Opinion / Blog

Over exposure a step too far

By DaqingDevil Updated: 2015-06-02 16:32

Summer has broken through with the arrival of mosquitoes, late but inevitable, and that questionable habit by Chinese men of wearing their shirts rolled up to just below the armpits to expose their belly and chest.

All day and night as you walk around you will see hundreds of guys, of all shapes and sizes, man boobs and tums exposed to the elements with no embarrassment whatsoever.

How this keeps you cool is beyond me and this strange habit descends to an even lower level which you will more than likely see when you enter a restaurant, no top at all! From a foreigner’s point of view it looks dreadful.

 Last Sunday night, after classes, we went to a new restaurant that had just opened, it was a BBQ place. Really fancy and extremely well decorated with modern lighting and decor and hot plates sunk into the marble table tops.

The food was delicious with a great range of meats, vegetables and mushrooms to choose from. To top it all off the beer was icy cold. After we had eaten ($30 bill for 5 of us) the Chinese assistants headed for home (well, it was 8pm for heaven’s sake!) and two young American male teachers and myself decided to check out a place just around the corner that had three very large home-brew tanks standing outside.

Chinese beer is not something I would buy at home, that’s for sure, but some of the home brews have been quite good. This place was no more than 20 meters from the restaurant we had just been to so we wandered in only to find that they had run out of beer!

When you consider there were two 1,000 liter tanks and one 500 liter tank you would be right in saying that three empty tanks represented some significant drinking. The patrons still in the place, and it was quite full, were all drinking the bottled stuff – Tsingtao, Snow and Harbin.

 So we exited amidst 20 “nihaos” and 43 “hellos” and lots of merriment and next door was another place that had two nine gallon kegs on tap! What luck!

We sat down, the price was 20 RMB per jug ($3.20) and the glasses were nice 10oz steins, another first in Daqing for me. You usually have to drink out of oversized thimbles. The pouring jug was a plastic Tupperware sort but, hey, you can’t have everything.

So there we were, sitting in a restaurant on a nice warm evening shooting the breeze chatting about the usual stuff, women and work.

Actually one guy is from Oklahoma and it was interesting to hear him talk about the tornadoes which at that time were headline news with destruction and death in that state.

I looked to my right and in one of the private rooms there they were! Three Chinese guys, with their wives or girlfriends, having a meal and a few drinks and with all three guys not wearing shirts – at all.

The one nearest the door was one huge dude, not quite big enough to be allocated his own post code but you get the picture. Like a sumo wrestler complete with stretch marks and long pants he sat there drinking and smoking with his mates all in their sartorial splendor. Gross!

To make matters worse, the big guy had a partner that would have been a candidate for Miss China she was so attractive and well dressed as were the other two women. The evening can best be summed up by using the words from an old spaghetti western: The good! The bad and the ugly!

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