New Year’s And A Few Beers

I spent my second New Year’s Eve in China with good form last night. I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve become a bit of an isolationist in recent months and have rarely ventured out into the Suzhou social scene – quite diametrical from my previous gregariousness.

It’s certainly nothing against Suzhou or its nightlife, as it would seem to best Dalian’s Westernized watering holes. No, I’m afraid it’s something much more simple and sinister… I’m aging. I just don’t get the same kicks out of late nights and copious amounts of the giggle juice anymore.

Not to sound overly fromage, but lets be honest – one of the primary reasons men go to any sort of ‘active’ place to drink, as opposed to doing so in front of the business end of a television, is for women. This, as you’re all quite obviously aware, is not so much an interest of mine (anymore).

The other bit that’s killed the buzz is that I just can’t drink like I used to. I don’t know if its age, geography, bad brewery quality control or what… but I find I fill up on suds long before I get the fuzzy feeling. If I do happen to arrive at “drunk”, it’s sudden and dizzying. Irregardless of whether I get jalooed or not, I tend to feel like I’ve been licking a Suzhou sidewalk the next morning.

Is it a cruel function of nature that age brings with it increased difficulty in getting drunk, pained results upon succeeding and even more pained consequences the following day? I had been warned that getting old sucked, but really… this is inhumane.

Anyway, despite this, I managed to have a wonderful time at a place called Q’s Bar located at the far eastern end of Shiquan Street (#53). A co-worker of mine suggested the place because of its cheap beer (most drinks are 10 RMB/$1.50 CAN, and a pint will set you back 15 RMB). The bar kept a good (and eclectic) selection of Western music going, and had free pool and darts to sweeten the deal.

Turns out they’ve also got a pretty regular game of Texas Hold’em going too, so that may be reason enough for me to make 2007 the year I become a Suzhou socialite… or, perhaps, the year I lost all the wedding money gambling…

11 Responses

  1. Ugh, I know what you mean, despite being just 26, I’m already noticing the changes that come as you leave your ‘youth’ behind. I remember fondly my Uni days when I could drink pint after pint, get nicely drunk, party all night and still get up in time for my 9:00 lecture (OK, that last one might be stretching the truth a little!) Now I can only manage a couple of pints before I start to feel ill/tired and want to go home. And the worst part is I haven’t found my future wife yet, so I have to keep doing it anyway even if sometimes I would much rather stay at home with a movie!

    But anyway, happy new year! Hope it’s a happy and prosperous one.

  2. Haha, yeah… I also seem to have conflicting college memories of A) being able to get up much earlier and function much clearer… and B) never going to class.

    I’ll mention this once just to be disproved… no lasting relationships come out of a bar that don’t involve the following phrase: “Hi… it’s XXX, I met you two weeks ago at O’Hangveries… yeah… there’s no easy way to say this, but I’m pregnant.”

  3. Hey Ryan your right…..getting older does limit the amount of beers you can intake. I’ve noticed that as i’m getting older too. Another thing that you will be doing soon is, you’ll spend new years like I did this year and be in bed by 11:45 and asleep by 5 after 12.

  4. I too feel the pain of ageing, no longer can I get drunk on beer and then get up at sparrow’s fart and teach a class. In fact getting drunk on tap beer in Suzhou isn’t a good idea, something to do with the particular preservatives used in the kegging process. It leaves a residual headache that lasts until night fall the day after (copious) consumption.

    This NYE was spent in the Suzhou garden next to a Buddhist temple 寒山寺 listening to 108 banging of the bells. Better than sitting in bed, I still haven’t reached that point yet.

  5. I spent NYE on a crowded boat somewhere off the coast of North Korea, between Dandong and Incheon, drinking Hite beer and trying to find someone to party with, unsuccessfully. Maybe that will make you all feel better.

  6. Ryan, which sentence is right?

    Why did his father not stop him from making noises with the drum?
    Why didn’t his father stop him from making noises with the drum?

    I’m looking forward to your reply. Thanks very much!

  7. @Chris: NEVER!

    @Matt: Despite having a pretty good time down at Q’s, I wish I had investigated the whole Hanshan Temple thing a bit more. I had heard a few people talking about how they were going to ring bells at midnight and in hindsight I should have pieced together that it would have been an event… I am guessing by “garden” you are talking about the Maple Bridge park? I went there a few months ago and it was quite nice.

    @Chris (in Dalian): Drinking on long-distance boats is always a gamble. I remember hitting rough seas between Greece and Italy a couple years back and making the decision to drink myself to sleep to avoid the quickly onsetting sea-sickness… that’s playing with fire. Sorry to hear there were no party people on board.

    @Joy: I’m going to go out on a (non-grammar-teacher) limb here and say they are both fine. I mentioned this before, but if you really would like me to help you with English (unrelated to the posts at hand) please do so via e-mail, not randomly in comments. Generally though, you’re better off going to a Web site specifically about ESL (google: “learning English as a second language forum”).

  8. I found the fountain of youth when it comes to drinking: vodka.

    I know your first reaction … but truly it is a versatile drink. Some examples:

    1) Can be mixed with a ton of others stuff: vodka red bull when you’re tired. vodka orange juice for breakfast. vodka cranberry for your antitoxins. vodka soda water (they say have a drink then a glass of water, vodka soda water does both in one glass!). vodka and a bacardi breezer (when you need to get hammered fast to catch up to friends)

    2) Never never never have a hangover again. Wake up tired and groggy but never the headache.

    Truly it has restored my drinking competitveness.

  9. No way, if anything, age increases your ability to drink. The difference is, you get fussier. No more uni days-style, if it looks like it may have been beer in a previous life, I’ll drink what I’ll remember the next day to be copious amounts of it. From now on, you’ve got to start looking for quality. That’s why I generally stick with Snow: Reasonable quality (i.e. minimum formaldehyde) at a minimum price. That’s not an ad. Just a suggestion: Start looking around for the best quality beer available locally, drink at a reasonable pace with a good meal involved, and you’ll be able to put away far more than the young louts.

  10. @Yoki… and the best part is, next to baijiu and beer, vodka is damn cheap. Thanks for the well-illustrated recommendations of mixes 😉

    @Chris(BJ): I’m on the “Snow” train already. The local Santory (三得利) beer is 马马虎虎… I sprang for some Budweiser the other day just to see how it stacks up… I’m back to Snow (雪花).

    And for anyone curious what Chris is talking about when he says “formaldehyde” in the beer… check out this good post at Danwei: Bad Beer, Fake Beer

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