Remember the End of the World in December? Conrank last month? Halloween at Moon? The Toga Party last September? In case you're oblivious enough not to have noticed, they were all Heavy Flow parties!
Hard drinking, hard dancing, hardly remembering. That's what Chongqing's only recurring dance party has to offer and this Saturday should be no exception, despite the rough weekend awaiting everyone needing to make up for the Labor Day holiday...
But let's overlook the lapse in logic requiring people to give up their day off to make up for another day off and let's turn up to work hungover on Sunday, ready to screw up every task and maybe throw up in a garbage can.
Let's get retro, people, with DJ's Mr Weed and Mr Fitz spinning 70's and 80's disco, hip hop, dance, rock, new wave and one-hit wonders wonders wonders! Tickets are only 20元, 10元 if you get dressed up 70's and 80's style!
This Saturday April 27th 21:00
At Nuts Club: Shazhong Lu (near the corner of Hanyu Lu), 300m down from the South Gate of Chongqing University in Shapingba district.
That's right, big week indeed and it starts today!
Monday the 15th is the beginning of the end for Da Rasta and they're putting together a flea market of sorts, with folks coming to buy and sell their stuff. It will also be a chance for you to leave with some Rasta history, as the owners are letting go of everything, breathing a sigh of relief and moving on to other adventures...
Da Rasta was the first foreign-owned dive bar in Chongqing and will be closing after more than two years of operation. To leave y'all with good memories, they'll be doing one last Movie Night on Tuesday (we're told Sexy & Wacky will be the theme), one last Trivia Night on Thursday and one last blowout on Saturday the 20th, starting a few minutes after 4pm. BBQ as usual, big kegs of beer and a buttload of baijiu, come say bye in style to the little bar that could...
Now if we say “big week”, we can't be just talking about Rasta right? Right you are!
Thursday is also the Chongqing station of Russian reggae star Steppa Style's China tour. We are told by people in the know that Steppa's not only a singer but also a kickass reggae DJ, he will be bringing stuff like this to Nuts Club. Check it.
Other than the lack of advertising savvyness of the promoters, we know very little about the Water Rouge show that's opening on Thursday at Hongyadong's Bayu Theater, but it will be around long enough for us to have a look later. Nevertheless, if you're into the high arts rather than the arts high, check out this all-European troupe perform “water dancing”...
Shanghai DJ/producer NiChiFanLeMei on Friday, read here.
And some rock-infused hip hop on saturday with CMCB, more details later...
Lazy entry over. Big week yo.
Teacher, student, slacker or expat-package bigshot, everyone is given a couple of days every week where they let themselves believe they’re in control. You call those the weekend (even on mondays) and on the weekend you should have fun, right ?
Now we’ve already made it clear how much contempt we have for the Jiefangbei lifestyle : clubs clubs clubs, the outside bar, get laid, repeat. Unfortunately, this lack of imagination seems all too common, as if five days of work in a row were enough to stifle the inquisitive spirit and desire to explore that brought you all here (supposedly)…
Meet Keith Gardiner and Kevin Kreitz, longtime residents of Jiefangbei and, as you can imagine, pretty much over the whole club scene. A few years ago, they decided to actually get in touch with their surroundings. The stories of the outings that ensued are sure to summon back some of that adventurous spirit you had at first, long since castrated by fake Chivas and neon lights.
Last Tuesday, CQScene followed them on a boat trip down the river. Jolly Roger to the wind, bandanas on our heads and slingshot ready to inflict minimal damage, Jialing Pirates we…
"We bought the raft on a whim, about 4 years ago, from an outdoor store in JFB that has since been converted into a baby clothing store. If i had to buy one these days I'd just buy it on taobao." says Keith to explain the origins of this wild ride. Kevin continues : “We tried to get to that island on the Chang Jiang but our paddles broke halfway, we panicked and rushed back to shore. We hadn’t really used the boat since…”
Three weeks ago, however, they decided to haul it up to Shuangbei station, on the newly finished section of the red line that now goes all the way to University City, and float down slowly to… uh… wherever.
That day, they drifted for five hours. That’s the time it takes to make it from the back end of Ciqikou (yeah the taxi driver that took them to the shore didn’t know a closer spot) to Huanghuayuan bridge in Yuzhong district. They had caught the boating bug.
Last week, they took me to Dazhulin station on line 6 (the new pink line), where there’s absolutely nothing to see. We hopped on a taxi and asked a guy with a dog (no one would bring a dog there if they didn’t live in the area) how to get to the river. An eight kuai ride took us through the Jingke construction site and almost to the shore. We inflated the boat and were on our way.
