Oh, I forgot to mention one thing. Before we went back to the hostel, we were in search of some old school communist propaganda. I was pretty up on this and we got a lead from someone who lived there about where we could get this. It was surprisingly difficult to find which I found hard to believe. I really thought the propaganda would be everywhere and easily gotten. I need to update the stereotypes in my head from 1960 communism to this new more covert communism.
So we went to this area called 978. It was an art district in Beijing. This was pretty shocking for me. I didn't believe they would have such a large art district. For some reason, I just didn't think art and communism mixed.
Some random street art.
We walked around the place for quite a while. Going to art exhibits one after another. I was still all amazed about how cool this area was. There was so many different styles of art, and it was everywhere. I've got tons of photos of this, but I'll save you from having to look through them all. Eventually, we stopped by this one art place that also served drinks to rest up a bit. A few drinks later, on our way again.
At one of the exhibit halls we walked by, we saw tons of nice cars and lots of people. We went in to see what's going on. I'm still not sure what's going on, but I think there was someone famous there. This couple was having their photos taken, had some body guards, and a lot of press people. I tried being the the paparazzi with my new camera, but got totally boxed out.
Furdell and Pinzur, yes, I'm embarrassed at my decay box out skills.
Ok, now back to after we got back to the hostel.
We went back to the room to drop off the stuff we had bought during the day and then headed out to search for some dinner. We were just wandering around when I heard some bass beats. If you know me, you know I'm attracted to bass beats like moth to fire.
The bass beats took us to this open paved area. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw this. There were probably around 50 old women doing this line dancing thing. Like country line dancing, but not exactly. The music sounded like old communist cheer music with a bass beat. These old ladies were moving around like they were high school cheerleaders. The whole thing was mind blowing.
The ladies were doing this dance and it seem they all knew the moves pretty well. Some of it looked quite complicated too. Of course, after a few songs, I decided to join in. I found out first hand how incredibly difficult the moves were. I tried and tried and never could get the moves down. I had a lot of the old women laughing at me, but some tried to help. It was so much fun. Random dancing in the middle of the city with these old ladies.
I talked to them a bit after about this and they said they're here nightly for 2 hours (7-9pm). There's someone that teaches/reviews the moves for the first part, and then they just go at it. It's actually an exercise program they have in the city. This was definitely one of the most memorable things during this whole trip.
Sadly, I don't have any photos of this. I thought we were just going to dinner so I didn't bring the camera.
After dinner, we met up with A again for drinks. She had taken the tour to the Great Wall today so she wasn't with us. We went to this bar we were at the night before, or maybe 2 nights before. The bars are getting fuzzy now. Stupid memory/alcohol. A lot of the people that were staying at the hostel all joined us at the bar.
It was a good time. It was quite interesting hearing about all these people from around the world and their stories. So of them still so young too. Really made me think about what I've done with my own life so far.
One of the things that A had mentioned the first night we were hanging out was that there was a couple of clubs that she wanted to check out. We had talked about going tonight. Those old ladies had already fired me up for the night. More dancing? You know I'm up for that.
We had a few more drinks, then we went back to the hostel to change. Soon, we were all piled in a club and was on our way. I was excited to see what the clubs in China would be like. We got to our destination and when we got out of the cab, I could hear the distinctive beat, beat, beat, beat... It's amazing how calming and excited that makes me feel. It's like a call telling me I'm home.
There wasn't a cover so that was pretty cool. At first, the place looked kinda dead so I was feeling a bit nervous. The room's music that we were in didn't match the big bass beats that was still coming through. We ordered a round of drinks and moved on.
Ah yes.. eventually we found our way to the main room. The place was pretty sweet. It had a large dance floor with private tables on the 2nd level over looking the place. The DJ was in a raised platform in the front of the room. I approved of the music. It was some sweet stuff being played.
It wasn't long till we all started dancing. The dancing was pretty good by our group I must say.
Now this is interesting. So it's a club. I was feeling the music, and the drinks, so naturally I thought I give it a chance with the ladies. It's a bit difficult being that I'm not good at this anyway, I can't speak the language (esp. picking up language), and they probably couldn't hear me because of the music. What's to lose huh? I found a few ladies that seem to look my way a few times and I went up to them.
As expected, I can now say that I've been rejected in 2 continents. It didn't work out too well for me, but I was happy I tried. This was not the interesting part though.
Throughout the night, I'm doing my thing with the dancing. I thought I got in a groove pretty well for a bit there. This guy that was hanging out next to me started talking to me. He seem to recognize the skills. I'm not sure what happened. Next thing I know, I'm up at his private table. We started drinking a lot of this whisky tea mixture which was incredibly good. I was getting a bit concerned there being just the 2 of us, but then more of his friends came up and we were all drinking.
Seems that he was looking for more people to posse up and thought I might be a good candidate. Unfortunately, due to my lack of speaking abilities, not really being smooth, and that I'm only in Beijing one more night, this kinda made me a non candidate. No matter though, I hung out for a bit longer and had a few more drinks and then eventually went back down to meet up with my friends.
We dance till the wee morning. I was pretty exhausted. Tomorrow is our last day and we have to climb the great wall. That should be painfully interesting.