Sep 20, 2012

Summer vacation: Mingling with ex-pats

Introverts meet extroverts, have a good time

Our new friends
The most fun drinks are on fire! A few of us tried a little absinthe.

We were going to make it an early night. One post dinner cocktail at the Old Church Lounge, and then bed. But, at the bar, we met Marisol.

Marisol was a very outgoing member of a group of students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. They had done a three-week program in Beijing over the summer and were in Qingdao for a last hurrah before finals and then a return to the states. They invited us to join them for a night on the town and our early bedtime evaporated.

This bar was no fun
This bar was not fun.

We struck out at a defunct jazz club and a too-smokey and -loud bar before we settled on a just right pub with an outdoor patio. (We knew we were with a good crowd when it wasn’t either of us that had to complain that bar number two was too awful.)

We spent the night drinking fun drinks and trading adventure stories and impressions of China. One of them asked us if we lived with a bunch of hillbillies, which was a surprising show that east coast prejudice against western China is so obvious that westerners pick up on it. But it was all in good fun. We even managed to talk politics without any acrimony. Particularly insightful was Ricky, a Beijinger who worked at a car dealership and another of Marisol’s recruits from the hostel.

It got late and we returned to the hostel and said our goodbyes. There was no pretense that we’d keep in touch. It was just one of those transient ex-pat nights that can be really sad if that’s all you have, but is really fun as an occasional adventure.

Tomorrow we dine on schnitzel!