September 10th, 2010 §
From one perspective you can totally see China being all about competition. Who has the best car, computer, clothes, brand name items, gadgets, new house items, houses, factories, etc. I bring this up because I was snowboarding indoors at this place and had a revelation. I was going to the very top where no one else was going. I was alone. Really it’s not that big. Smaller than most bunny hills, but for Chinese people who can’t ski or snowboard it’s probably death.
There I was all alone at the top. Shredding down and passing the point where everyone usually gets off. After a few times a few guys started following me. Did they need to, well, no. Hell they could barely get down. But they sure as hell tried it. Why? I believe that it is this. The Chinese want face. They want to have the best things and do the best things. So, when some white buy rolls up and smokes them at something then, yeah, they can’t let that happen. So they also try it. I’ve experienced this before. Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion. Seems logical to me. Either that or they don’t like being out done on their home turf.
I remember my first trip to China a few years ago. We were snowboarding and had a crew of snowboards from around the world. I remember them all being better than the Chinese crew. Which, hey, that’s just the way it is. The rest of the world has been snowboarding for a long time. China has just began to enjoy such a magnificent sport. One of the Chinese guys tried to show up or at least do something better then one for the foreigners. He couldn’t land a trick. He tried and tried. We thought he was going to break his neck. For real. He just kept trying it. Not sure why.
Anyway, not sure if you see my point. It’s kinda like this, if I go drinking with new people, I’m going to waste them, no bragging, I can just down a glass of beer really fast. This gives me “face” or respect from the people that I am drinking with. However there will always be one guy who has to out do me, either double the glasses or switch to harder stuff, like downing glasses of whiskey. Which, yes I have done before.
Really I suppose that this can happen anywhere. Just seems to happen more here.
December 21st, 2009 §
I am starting to learn how to do business here in the PRC. The Chinese usually develop friendships before doing business and Americans are the other way around. The Chinese also use this excuse to get close to you also. I’ll write an that topic later. So, the major thing in doing business here is that, I’ve said it before, you got to drink.. Yes you can refuse, say you have a condition, but really you have to. So this is what went down last night. A little set up. I freelance for this company.
My buddy and I are told that we are going to dinner. This means drinking. We go to a sketchy place on the river. 12 Chinese, 2 Americans. Whiskey. My buddy starts drinking beer, I drink the whiskey. About two glasses or 4 shots or so in I am handed a small bottle of real whiskey by the big boss. We drink. Everyone drinks. It’s pretty good whiskey. We’re all merry. We drink more. I switch to beer. I smoke the workers at downing glasses. The fish tastes like a bad river. The clams like blah… not good. I drunk Chinese text.. We get in car and go somewhere. We arrive at KTV. We drink more, sing songs, eat onions rings. Leave. End up at roller skating rink. Walk around. Somehow I am back home sleeping. They come pick us up this morning.
Time to go to work.
Drink coffee and bask in the brownie points that I accumulated last night, and my new title: Internet King..
August 7th, 2009 §
Well. I am not really sure if this is something that I have written about before or not. I’m too lazy to really check. But any who, drinking in China. Oh yeah I remember what I wanted to say. Girls get judged on how good they look. Other girls look at other girls and think, am I hotter than she is? Guys on the other hand judge each other on drinking. Yes guys do think, can I beat this guy up, but really in business it comes down to drinking. When you do business here or anywhere for that matter you better know how to drink and get good at hiding trying not to drink. I went out to a place that young socialites like myself usually frequent. I met a friend and we sat and drank a little. Girls in China traditionally don’t really drink. This girl does. But we weren’t really getting what some would call “ham boned.” Some of her friends arrived. This got interesting. My friend is Chinese, her friends are Korean and learning Chinese. Why was this interesting? Because these dudes were pretty friendly and spoke Chinese really clearly. Perfect for trying to listen and learn. That night I learned a lot….. and ate chicken heart.. It’s a little chewy. But more importantly I made some new friends. Their English sucks but their drinking was admirable.
This is not the girl that I was with, but, rather a random Chinese girl I work with.. Thought you might like to see what Chinese people look like up close..
So to make some sort of point, guys base respect on how much you can drink. Not all respect but some yes. Business, new friends, friends of friends, if you can’t drink we are going to have some issues. It’s sad to say but hey.. I didn’t invent this social construct. So when in China drink.. If you can drink more then your host. Not so much to put them to shame but enough to let them know that you mean business.
Now a few tips if this gets out of hand. Water looks like Bajiu, drink water, puke and then drink more (don’t make it obvious), throw shots under the table, over the shoulder, mix shots with other liquids, spit it out. My advice is to think outside the box when trying to dodge drinking. But remember to not let your host know what is going on.. If they catch you all hell will break loose as well as you losing a s ton of face, and in China you want to lose a limb, rather than lots of face..
The moral of the story is…
Everyone worldwide will be your friend if you drink with them. It’s pretty much law. It will always be this way. Who am I to argue with this? I’m just along for the ride.
This guy sleeps here every night.. No I am not kidding..