Sunday, May 20, 2007

Yale Delegation Visits Local Dive Bar

A delegation of Yale University students met with president Hu Jintao on Friday, in a visit to promote greater understanding of China. (Story here.)This correspondent, however, met many of the same members of the delegation at a local dive bar, opportunely named Pure Girl.

Engaging in that age-old undergraduate tradition of shots and imbibing copious amounts of beer, the delegation nevertheless conducted themselves in a relatively respectable manner. The owners of Pure Girl appeared overwhelmed, as it was semi-officially the only time anyone has ever been into the bar. (Nearby Pure Girl 2 and 3 were mostly empty.)

Later on the same weekend, a delegation of 30 or so students from Leeds University went on a twenty bar pub crawl. One of the delegation pronounced the Wudaokou bar Propaganda, "the best place to meet chicks."

Hmmm...what immediately struck this correspondent was the degree to which social pursuits differ at Chinese universities. For better or for worse, the sole occupation of most Chinese students is studying, and drinking and cavorting are saved for special occasions, such as graduation, or marriage.