So, I’m going to make a petty attempt at updating about my travels. Since it would take forever to write about 3+ weeks, I’m just going to give updates on the cities we traveled to.
1 – Kunming
– We had escaped a big snow storm to arrive in Kunming. It was warm…and sunny.
– We bought shots of tequila for 3 Chinese guys who were playing pool at our hostel. The one guy reciprocated by buying us an entire bottle of gin and stood next to us until we finished it. It took about 10 minutes. Then he told the bartender to keep filling up our shot glasses. Never-ending gin shots. Yum. Vom.
– The first night, some American told us a completely fabricated story about two Russian men who tried to fight an entire bar and ended up getting bludgeoned by a meat cleaver. We went to to the clubs anyway and made friends with everyone, including the managers and performers.
– We walked down a street with hundreds of trophy shops. We bought one. A giant cup. We named him Onomatopoeia based on Craig’s mistake of calling something that was an oxymoron and onomatopoeia (I think..). We would continue to drink out of this trophy with champagne, beer, and hard liquor for the entirety of the trip…except not at the club, because he was considered a “weapon” and therefore we had to check him with the bags. Oh yeah, Onomatopoeia is a boy.
– Craig, Sam (some guy we met), and I all had our jackets “stolen” at the club. A manager helped me look for them. Craig gave up on looking and went home. I found Craigs. And I even found his stupid gloves. At least I had a jacket to wear home.
2 – Dali
– Note: this was our favorite city
– First night we had Yak steaks, mashed potatoes (aka french fries), and Lao lager.
– After Craig went home (thank god!), Vinny and I walked around for a little bit until we found a different bar. We found a real karaoke bar…not just a KTV (private rooms). This was a big bar with a huge stage where people could perform. At this point in the trip we had JB (the nickname of Onomatopoeia..it stands for jiang bei..big cup…trophy) on a strap that Vinny had so conveniently packed, and so we were able to travel with him easily. The moment we walked in, Mr. Water, the guy sent to greet us started going crazy. Actually, all Chinese people that saw JB would respond with a resounding “Wahhhhh Wahhhhh Wahhhhh” in excitement. Mr. Water then introduced us to the bar owner. Apparently, he owned all the bars on the street. After having a few beers (some that Mr. Water stole for us from his bosses table) and refusing to sing karaoke, we went home…but not until we had promised to return the next night to sing.
– We bumped into the boss the next day as we had coincidentally decided to eat at one of his restaurants (after we had tried to hike up the mountain but found out that our destination: gondola was actually a gondola under construction….) He then invited us to sit with him, drink coffee….oh and make a Happy Hour menu for him. As payment, he would treat us to dinner…us and the two random American girls he saw walk by and sent us to fetch.
– Dinner was one of the most extravagant I have ever seen in China. We were even serenaded by some woman with a horrifyingly high voice dressed in voodoo doll clothing. Afterward, we went straight to his other bar where we were treated like royalty. Lots of dancing and singing (on the stage…with the microphone) ensued. Finally, I forced everyone to go to the karaoke bar where I decided to sing every song, even Chinese songs that I didn’t know the words to. Successful night. I think so.
– Next day, we biked with Chelsea (friend who is currently teaching at my old school) and Seb (her boyfriend from home). The highlight was when we helped some local villagers roll a gigantic cement pillar. Afterward, we bumped into the lao ban (lao ban means boss). This would result in another night of “working for the lao ban with our performances” for free drinks.
– We discovered that Lao Ban’s name is actually Lao Hu (tiger). He then brought us to the Bad Monkey, a popular Westerner hangout bar. I’m pretty sure he kicked people out of a table because he wanted to have one of the front tables. I mean, we did have a trophy, and we should be able to put it on display.
– Our last day, we basically just walked around and hung out. UNTIL, we saw Mr. Water and Slicked-Back-Hair at the Bad Monkey. Then we sat down and drank with them for a while which was great because we were able to witness Mr. Water jumping over a bench and run outside to what appeared to be a fight between him and an old XinJiang drug dealer. It was nothing. Mr. Water got his hash to smoke out of the hookah and all was good.
*note: in Dali, somewhere between 10 and 20 different people drank out of JB. and this is probably a big reason for what happened next in LiJiang