Now I like to get drunk as much as the next guy but even I have my limits. Last night I was invited out, along with some other teachers by a group of parents of some of James’s students. We went to a very nice restaurant and sat down to a nice meal. The men were on one side and the women were on the other. We were gearing up for a night drinking.

James told us before we got there that the fathers really enjoy drinking and to get ready. They started out by pulling out about 10 bottles of baijo, China’s equivalent of white lighting. This was some nasty stuff. It smelled like pure rubbing alcohol. In fact it was 67% alcohol by volume, that almost the equivalent of many rubbing alcohols. Now I had never been much of a liquor man, I’m mainly a beer guy, but I wanted to see what baijo tasted like so I agreed to have some.

The Chinese father sitting next to me started to pour me a cup. I thought he would only fill it up a little bit, maybe at most half way, but he filled it up all the way to the tippy-top. I got this queasy feeling in my stomach just looking at this full cup of baijo. And then the toasts started. They were toasting anything and everything from friendship, to China, to Obama.

By the end of the night I was so full from the food and so sick from the baijo that if I never taste it again in my life I would be fine with it.


About JoelS

Spending a year teaching English and saving the world in China
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