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Party boys and girls!

Popularity 12Viewed 4134 times 2015-2-13 02:55 |System category:Life| drinking, party, foreigners, promoters, club

anastasiasuli's blog Party boys and girls points out an unusual "career" option for foreigners in China, and I want to write about a similar option: Being a promoter. Many of my friends, guys and gals did this job which earned them money and interesting stories.

Chinese friends told me they don't see that many foreigners in China during their daily lives, but when they go out everywhere is full of them. There is also this idea that in China bars and clubs are supposed to be for "bad" people. Bad boys and girls looking for one night stands.... Well, China is not Vatican, and to most foreigners going to a bar or pub with several friends to chill and have a beer is quite normal. So it's not that surprising to see many foreigners hanging out instead of Chinese. 

I heard foreigner KTV girls aren't that popular (language barrier...) but in clubs for sure they are, because the music too loud to talk anyways. Most Chinese people aren't into dancing also, at least until they're really drunk, therefore as a dancing foreigner you get even more attention. So foreigners who are looking to hook up with someone and who are only looking for having fun can all be found in the night time scene.

And... some of them go out as a part of their work. A party girl/boy works like how anastasiasuli wrote. I remember having seen "Pink Lady" on the menu of one club, for 1000 kuai. I wondered what kind of cocktail it must be, to be that expensive. Then I was told it's not a cocktail but a girl! You order one, and she simply goes to your table and plays dice games with you.. and drinks. Once, a friend said a customer wanted his money back because the "Pink Lady" drank too much and fell asleep on the couch... 

I have also seen suspiciously sulky foreigner girls with Chinese guys, not even smiling once or twice, just playing the dice game without saying one word. And guessed they must be working for the club. Actually everybody can tell those people who work for the club, I guess. But when I was with my ex and his Chinese friends, I also got weird looks from Chinese people and foreigners alike, unfortunately. A friend of mine, blond and tall, refuses to talk with Chinese people at clubs, probably because she's fed up with being mistaken for a bar girl. For me, it's normal that Chinese people come and offer a toast to foreigners, they like doing that. You just raise your glass once, smile, and everyone is happy. Probably my friend was asked to do more, so she even refuses to do that.

A funny thing I heard... Once a guy asked for two foreigner girls, but the club had only one that day. They asked him if one foreigner and one Chinese girl would be OK, and he said no. He didn't want one foreigner girl at the table, because none of those guys he was with spoke English! He said, "If there is one girl she would be bored alone, but if there were two they would talk to each other!" It's very cute that he was that thoughtful, but it's also very Chinese that he just wanted to have foreigner girls at the table for showing off... I don't know if it's idiotic or cute actually. And of course he assumed all foreigners speak English.

Mojito, Pina Colada and the secret cocktail. Do they speak English?

Anyways, about promoters... A promoter does not entertain customers individually. They're just responsible for... bringing more foreigners to the club. A German friend of mine was quite surprised at his job. "I give people free drinks, fruits and nuts, and get paid for that!" Yes, that's basically what a promoter does.

Wechat is so useful, a great program... And sometimes the answer to "What are you doing/Where are you?" can be only one photo.

Conditions depend on the club. Some want you to be there for the whole night and dress nicely, some don't care. If you're very social and have lots of friends who go out often, you'd be the perfect fit. Your friends go to the club and you give them a table, a bottle of vodka or whiskey, and some fruits. So you're happy, your friends are happy, and everyone is happy. The club is "high class" if there are lots of foreigners, so apparently it becomes more popular. I'm not sure how that part works.

So empty!

Those who work as promoters do well, but those who just go out to party (without getting paid) just get messed up. Most people don't know how to drink responsibly. Free drinks, and everyone is crazy. There are rumours that those free drinks are fake... So just cheap and locally produced alcohol gets branded as Jack Daniels or Smirnoff. So, not dangerous fake, but still fake.

What's dangerous is the... attitude. A friend of mine got in an alcohol coma, and was transferred to a hospital in Shanghai after several days. I heard another friend of mine took a stranger to the hospital, because people told him he was sleeping, but my friend felt it was a strange way of sleeping, so took that unconscious guy to hospital. When you start talking about this kind of stuff, stories flow. I even heard someone who died here because of liver failure. How tragic is that?! 

For some reason, promoters learn to stay conscious and drink *kind of* responsibly. Getting wasted as the one and only form of socializing and entertainment is dangerous nevertheless, most of your friends being "drinking friends" is not that good in the long run either... So there's always risk if this is your "career"... Most people I've seen are students and work as promoters for several nights a week only. Study load isn't that heavy if you're studying bachelor's or language.... Master's can be pretty easy too, especially if you're doing a program like China Studies or Language and Culture or whatever. But I've seen very few PhDs in clubs! 

As for me, during my first year here I remember paying for my drinks several times.... Haha. But that was 3 years ago. I don't go out that often anymore, but when I do there's always a table full of bottles, and familiar faces. I can walk back from most clubs around, and don't pay for alcoholic/non alcoholic drinks, but even though it costs nothing going out is not as fun as it used to be anymore.

Selfie on my birthday, November 6th, 2014. I have no idea where I will be on my next birthday! (Most likely Europe though)

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)





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Recent comments

  • My Study Abroad in the UK 2017-1-6 22:17

    Hi, Maierwai. Admittedly, it is fun to read your blogs, as some of your stories about your life on exotic lands are intriguing and hilarious. However, I would also like to read about things you have experienced that would be billed as positive. Is there anything that your really appreciated when living abroad, e.g. in China, Japan, the UK and etc. I don't think that you are an overly cynical person, and you simply can't be critical of everything, right?

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    Maierwei: That question is common worldwide. They want to see if you have vision, if you plan to stay long in the company and take more responsibilities. They w ...
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