The night started with me stopping my first taxi 😀 They are ridiculously cheap in China. We went to Hou Hai, a famous bar street/ party area in the centre. There, I finally felt some real excitement, seeing the Beijing I wanted to see: narrow alleys, simple, small “houses”, street vendors, outdoor karaoke, live music in every small bar and restaurant, colourful lights reflected on the lake, crazy people, life.
In the second bar we started a conversation with the bar keeper (who did not speak any English). After a while we noticed that they were about to close, but then the bar keeper from next door joined us, so we stayed. I was surprised at how well the Chinese guys understood me and how well I was able to understand them. However, I am still unbelievably grateful for the invention of mobile internet and online dictionaries.
At a certain point we started a drinking game, killing (free) six-pack after six-pack. This is how I noticed that my Chinese was getting better the more beers I drank. They also had food delivered for us (fruit, fries and some meat skewers), but at 2 am we decided that we’ve had enough since we had to get up a couple of hours later to visit the Great Wall. One of the guys accompanied us to the main street where we got into a taxi and back home. The fact that the driver ripped us off doesn’t really matter, does it? 😛