A Very Changsha Holiday…at the clubs

After the wedding in Shimen and a few nights in Cili, I returned to Changsha to spend the rest of break with my friends.  This meant we would spend a lot of days inside and a lot of nights at the clubs.  So, I thought I would put a little blog post with some pictures and explain what a typical night out in Changsha entails.

First, let me begin by saying, last year, we often went to clubs but we basically just went in, danced on stages, and had drinks if people offered them to us (which often happened).  We were poor, and couldn’t afford to pay for tables and drinks (it’s about 500-600 yuan for one bottle of whiskey with mixers…which is what people do – they get a table and a bottle of hard alcohol with red tea, usually).  But, this year, we often get a table.  It has become a trend of buying one bottle, and then having endless amounts of free alcohol handed to us afterward.

Our favorite places to go this year are Song&Song and 97 Club.  The owner of Song&Song is our good friend so we often go there first and listen to the live music and then after that, we head to 97 to dance.  Here are some photos from Song&Song:

Mu Mu is the greatest performer.  His vocals aren’t the best, and he often forgets the lyrics (knows 6 words to womanizer.. womanizer is one of them), but he puts on one hell of a show.  He even does Macy Gray, I believe.  And his Lady Marmalade is not to be forgotten.  Plus, he dresses like Lady Gaga…so…go Mu Mu!


Mu Mu (it's a dude) often dresses like Lady Gaga


Aside from Mu Mu, they have some dude who dances.  And well, he’s really skinny and has half of his head shaved.  And a lip ring.  Sooo, this night, he dressed in drag…in a leopard-print dress.  He had a hot pink wig on, and he was dancing to the Wonder Girls “Nobody.”  It was pretty incredible, actually.  Bryen, our friend (the owner), wasn’t happy when I took this picture.  Oh well.


the skinniest chinese man ever lookin' fat as he performs "nobody" in drag at Song & Song


Bryen, the owner, often gives us way more free bottles of whiskey than we deserve and then we head over to 97 Club where we have all made our own little “ins” with different managers.  The club has been opened for no more than a month, and we had been there so often that we would receive messages on our nights in of “Where are you?”

“Oh, I have class tomorrow.”

“You’re a teacher?”


They didn’t really understand that we were on vacation and now it’s back to real life…well, as real as life gets in Changsha.

So, back to 97 Club…or just “97” as we call it.  The one thing that immediately caught our eye was the laser show that they have every night.  I wasn’t there the first time it was discovered, and I was a bit angry the one night when I was dragged there relatively early, but then….the laser show happened.  What is it?  Well, there is music.  There are lasers.  And there is a person wearing a sequins suit…a one piece suit.  She has some weird mask thing on, also, disguising her.

“Who is she?”  we often discussed later.  “Is she hot?”  “She’s definitely not hot.”  “I bet she’s hot.”  Well, her identity was meant to remain a mystery I was told….  Anyway, here are some pics of her in action:


it's magic



look at her work it!



the infamous laser show


So…her identity was meant to remain a mystery.  We all knew that we had seen her before, but we wondered who it could actually be.  I, finally, found out one night when I was pulled aside and told, “This girl said you took a picture with her before?”

I looked and saw this Chinese chick, a little frumpy, with long brown/blond braided dreads (basically).

“Umm…i think I would remember a picture with her.”

Then it dawned on me.

“Is she the….”  and I acted out what she does in the laser show.

“Yes!  yes!”

So I had discovered her identity.  Not so much of a mystery now, are you, Laser Girl?

So, here are the pictures that I took that resulted in her later revealing her identity to me:


mystery laser show girl



i got my picture with her! (a little dark, I know)



Michaela got her pic with her, also.


Really, 97 seems to have 100 different managers.  Well, that’s what they all call themselves.  I’m not sure if they actually are all managers and it goes straight from Owner to Manager to Worker or if there are some certain levels of differentiation between their titles.  Who knows..  But, we always end up spending time with random managers and workers at different tables.  Since my iPhone doesn’t have a flash, and my camera is broken, I’ll just put a few more pics of 97 that kind of came out:


Cherry (one of the workers) and me



cherry modeling on some random car (she's 20, but I convinced Alayna that she's 16)



we drink nothing but jameson in china! (notice the reflection from the laser show...)



I lied, we don't only drink Jameson...we also drink Sol



the most dead 97 has ever been...4 am monday night? I think so.


Oh, now I remember why I took that above picture.  The man in the purple shirt with the writing couldn’t stand on his own two feet about 3 hours prior to this.  Maybe 4.  He was swaying horribly.  The kind of drunk that results in you being sent home in America.  We were watching him for a long time, and we (Alayna, Will, and I) had just finished our dozen beers when he grabbed me and put a drink in my hand.  He wanted to drink with us.  He one-by-one drank with us.  Then next thing we knew, and entire bottle of cognac was put on our table.  Just for us.  A couple of his friends had a drink with us, but it was mainly just for us.  Mr. Purple came down and drank tea for a little while, but kept going back and forth with booze, I believe.  All I know is Alayna and I took turns holding him up for half-hour intervals before he finally left us with the bottle alone.

When the guy left, he got into the front seat of a BMW convertible.  The driver’s seat.  I said…”No!  No! No!  Ni he zui le!”  You are drunk…

He responded, “MEI WEN TI!!!!!”  No Problem!  And sped off, seemingly in control of the car.

Back to the photos:


the hidden urinals in 97. i think i was testing my camera on my phone in the bathroom (my phone was broken this night)...not sure though...kind of weird

Somehow, i missed this at 9 Cool bar




"0" what? as Will put it, it can't be calories...


Seriously, what is that thing?  And what can the zero stand for??  This was a twenty minute conversation that will and I partook in as a table of five guys behind us played Magic the Gathering.  5 AM.  One hour too early for the 6 AM breakfast.

Well, that’s not really all that Changsha is, but that’s all I have the energy to write about right now.


6 thoughts on “A Very Changsha Holiday…at the clubs

  1. Hi,

    Just discovered your blog. I know this is a bit late, but the sign you’re curious about means “0 oil added.” 加添油=jia1tian1you2. Interestingly, that sentence is written backwards, while everything else in the picture is written normally. Very strange

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