An hour or so into the journey, we realized how quickly our resources, a 24-pack of Shancheng, garlic peanuts and some guazi, would get depleted. This “journalist”, not knowing any better, had only brought a bottle of jingjiu and one miserable mixer to the party. “You don’t go on a five-hour boat ride with one bottle of jingjiu !” Keith berated me, so sure enough, we had to stop somewhere to fill up.
A weird twist of fate occured as we approached the shore. Two weeks before, the Pirates had twice run into an english speaking middle-aged man whilst exploring abandonned factories in Shuangbei. He had worked on cargo ships, been around the world and was now down to his underwear, getting ready to go for a swim right where we had chosen to stop…
Knowing there was a trustworthy dude around to watch the boat, we went up to Lahongzui Yuzhuang (辣红嘴鱼庄), the two-floor restaurant with a wide terrace we had spotted from upriver. Was it the shock of seeing three foreigners come up for jingjiu or was it simply the generous nature of the boss, we’ll never know, but we managed to get a massive discount on the three bottles we bought without even trying to haggle. Mission accomplished, so with a reinflated raft, the trip continued.
Quickly after that, we almost met our doom under a Shuangbei bridge nearing completion, when a giant steel pole fell from above and landed at least twenty meters away from us. Nevermind.
Next we ended up in Ciqikou, where we boarded a restaurant ship, commandeered their bathroom and sailed back out, our bellies full of liangmian. With the river currents dramatically slowing down after that, it took us at least two more hours to reach Shimen bridge but boring it was not.
Danger reared its head one last time as we drifted under Gaojiahuayuan bridge. The river police approached, slowed down and… just sorta waved at us, gave the boat a little shake and kept going. Pleasant.
As the Pirates put it, it’s kind of like sitting on a couch drinking beer all day, it's just that the scenery keeps evolving…
Couch flotilla anyone ?
Pro tips for a fulfilling city life in Chongqing…
1-Be the first to find stuff
Keith : “Back when we first found out about Cici Park, we didn’t want anyone else to know, because we were certain it would go downhill if they did, and sure enough, it’s not what it used to be.”
While Kevin doesn’t agree with that last statement, one must admit any place is better when it’s fresh. Keep your discoveries for yourself (at least for a while) and you can always say you did something before it was cool. Sound familiar ?
2-Take a bus/train/subway to nowhere
The Pirates used to take a bus to wherever every Monday, this tradition took them whitewater rafting in Pengshui, bungee jumping in Tongjing and blacking out in numerous locations, among other things. Now, with the ever-expanding subway network, they pinpoint a station and explore the area. It’s a gamble and you might end up in a shitty technopark (hint : don’t go to Guangdianyuan on the pink line), but the more you try, the better your chance of finding the next Gongrencun…
3-Don’t drink where everyone else drinks
We get it, you like people and you want to be where other laowai are. But you’re in China, mix in a little ! No city is quite like Chongqing when it comes to nooks and crannies. Find your own and really choose who you drink with.
4-“Be the change you want to see in the world” –Kevin (or Gandhi)
If the rafting story isn’t proof enough, think barbecue parties on isolated Yangtze river islands, camping on Nanshan, construction site bonfires downhill from the ‘Bei or kickass block parties all around the city…
It's that time of year again! If Mother Nature is on our side, we'll be throwing the same kickass block party we threw last year: burgers, carne asada, beer, music and RUSTY NAILS a drink proposed by our friends at the Whisky Society meant to rival the ubiquitous Turbo Shandy this summer!
Bring your friends, musical instruments and best manners (no, maybe not that) and come down to the Chicken Lady corner, right downstairs from Helen's in Gongrencun (Shapingba district), Monday April 8th starting at 4:00PM!
Guo Bin #7
Slow news day today, so we thought we'd give you the long awaited results of the “Longfor Really Estate Summer Boozer Top 10 Awards Extra Royal” ceremony held last week in... uh... Dadukou?
Yeah you got us, that didn't happen. We just wanted to write about Longfor. Best real estate company name ever. Regardless, here's a list of the stuff you should and shouldn't be drinking this summer:
Number 10: HOT BEER- Summer's coming and fruity hot beer with a bathroom mould aftertaste is out. So is lukewarm beer. Laobans, time to turn on your fridges and serve us something cold please.
