Sunday, August 16, 2009
Aug. 9 – . Shui Mu Nan Hua is the best club in Changsha -- best in the sense that it is the most expensive and perhaps the flashiest. At the club’s entrance, a lighted staircase winds up alongside a window displaying shelves and shelves of alcohol.
Our Chinese teacher had hired a driver to take us to the club and had reserved a booth. Thin wedges of watermelon were laid out on a platter. Young male attendants poured whiskey and red tea, mixed at our table. We toasted to our visit to China and new friendships.
Young women in black bras and shiny, draping fabric moved from booth to booth taking shots with the men. Although music in English and Chinese blasted, no one was dancing until our kung fu (and dance) teacher arrived. In fact, he did not walk into the club so much as shimmy to our booth.
We were all exhausted from a long week of training and culture shock and jetlag. The pollution and spicy food had taken a toll on most of our bodies.
“Everyone dance one by one!” our Chinese teacher said.
“I don’t dance,” I replied. Not a good enough reply.
One of my teacher’s friends, a chubby man in a white polo shirt, grabbed both my arms and pulled me from the booth.
“Help me,” I mouthed to the two other female teachers in my Chinese class. They stood next to me as the song ended and we waited for the next one to begin. I only hoped the song, if not familiar, had a decent beat to dance to.
Madonna saved us. We all sang along, “I made it through the wilderness ..."