travels with my barang-barang

After dark 03

Posted in After dark, Beijing by ejl on 9 March 2009

Chocolate Redux

I’ve written about Chocolate on Ritan North Road before, and it was a less than celebratory review. However, I’ve now visited it twice more – once on a Saturday night and another on a Tuesday night – and my view of the place has changed.

Unlike my first trip there, these times I arrived relatively early and stayed pretty late. My companions and I were drinking at the same pace, so there wasn’t a passed out hippo or a completely wankered crazycat to deal with when I was stone cold sober in comparison. There was also a variety show with dancers in big costumes, a fat lady that sings, pole acrobats/dancers and the live band. There were also quite a lot of people around, which made voyeuring that much more exciting (which one’s the russian mafia kingpin? which ones are the ladies of the night? check out those trousers! etc).

So, it’s a fun place when all that’s happening. I should perhaps just stop turning up at 5 in the morning and expect it to be a hive of debauched activity. The party seems to get hot sometime between 11 and 3, and peters out slowly but surely after. But, for the lingerers, it stays open till 7am and tumbling out of the place at that time, taking the escalator into the morning light, is probably one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had in a long time.

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