Hello Uncle Foreigner

Jul 9, 2014

Happy birthday, Mr. Hu

Stopping by the bar on a summer evening

We toast Mr. Hu, the birthday boy
Here comes the birthday cake

We dallied outside Chinese Bar for a few minutes before going inside; though it’s called Chinese Bar, it’s actually a restaurant with a closing time of 9:30, but they serve the best rice wine in fun little ceramic bowls. At nine o’clock, there were still plenty of people eating, so we went for it.

Up on the second floor, we settled in a few tables over from a large party. We ordered our regular small carafe of 米酒, and one of the woman from the other table approached us. I am from Tianfu Middle School, she told us in English, we are having a birthday party for our friend and we invite you to sit with us. And thus our nightcap turned into party time.

Mr. Hu, the husband of a history teacher from our school, was turning 52. The group included some Tianfu junior school teachers — some of them who taught one of Peter’s classes — and politics teachers from other schools. We caught them at the tail end of their dinner, but our arrival occasioned a new round of toasting. They were drinking the good stuff, Moutai, and they were considerate enough to pour us small sips, as that stuff is potent!

After the cake, it was time for karaoke. Here’s the thing about KTV: I always find the most boring part is when I’m not singing, but being a guest at these kinds of events, I don’t want to hog the mic either. Peter, on the other hand, doesn’t sing and hates all of it. But it’s the default of socializing here, so we both get it together and do what we need to do. And we had a lot of fun with our new friends. And we left, before things got too wild.