December 9th: Bacardi and Charity

Rachel, Bron, Yulia, Stefan, JB and the unknown lady

Rachel, Bron, Yulia, Stefan, JB and the unknown lady

Bron and Rachel at the Mao Livehouse

Bron and Rachel at the Mao Livehouse

“Can I take your photo?  We don’t normally see white people at these events” asked the photographer at Saturday’s Bacardi sponsored (i.e., free) evening at the Mao Livehouse.  How to describe… A room full of (mostly) Chinese people all drinking Bacardi Breezers, with a woman on stilts walking around topping up everyone’s bottles with more Bacardi rum.  A glass cage in the middle of the dance floor containing leather-clad dancers being doused in water from a giant Bacardi bottle (I’m assuming it was water and not rum).  An on-stage dance competition featuring Gangnam style music compered by China’s Timmy Mallet.  And free Bacardi all night long.

JB and Yulia consider entering the glass cage for a dance

JB and Yulia consider entering the glass cage for a dance

Bron and Rachel at the Mao Livehouse

Bron and Rachel at the Mao Livehouse

Our Bacardi evening was preceded by a far more civil event – a meal for a local charity called Bean (organised by Teresa, a lady we’d met on the Moganshan trip) where the guests paid a fixed price to experience food eaten by orphans, standard Chinese food and a few Western dishes.  And free wine all night long.

We ended the evening in a cocktail bar.  It’s winter: a hot rum cocktail is always going to be a winner.

Tuesday evening’s encounter at a venue called “Ultraviolet” deserves a blog of its own (coming soon) – primarily so I don’t spoil it for anyone considering going.

Argos Collection Point near People's Park in Shanghai

Argos Collection Point near People’s Park in Shanghai

Work continues to be demanding, challenging but never dull.  Friday night’s quick drink after work – somewhat necessary since we left the office around 8pm – lasted a little longer than planned.  But for once we managed to have a lie-in on Saturday – either so tired as not to notice or the many construction workers who normally start at 7.30am every weekend decided to have the day off.  A late start and a trip to a nearby Argos pick-up point made for a very relaxed Saturday.  Marks and Spencer – please note – we’re British and desperately in need of mince pies at this time of year.  But £5 for a box of six!  Come on…

A more exciting-than-planned journey to work on Wednesday.  Advice for foreigners during most conflicts in China, big or small, is generally “don’t get involved”.  When you’re sat in the back of a taxi, stopped in the fast lane of a motorway having been side-swiped into the wall by a lunatic driver, it’s difficult not to.  A police car arrived – as if by magic – about 30 seconds after the incident (literally), and after a little pointing, shouting and smoking, forced the drivers to follow to a safe place: the chevrons by a slip lane.

My Mandarin skills not being sufficient to understand loud, shouty dialogue, it looked as if lunatic driver was pointing at the taxi’s damaged front wing and exclaiming “Look at the dent in the right hand side of your car that you forced me to make”.

20 minutes later we set off again.  We took the taxi, rather than the Metro, as we needed to get to work earlier than normal. Alas.

Today (Sunday) – yet more music with Felix.  Going well…

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