Bomb, Crump, & Grenade #9
Number 9: CRUMP/BOMB/GRENADE BAIJIU- With the post-chunjie I-can't-drink-this-shit-anymore vibe still in full effect, baijius are laying low for a while. Still, the Erguotou company is surprising everyone with a sleek design for their latest line of baijius... But it still tastes the same, because some things don't change.
Number 8: JINGJIU- It's hot and full of ginger, gets you drunk and it's good for a cold too. But even if you can drink it with ice or put it in the fridge, it's a winter drink.
Number 7: GUOBIN- Yeah, the green Lao Shancheng is like five jiao cheaper and everyone drinks it but guess what: it's basically glorified tap water. Totally worth splurging for the level (slightly) above, chief.
Number 6: 151 SPECIAL- Bacardi 151, cranberry juice and a whole lot of ice in those giant Hideaway mugs. Cliff's got a nice terrace too, killer combo.
Number 5: PABST BLUE RIBBON- That's right, it's so hot right now. Get this: the worker district of Gongrencun is so gentrified even they think Pabst is cool (and we're working on getting them to like the Arcade Fire too). Maxwell convenience stores around town all carry it.
Number 4: MEIZIJIU- An ice cold bottle of plum wine while walking down your favorite shaokao strip is hard to beat. Get a Lipton red iced tea bottle, clean it up and bring it to a meizijiu vendor. You can get drunk and teach without anyone knowing. Great in a punch.
Number 3: CHONGQING SENLIN- What the hell is that? We found out about this classic cocktail just today at Moon Café in Huangjueping. This über-green tequila drink seems to be a favorite among the art crowd. No wonder, it's smooth and sweet and cold, perfect for dawang'ing in the art district...
Turbo Shandy #1
Number 2: CERTIFIED PURE WHISKY- Dill and Lee might not forgive us for suggesting you put ice cubes in their delicious imports instead of the prescribed drop of warm water, but it's summer dammit. If you can't find a bar that sells their stuff, worm your way into one of their exclusive Whisky Society meetings and get plastered like a pro (or a drunk)...
Number 1: TURBO SHANDY- The fuck? How did that make it to number one? We don't know but one thing's for sure, this is the stuff cool people will be drinking this summer. Half vodka/rum cooler, half beer. Serve with ice and chill on a terrace. Day drinking rules.
Chongqing Technology and Business University. Uphill from Wugongli station, on the still youngish blue subway line, has a pleasant campus with roads leading all the way to the woods on Nanshan and includes some of the poshest houses Chongqing has to offer. Hell, the chief of police executed in the wake of the 2009 gang crackdown used to own one of them, a gaudy affair a few doors down from the foreign teachers’ residence…
Despite the sexy mountaineering awaiting up there though, it was the food district across from the univeristy main gate (off 学府大道, Xuefu Dadao) that drew us to the area that night. Right there is one of the sweetest street food hubs in town, and right here is an introduction to the students, teachers and shaokao bosses who give it its international flavor.
The story starts with a group of French and American CTBU teachers who, having lost their favorite 24-hour restaurant, followed a savvy young teacher and his girlfriend into a worn-out bunkerish structure, hoping to find a new haunt. Now they had enough China experience under their belt to appreciate the corrugated steel “roof”, the ceaseless screaming amplified by the enclosed space and (most importantly) the fact they could sit on sturdy wooden benches rather than the usual iffy plastic stools. The gang was charmed and decided to spend the night drinking and basking in the atmosphere, once again completely forgetting to go to Jiefangbei.
This could be just another story of drunk laowai finding a new pre-funk spot, but here’s where the bunker gains a few extra cool points : Pierre-François Michel, the “Daddy of Shaokao” who frequents it “a mere five or six times a week”, tells us the young Frenchman who brought the gang to the food spot was none other than the Kalakuta Kid, the bearded DJ you might remember from these past articles :
A few words with the Kalakuta Kid
Exclusive mix from the Kalakuta Kid
Kalakuta kickin' it
The low profile joint quickly became the place to be for area teachers and their brethren, often turning into an all-night banquet of 10 to 20 people. No shit, but it gets better…
Last year, the bread-loving French crew discovered cheap, delicious baguettes back on campus, just a few hundred meters inside from the gate. They taught the shaokao guys how to slice it up to make sandwiches and just like that, discount fusion food followed.
“I got a buddy that keeps mustard in one of those guys’ fridge,” says Pierre who likes his chicken skewer sandwich with no extras. His friend Gaspard across the table is all about mixing it up. We went for chicken too, but added some lamb and an array of veggies, topping it off with a 3 kuai special sauce sold by the english-speaking seafood lady at the entrance.
