We’re off to never-never land!
This past week has been all about the musics. It began last Wednesday, when my friends and I shook our tail feathers in a square dancing class at Tianjin University of Sport.
Despite having zero fondness for country music, and possessing no dancing talent whatsoever, we all had a fantastic time and made some good contacts in the Tianjin expat community. One of the other Americans there has an apartment with an oven. Cookies are so happening.
Friday night, the plan was to have a nice, quiet evening and head home early, but these things rarely ever work out. “Alice,” Ting Ting, and I started things off at AJO’s and celebrated feminism by posing with everyone’s favorite Riveter, Rosie.
After being reminded of why we hate AJO’s (no people, no mingling, and really shitty-tasting beer), we ended up at our favorite haunt, Helen’s. There, we waited for our other friend “Simon” and chatted with a couple of well-accomplished young Chinese people. We eventually (hours later) received word that Simon would meet us at another bar called Green Man, and our new Chinese friends were happy to join us. The best part: they had a shiny Mercedes to drive us all over there! Win.
This is when our “quiet evening” spiraled out of control. We arrived at Green Man, only to find that Simon had already left with a group of friends to go KTVing. Never ones to balk at a chance for a good time, we decided to join them.
In case you don’t know, there exists a phenomenon called the Great KTV Time Vortex, where minutes mysteriously transform into hours without your knowledge.
We karaoke’d everything from Oasis to Ray Charles to Britney Spears, with some Chinese jams thrown in for good measure. We karaoke’d until we were all ready to pass out on the couches…. and until the sun came up. So much for going home early.
Needless to say, Saturday was spent sleeping… with a super amazing rock concert at Hebei University of Technology to top it all off.
This was, by far, the best concert that I’ve been too in China. The huge MIDI extravaganza of a couple weeks ago was no match. The thing that made it really stand out was my friend CG’s band, April Fool’s. They played all Metallica, all the time, with ACTUAL SKILL. There’s just nothing quite like rocking out to “Enter Sandman,” right in front of the stage, with a guy crowd-surfing behind you and a group of guys head-banging with their arms around each other.
All of this, combined with throwing a football around outside, seeing an enormous pile of trash just outside where the gig was held (see below), and getting home well before the sun came up, made for a marvelous Tianjin evening.