Hanging with Locals


matt 120pxMeeting and hanging with locals is one of the best experiences one can have when traveling. They know the good food, the interesting places to go, and the fun stuff to do. But most of all, by hanging out, they invite you into their world. Such was the case yesterday. After exploring a bit more of Qingdao in the afternoon, we went out with Jeff. First, we walked over to the school he teaches at to meet some of his colleagues and eat dinner together. It was cool to meet both the foreign teachers and Chinese admin staff. Then we all headed to a new bar, called East West, where Jeff, Sam (another English teacher), and Sha Zhou (Qingdao’s most famous hip-hop artist) were performing. We met a bunch of the schools students at the bar and all drank as we watched the open-mic night unfold. The highlight was definitely Jeff, Sam, and Sha Zhou, for both me and everyone in the bar. Even at 21, Sha Zhou is a known and popular guy. He even gave me a complimentary copy of his second album which he was promoting. At around 12:30, we headed back to Jeff’s apartment, but stopped to eat some roadside BBQ with Jeff, Sha Zhou, and Guanhua (a local photographer). As we sat out there on the deserted street corner eating skewers of BBQ’d pork and drinking cheap Chinese beer, we talked about things you’d expect in such a situation. Joylani asked about their thoughts/opinions on the one child policy and we discussed US-Sino relations in the media and our respective countries often negative portrayal of one another (especially in the media). The funniest quote of the night came from Sha Zhou as he was standing up to go take a piss around the corner, “American’s think that Chinese people have no freedom. We are free. We can take a dump or piss anywhere we want, even here on the street like I’m gonna do right now.”

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