Would a cheap fusion pig-out be complete without french fries ? No sir, that’s why our gallic friends taught the boss of the central shaokao how to make them. No biggie, to him it’s basically just ganbian toudousi without lajiao or huajiao, sprinkled with salt, pepper and small pieces of bacon. Dip it in the special sauce and you’re in for a treat…
Booze ? The bosses of the central shaokao, Jiangji (蒋记) and Luanpicai (乱啤财) all make their own baijiu and you can always get crates of beer from the closest stall …
The vibe is quite hassle-free, so don’t hesitate to order something from the excellent food carts outside, they’ll deliver to your table too !
How to eat like a CTBU veteran :
Roujiamo (肉夹馍) at Tea Storm : Go into the campus and up the hill, spot a bright yellow sign on your left after a minute’s walk or two. Remember, those chinese sandwiches drip, so make sure to pack tissues.
Baguettes at Bread & Cake : Five seconds further up. Baguettes 6 kuai.
Sushi at Taoke : Right next door. Make sure you tell ‘em no ketchup (bu yao fanqiejiang!) because, come on, that’s gross.
Go down and get yourself a nice beer at :
-the Lawson : out the main gate of the university and to the right. Asahi, Heineken, Carslberg and skunked Corona.
-the Kegou (可购): go out the gate and cross the road, go down a hundred meters or so after leaving the main road and look to to your left. Kaiserdom and Qingdao, but that’s pretty much it.
Walk down some more and bear right, the shaokao building is there. Don’t walk too far. The first stall on the right as you come in sells top-notch seafood and that special sauce you’re going to want at your table. Walk down the middle and the first big stall you’ll see on your left is what we refer to as the “central shaokao”, get your fries (shutiao-薯条) there.
Get a table
Scramble for food
In past years, the keen observer might have noticed a slight change in the beer selections of bars around town. Following Nuts’ constantly improving scope, Bystreet 16 expanded their menu, Da Rasta started offering Beerlao upon opening and, of course, the Harp set up in Jiefangbei with their popular on-tap wallet diet.
It was 2012, however, that kicked every other year’s ass in terms of new imports. Belgian beers to be exact, and not Stella Artois either. We’re talking powerful trappiste concoctions, the names of which you use to confuse and humiliate pseudo connoisseurs at fancy dinner parties. That’s right.
We’ve all grabbed a road pop from a cornerstore on our way to Jiefangbei and back in the days, foreigners would demonstrate class with a Carlsberg at the Beer Garden. There were no exceptional brands anywhere and the alcohol content was disappointing at best. Today, it seems the local market is more and more taken by the strong, tasty imported brews of Belgium. That’s a very good sign for all you beer lovers out there, because road pops have gone up a level, the Beer Garden is but a stop gap between clubs and Carlsberg feels like ordinary pishui.
We’ll be on the lookout for savvy beer pushers, but don’t be afraid to post whatever import-oriented place you find in the comments section and give us something to review !
In the meantime, here’s a few useful addresses :
Soft Time (柔软时光-rouruan shiguang) has got it all. Imported beers (Maredsous, giant Duvel, etc.), cigars and nice bathrooms. A bit pricey but still a great place to watch football.
Taojiuwo (淘酒窝) Open from 11 to 11. This small emporium with a few seats offers a huge selection of Belgian Trappiste beers. Spend around 20-30 kuai for small bottles and 70 to 75 for bigger ones. If you choose to drink on the spot, expect the boss to bring out specially made glasses that fit your choice of beer !
Nuts Club (SPB), H20 (Beibei)and Bystreet 16 (Ciqikou) all have at least Chimay, Duvel, Vedett or Delirium beers.
Like rugby? Like beer? Like both? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you're in luck. This Saturday(5/22) The Chongqing Conquerors welcome arch rivals, the Chengdu Black and Whites to Chongqing for their only home match of the season. Having been beaten by Chengdu in each of their previous encounters, the current incarnation of the Conquerors is quite possibly the best yet, and this promises to be an action packed match between bitter enemies. And as is customary when it comes to rugby, there promises to be plenty of beer to be drank as you cheer on the home town heroes.
The match is at 3:00pm at Chongqing Normal University in Shapingba(across the street from san xia guang chang. The post match "social" will take place at Golden Hans Restaurant in Shapingba and is 50rmb for all you can eat roasted meats and all you can drink German style micro-brews, and will continue on at Nuts club on the late night.
for more information please visit www.cqrugby.com , or call team captain Ting Fan at 15823865298.