Friday night! Time to go to a on-the-cheap restaurant with my ultra-cool Sudanese workout partner, right? Oh no! He has something better in mind.
A ridiculously long bus ride into Tianjin later, we end up at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant/bar called Alibaba’s. The decor certainly caters to the Western crowd (foosball table, random shit hanging on the wall, Sharpie graffiti everywhere, such lovely chaos!), and the menu even more so. Beijing duck pizza? OK! Samosas and Madras beef? Oh, you shouldn’t have!
After the wondrous food, we started playing foosball with a couple of kindergarten English teachers. Sometime during the racket of battle cries and a lot of illegal foosball spinning, Creepy Guy I’ve Met in China #2 appeared.
Typical small-talk led to a half-hour conversation beginning with “So…. do you believe God made everything?” By this point, he had put away two White Russians and was sharing a colossal Tsingdao beer with me… and he was already quite drunk. How could I tell, you ask? Well.
The lapsing between English and Chinese was an indicator. As was the sliding further and further down on the bench. And perhaps the greatest give-away was his repeated declaration of “You are just like a Venus statue. Venus never smell. STOP SMELLING!!!”
Of course, my charming Chinese friend meant “smile,” but I’m sure that Venus, in her sexy ancient divinity, probably didn’t smell too bad either. In any case, it seemed like a good time to leave.
Creepy Guy in China #2 insisted on walking my friend and I to the taxi, and I used every ounce of persuasive power I had to keep Creepy from climbing into the cab with us “to send me to my dormitory.”
Then he called about a half hour later to make sure I made it safely (I had, no thanks to the entire campus and my building being locked up for the night.) And this morning, he kindly woke me up with a text asking to hang out.
Lesson #1: keep my phone number to myself until I find out if someone is creepy/crazy/married/39 years old/any other factor that could make me systematically ignore them for the rest of my life.
Lesson #2: Definitely going to Alibaba’s again.