|Alex eating "Fried baby vulture on a stick"
Alex, who had just spent a week with a troop of wealthy Chinese students on holiday, knew exactly what to do. Against my natural instincts, he motioned for us to sit with the old Chinese men. They weren't even eating the food, it was mostly a display of wealth to attract women (and apparently hairy Western backpackers). But they were definitely drinking the beers. And they had money to spend... none of us paid a kuai the entire night!
|Free food and drink, all night
|And that's when the "strange" happened...
The drunk businessman got a little too excited, and picked up the ladyboy and started carrying "her" around. The crowd went wild. The man tried to dance with "her" and made an attempt to plant a kiss. The place got so loud I almost went deaf, everyone was banging away at their wood blocks and shouting and whistling. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Was the man so drunk he really thought he was with a girl? At the moment he started pawing at her clothes, the security team stepped up and whisked the man off the stage. The ladyboy made a comment which I presume was "And he didn't even feel that I was more excited than him", but whatever it was it was funny enough to send the crowd into hysterics.
Chinese Idea of Bar Fun
At another point, a drunk version of Jackie Chan got onstage and began to show his prowess at chugging beers. He called out something to the crowd which I realized was some kind of challenge. The men at my table grabbed me and started forcing me forward. The next thing I knew, I was shoved onto the stage and blinded by the lights. The place went from jet engine levels to quiet in a heartbeat. All the Chinese in the place were either shocked to see a hairy westerner on the stage of a Chinese-only bar, or in disbelief that I dared to challenge Drunken Chan himself. Drunken Chan gave me a beer and started shouting ... "Wu!! Sih!! (the crowd joined in at this point) San!! Er!! Yiiiii!!!! That was the signal... I started to chug my beer and before I took two swallows Drunken Chan had finished, then put the beer over his head to prove his point. (Note: these were 600ml bottles.) The crowd went wild again, stomping their wooden blocks in approval of China's mastery over the evil American. When I finally finished my beer, I put it over my head.
The place went dead silent again.
A cricket chirped.
I meekly left the stage.
|Its all in fun. Really. I think.
Alex and I were left alone, looking at each other in surprise.
We had just been schooled by the 50-year old Chinese guys.