks, the scooters, the bicyclists, the buses, the domestic drivers and even the pedestrians. It is like there are no traffic laws, and if there is I would like to know what kind of madness they consist of. To say the least, I was happy when we arrived to our destination.
Traveler’s is a medium-size pub style venue. The interior is filled with old-style wooden stool tables all encircling the bar/DJ booth. The light fixtures are dimmed haunted-mansion like chandeliers that blink to the beat of the music. When we showed up the place was quite full of Chinese having an evening drink with friends and one woman celebrating her birthday. The music type was western hip-hop and dance. No cover charge, same as most of the clubs in China. The DJs and bartenders cover as entertaining singers throughout the night as well, and they even have their own backup dancers. I was somewhat impressed with their vocals. It was quite dramatic but cheesy when the lady bartender and the DJ had a duet and each were on separate sides of the room letting out their emotions, as it seemed, through song.
Like usual no one started dancing until they got drinks in their system and I was the odd ball drinking pear juice. Soon enough we were all enjoying the time dancing. I was looked to by my friends quite often to observe how the American dances. I was embarrassing my country. One of the bartenders lingered by our table the whole time and every time someone finished a drink he brought another. I don’t even think anyone paid by the end of the night; I know I didn’t pay for my little kiddy bottle of sober pear juice. Maybe my friends were friends with him. I never did get to the conclusion of it.
We were the last ones in the bar. I was so ready to jet by then. The only party to stay as long as us was the birthday girl. We seemed like we were desperate to let loose and couldn’t get enough of the music and time out. Finally we left though, but not to go home. Everyone had worked up an appetite from shaking their bodies so we were on the hunt for food. Some eateries in China are only open for the nightlife. Nastia knew of where they were located and had the cabs take us there. It ended up being a street filled with BBQ options and sit-downs, probably serving all the same items but each one yelling at us to eat at their joint. We ordered like we hadn’t eaten all day: 2 eggplants, cabbage, noodles, chicken, rice, and some even got more beers.
We were locked out of the dorm, the lock the doors at 11pm on weeknights, and had to climb through the gates and wake up the front desk clerk to open the doors by ringing a doorbell the rings throughout the whole floor, waking up many others than just him. We had to sign a sheet stating we arrived at 3am and he warned he was going to tell our teachers. I climb into bed as soon as I could to get up for class a few hours later.