With the realization that this cherished American holiday was on a Saturday this year, a few of us decided it was necessary to celebrate it as fully as we could. After some talk, we came up with three options:
1. Get a group together and go into Guangzhou. We could split the costs of hostel rooms or other lodging or a taxi ride home in the wee hours. In Guangzhou we could have all the green beer, Guinness, whiskey, or whatever else we could handle. We were sure to make new friends. With imported alcohol costing US prices, this was clearly the most expensive option.
2. Get a group together and go into Huadu, the district closest to us. We'd have some different bars, few to no students, but fewer expensive, western drink options. We'd be closer to home, so sharing a taxi would be fairly inexpensive.
3. Go out to the bars near campus. Here, we can drink beer in green bottles for about 1.60 USD, eat street BBQ, and walk or bike home.
After much debate between those of us who were keenest on celebrating, we decided to stick around here. We'd each be able
to have several green bottled beers for the price of one elsewhere. And, with the end of the month approaching, being financially prudent seemed like a good idea. This way, too, people could come and go as they pleased without being tied to the group for transportation.
We met at a bar down the road that has big booths, perfect for groups. We ordered our beers, got some dice (for the dice game), and sat around talking and laughing. A few students who are quite friendly with a number of the foreign teachers joined us for the fun. Even they were wearing green!
After about an hour and a half, one of the students suggested going to KTV, or karaoke. KTV is very
popular in China and most of Asia. Most of the foreign teachers aren't big fans of KTV, but we were tired of the dice game and ready for a change of scenery. And with a few students along to help translate, we were sure to get a good experience. The last time I went to KTV was in 2010, so I decided it was time to go again.
We arrived and got
Rockin' out to a favorite song
This is proof that semi-choreographed dance numbers do happen outside of the theater.
a private room at the end of the hall. Every time I've been to KTV, I've noticed a few things about the room:
• It has no clock
• It has a private bathroom
• It has miles upon miles of sofa to sit or laze about on
Clearly, they don't want you to leave. Rooms are priced by the hour.
We ordered up a bucket of beers (about ten, I think) but opted to not get anything else to drink or eat. (KTV bars have everything.) We took turns selecting the songs we wanted to come up in the song queue. Then the lights started flashing and blinking and we started passing the microphones around.
A bit before 11:30 the students had to leave in order to make curfew. We stayed in the room for a few more hours, singing along to every 80's song we could find. Usually English KTV song choices include lots of Michael Jackson, old Madonna, popular American pop music, and other random one-hit wonders. This KTV machine actually had Bon Jovi, much to our delight. It is the only time in my life where I've seen people spontaneously start dancing
A KTV screen
In case you wondered what one looked like. No matter the song, Chinese or western, it always has a similar video of a sweet looking man or woman singing and looking forlorn.
in what looks like a choreographed performance. Luckily, someone got photos.
Around 2am we left, hungry for street BBQ. Walking by the other rooms, I noticed that there were quite a few students who were out past curfew (they'll stay out all night). Most of them were reclining on the sofas and looked bored to death, except for the singer who stood rooted to the spot.
And, since I'm sure you're wondering, what did all of this cost me? The whole night, from the first bar to the BBQ was about 10 USD, the same price I'd pay for one beer in GZ. Cheers to that!
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