It is time to party
A fair few of my blogs recently have been of the cultural, exploratory nature and I think this paints a rather mature picture of myself. It’d be unfair to assume that I am genuinely this mature. There is nothing like having a massive house party or a big night out, especially when the summers here are so hot and it is encouraging to stay out in to the early hours aided by the convenience of the nice weather.
Celebrating, partying, clubbing, and socializing. Call it what you like, we all like letting our hair down now and then, enjoying the experience together as much as we do individually. Being at a large school such as York – it having the largest foreign teacher’s network in the city at about fifty or so – means for plenty of excuses to find time to do this.
The only trouble is finding the places to fulfill this need. Fuzhou is a large, modern city, with conveniences galore for most wants. The bars and clubs that they do have seem to be modeled on 90’s era party capitals like Ibiza or trendy establishments with wacky signs on the walls and funny sayings in the bathrooms. There are neon lights, lasers and pumping, pumping techno music galore. Not that this is a problem, but if variety is the spice of life, then this could only be described as one type of spiciness.
Step forward the house party slash gathering. This is one of the huge advantages of having a wide ranging group of foreigners working in the same place. Birthdays, meals, video games nights, poker nights, darts competitions; all the things that we enjoy doing back home have been brought to our homes, creating a bond when some of us feel our most homesick. There is nothing wrong with the lasers and the lights, the techno and the tequila, but when you want to relax there are plenty of people to call up and do that with.
On the other hand, bars and clubs are an excellent place to practice your Chinese language skills. If the daunting prospect of chewing a Chinese persons ear off with your diabolical comprehension of Mandarin then a great tonic is a bottle of jin jiu or bai jiu. Being approached is incredibly common here on a night out and you get the chance to talk to similar aged people who are genuinely interested and happy to talk to you. It certainly beats saying the same five sentences to the local shop assistant, when secretly they probably just want you to hand over the money and stop talking nonsense. I remember one time being in a taxi and as I tried speaking the driver simply turned up the radio instead, with my confidence in tatters. Not to worry, there are plenty of friendly people out there, you just need to get out there and say hello. Ganbei, zhong guo ren!