What’s that my friend? You want me to come join you for some later-night food and what I’m assuming are drinks? Sure, I’m down with that. I arrive and there are 6 people I’ve never met before. Sure, I’m down with that. Surprisingly a few of them speak decent English and the boss of them wants to engage in discussion about American politics and the differences between the American and Chinese government. Sure, I’m down with that.
Wait what’s that you say?? The worker who’s been singing Karaoke songs- who sings quite well, just announced in Chinese that maybe one of the two Americans that happen to be sitting at tables next to each other could maybe sing a song. Sure, I’m down with that. I usually fall to peer pressure. (Song finishes). What’s that?? Random man wants to drink with me and drunkenly express his gratitude that I’m there and I sing really well. Sure, I’m down with that.
I return to the table. 15 minutes later the man wants me and the random other American guy to join him at his table. Sure, I’m down with that. Cheers. Random American happens to have just arrived in Shenzhen working for a tech company called Spire, which as I’m typing this turns out to be pretty cool. I offer my free translation services and thankfully our attempt to sing together as a three piece was thwarted by the previous worker with a nice voice.
Return to original table.
Original inviting friend has already left. Sure, I’m down with that. A few guys remain and we chat and cheers. The beer goes down smooth as it’s low alcohol and high-school prepared me for this. Wait what’s that?? Random man and his friend who speaks some English join the table. My table doesn’t look happy. Chatting ensues. As the minutes pass my table friends tell me in English that when we leave, “you also leave quickly and hopefully the guy fucks off.” The guy doesn’t really want to though. He wants to continue the night with who knows what’s in store next. I make a quick exit after exchanging nice to meet yous. “But hold on there a minute.” the random guy says. “You’re coming to party with us!” I politely decline as my fear of his mafia ties could 50/50 be true. It is only Monday. We exchange contacts as I persuade him that I have to work in the morning. Sucker. Work? Naw, I just am trying to avoid the unknown tonight.
I finally break free and make it to my apartment.
Random man voice messages me to join him in a one of the hundreds upon hundreds of high rises. For the record he does claim to own a large swath of very very expensive land in this very very expensive city. You would like me to come join you and continue this fantastic evening? If I ever have any issues or need something in one of the main districts of this 17,000,000 person metropolis then you’re there for me?? You’re too kind. Really, you’re too kind.
I make up my excuse that it is approaching midnight and work does beckon me early in the morning. To him it may or may not be true, but I’m guessing the alcohol persuades him it’s true. He tells me we’ll meet tomorrow. Sure, I’m down with that.