Sunday, February 27, 2011

I Need More Names for my Beijing Posts - Part 6

When we left Lama Temple and the surrounds, we met up with our friends at the hostel and commenced proper New Years celebrations - drinking and fireworks! First we went out for dinner, to a place recommended by our hostel. The main item on the menu was Peking Duck (we got four for under $100, a bargain) but the best items were in Engrish. I spent a good 10 minutes taking pictures and I intend to put them all in a post somewhere. Here's my favourite:

On our way back to the hostel we passed something which seemed to be a designated let-fireworks-off street. There was a small stall selling them for cheap and a few policemen keeping their eyes on the festivities. Every few minutes, someone would walk down from the apartments nearby with an armload of fireworks and spend a good amount of time setting them up before letting them off. As soon as one cacophony of explosions finished, another one would begin. The street filled up with smoke and bright bits of paper, and more than once we were hit with flying debris. We bought a few fireworks of our own in preparation, and our hostel  put on a little display in the alleyway outside. 

Roman candles: $2.50. Five metre roll of crackers: $4. Chance to use MasterCard slogan: Priceless.

Then: drinking! We gathered up the cups from our rooms and banded together to drink 40c Tsingtao and Baijiu, Baijiu is China's soju, but it's lethal. The stuff we got was some horrible percentage of alcohol (Baijiu is between 40 and 60%) and it made me make this face afterwards:

But we are New Zealanders, and years of drinking Kristov and Tui have prepared us for booze like this. We started the evening like this:

A few hours later we looked like this:

And in the morning we all ended up looking a lot like I did, three photos up. Because I still want to have SOME stories to tell when I get back to New Zealand, this will have to suffice: At one point a few of our group had a Roman Candle fight, one person bit another and then poured their own drinks at the bar. One lovely fellow forgot how to play the guitar and yet another tried to steal the fire extinguisher. One likely lass put herself to bed and missed half the fun. It was a much needed improvement on our awful morning.

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