The day started like our usual week day routine, buffet breakfast and lunch at 7-Eleven. There were a few differences, for instance the cab ride was a lot smoother. My new theory is that the taxis that wait at the hotel are expecting a medium to large fare, but as we work so close, they are not happy with us. Also I dared to have rabbit sushi for lunch, mainly because onigiri was so popular in Japan it brought back fond memories, and also because I think eating rabbit is such a novelty.
After work, j-street sponsored the after work drinks (donate money towards the purchase of the beers and snacks). The snacks were interesting, the most so was the vacuum sealed packet of spicy chicken’s feet which was quite appealing. The three of us also had to give a 5 minute lightning talk about what we have experienced so far in China. That all went well, but most people left fairly early. That left a small group of awesome people who invited us out to spicy fish hot-pot. We got two taxis of the illegal type (not-official taxis, but unemployed people who drive you in their own vehicles for cheaper) to the restaurant.
The establishment was your fairly typical Chinese restaurant, but your utensils and plates were in this plastic seal wrap and the toilets were you traditional hole in the ground variety.
The food was great, the drinks were exquisite and the company even better. We had some plum wine followed by some top shelf over-50% alcohol drink that was quite a harsh taste to say the least. We played a traditional Chinese drinking game that I had coincidentally learnt in high-school from a friend of mine. I then taught everyone how to play ping-pong=pang, a game I was taught in the north of Thailand. That proved quite popular and some funny situations came from that.
We were then invited to a poker and drinks night at one of our new found friends place. This was quite a fun game of Texas Holdem, but the only 3 Australians were the first out. This lead to a conspiracy theory of being hustled by professional players. It was a very fun and unexpected night. It is now 12:30am and I have to get up early tomorrow to see some pandas!