Clubbing is a universal truth these days, but there nevertheless remain some significant differences in the clubbing experience between England and China. I’m not a huge one for intense clubbing all-nighters, but I pop out now and then with my buddies for some Chinese party times. Here are the reasons for which clubbing in China is that bit more special…
- No-one gives a crap what you are wearing – Last week a decision to go out was so spontaneous I was wearing a My Little Pony t-shirt and spectacles and had sweated off my makeup in the summer heat hours before. In short, I looked a state. No-one batted an eyelid. Likewise, you can dress up as much as you want, and that’s fine too.
- Crazy Promos – Here, in the university district’s party area, on Wednesday nights it is open bar night. Yes, open bar, where guys pay something like 50 yuan and girls 20 (so, £5 and £2) to drink as much as they want. Open bars are not even legal in England. Similarly, Thursday is Ladies’ night, so girls get free drinks. If you’re Asian (i.e. lightweight), that is ample to not need to spend a penny all evening, and even offer a drink or two to your guy mates.
- The atmosphere – is chilled. I never feel intimidated or harassed. It’s true that Asian men are somewhat more reserved, so you’re less likely to get someone grabbing you and grinding unceremoniously on your unsuspecting behind.
- The Chinese guys – are always good value. You get the odd abnormally brave one who will approach a group of foreign girls and work his geeky Chinese charm. Most of them are shy, though the odd one might wave at you. If you do get talking to one it’s likely he’ll be thrilled to buy all your drinks all evening, as is the custom here.
- The free cloakroom – speaks for itself really. Bonus.
- The ever-present staff – There is always personnel waiting on standby to swoop in and collect glasses as soon as they are empty – sometimes even before. Toilets are constantly attended, so very clean, normally with a lady there to point you to the nearest free cubicle if you are too blurry-eyed to spot it yourself. There is always some staff member or other in sight, and standards of hygiene and order just seem generally higher.
- The favouritism – toward women, I mean. Being a girl is pretty jammy in Beijing. Aside from above mentioned ladies’ nights, entry to places is often free for girls, while guys have to pay; or at least girls pay less. And of course wherever the girls go, the guys follow.
The one major disadvantage (and it’s quite a big one) is the music. You’ll hear the same Justin Bieber song five times in one evening, and there is not much variety in genre. Thankfully the alcohol’s relatively cheap and/or free, so the chances of that bothering you are smaller. Beijing is supposed to have a really good live music scene in any case, which sounds much more interesting. I’ll keep you posted…