Sitting at the nightclub’s bar I watched Victoria Secret models striding down the catwalk, their angel wings bobbing away, on the enormous projector screen to my front. It wasn’t the worst way to while away the time.
After an evening’s merriment in Beijing’s Sanlitun bar and restaurant area, I’d persuaded my room mate to join me in a nightclub. There’d been a choice of two either side of each other. We found out afterwards how one was almost exclusively used by Westerners with the other favored by locals–not knowing or caring we happened to opt for the latter.
As a result we were the only two non-Chinese in the club, and my blonde-haired, blue-eyed companion clearly made an impression on a Chinese lady who invited us to join her at a table full of bottles of bandy, vodka, rum, and where the conversation turned to how she could organize a visa extension for my friend to stay in China with her.
Eventually we decided it was best for him not to become further embroiled–we’d started to wonder if she was the daughter of someone prominent; at one point she commandeered one of the club’s dancers who obediently came to dance with my friend–and beat a hasty retreat from the club, emerging to find the sun had come up outside.
We got a taxi back to the hotel and arrived with the 8 a.m. editorial meeting due to start in a couple of hours. Collapsing onto our beds, I made sure to set the alarm clock.
But the 8 a.m. editorial meeting wasn’t able to start–two reporters were conspicuous by their absences.