Beijing '10 Day 6 - Staying Awake on a Night Out

July 10, 2010 (Saturday)

It’s almost 4 a.m. and I guess adrenalin is keeping me awake. This morning my roommate invited me to a birthday celebration in a hotel buffet and to a night out in Beijing with friends. It’s a good thing that I lay around the house and watched online movies the whole day. Otherwise, I could not have made it until this late.

The driver picked us up from the gate and we were cruising through the streets to JianGuoMen 建国门 with dance music and the evening breeze blowing on my face. Going out like this was something to look forward to. One good thing though about the nightlife in Beijing is that you don’t really have to dress up that much, well for me I didn’t. There are no restrictions on what to wear in hotels and bars here unlike back home. You can walk in with slippers and shorts and un-collared shirts. For me, I wore a short summer dress and comfy slippers to the thing. Walking through puddles of water left by the rain was easier. I did have to put up with dirt and coming home with your feet covered with footprints of people who stepped on me on the dance floor.

Dinner started with an eat-all-you-can at the Marriot and ended with a super delicious tiramisu made by my roommate. What was more special though were the people I met. We were as diverse as the selection of food available from the menu. There I was excited as ever to hear the stories and conversations of people who were about my age – Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Italian, Indian and American. They talked about life, work, politics, religion, food, love and language through their own experiences. I was too overwhelmed to speak but I enjoyed listening to them for hours until the restaurant closed.

We took a cab to Nanjie 南街 Bar at SanLiTun 三里屯 and killed time there. I sat in a corner thinking that I have never been to a chill-out place like this before back at home. The place was nice and it could be a fun place for a group of good friends to hang out. I wished I could have overcome my shyness but it was a little hard to get to know people you’ve only met for the first time and talk in this place. I had fun watching them though and it’s a good thing I did not let myself get carried away with the drinks. It’s surprising though that that one mild shot did not trigger my allergies.

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We went to Salsa Caribe across Nanjie and danced the night away. Again, I found myself wanting to connect and be friends with the people in this group. Unfortunately, I could only cower by their side when this drunken European guy kept on dancing around us and started pulling the girls away from the group. He was persistent for his state of mind and was kneeling and begging some of us to dance with him. I felt like a child and I knew that I didn’t act like my age stepping as far away from the guy and hiding in one of the girl’s arms whenever he was close by. There was a point though that I got so scared that the group slowly scattered away and I only hoped for the worst not to happen like not having my bag which I left at the counter and not be able to go back home. But all in all, this group protected me, put up with my loner status and kept me alert all night. I hope I will be given the chance get to know them better. I realized the strength in numbers, even if you are all gals, in a place like this and the importance of having male friends or a male partner to be around in case something happens.